All the food groups in one dish...if you consider tomatoes a fruit :)!
1/2 cup White rice
3 cups Water
1/2 finely chopped medium-sized Red Bell pepper
3 finely chopped Celery Sticks
1/3 cup Chives
1 finely chopped Garlic clove
1/3 cup peas/carrots mix (I used the frozen kind)
1/4 finely chopped Red Onion
1 Chicken bouillon cube
2 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Now, for the chicken part of the dish:
1 lb Chicken tenderloin (sliced into medium-sized slivers)
1 Large Egg (you'll only be using the egg white)
3/4 cup Plain Contadina Bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons Paprika powder
1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Basil
1 1/2 Teaspoons Pepper
1 Bunch of Spinach
1/2 Cup grated Colby Jack Cheese
Measure 2 teaspoons of the extra virgin olive oil and then pour it into an all purpose pan (one with a lid, preferably a clear/glass one). Add the finely chopped garlic and red onion to the olive oil in the pan. Add the 1 1/2 cups of rice to the mix and stir until the white rice becomes slightly golden. Then add the chopped red bell pepper, celery, chives. Continue by pouring in the 3 cups of water and the chicken bouillon cube. Bring rice/water mix to a boil and add frozen or fresh peas and carrots. Allow it to cook on a medium-low heat until the water is gone and the rice is soft enough to break while still maintaining its form (it shouldn't be mushy :); don't mix too often, and make sure you cover it with the pan's lid.
While the rice is cooking, you'll prepare the egg and bread crumb coating. In one small bowl, you'll add the egg white from the one large egg. I another bowl, you'll add the bread crumbs, paprika, garlic salt, basil, and pepper then mix the bread crumbs and seasonings together. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg white before covering it with the bread crumbs. After the chicken is coated, place each piece on a baking pan, make sure to coat it with a non-stick spray first. Bake the chicken for about 50 minutes on a 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven setting.
While the chicken cooks, cook the spinach for about five minutes on high, until it's soft (it should still have its deep green color).
Once the rice and chicken are both fully cooked, place the rice into a small/medium sized baking dish. Organize the baked chicken strips on top of the rice. Place the cooked spinach over the chicken strips with a fork. (The chicken doesn't have to be completely covered, it should just be enough to lightly cover it.) Then add the grated cheese onto the top of the spinach. Place the baking dish into the oven for about five minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Oh, I almost forgot, you can throw some little diced tomatoes on top too.
Pairs Well With
Sometimes I get stuck when it comes to cooking with chicken. This past week I felt like experimenting with it. I wanted to use a lot of veggies, but I also wanted to make sure I threw in some starch and protein, too. My mom used to tell me that a meal should be colorful and balanced, and this dish definitely has both.