Chicken-broccoli-rice Bake

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I wrote about MyPlate in my last blog. To give you a basic overview, each meal you eat should include five food groups: whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and fruit. This Chicken-Broccoli-Rice-Bake is a one-pot meal that has all food groups, but fruit. Have a small bowl of berries with dark chocolate drizzled over it for dessert and you have one heck of a meal!

Enjoy!

Chicken-broccoli-rice Bake

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of water
  • 5 cups of brown rice
  • 3 chicken breasts chopped in small cubes
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can of lite coconut milk
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 cup of low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt divided
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Combine the rice, ½ teaspoon of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 3 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer for 30-35 minutes. You can do this quicker with a rice cooker or instant pot!
  • 15 minutes prior to the rice finishing, add chicken to a deep pan or Dutch oven, and pan fry for 10-15 minutes over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. If the chicken or mushrooms are sticking, add a couple tablespoons of water.
  • 5 minutes before rice is finished:
    1. Preheat oven to 350
    2. Add remaining ½ cup of water to a pot with a steamer basket. Bring to a boil. Place broccoli in basket, cover and steam for 3 minutes.
  • When rice is finished, mix in pan with chicken mushrooms.
  • Toss in broccoli.
  • Mix in coconut milk, remaining sea salt. Italian seasoning, and cheese.
  • Transfer to a casserole dish and add ground pepper to taste.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.

 

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Ten tips for a Healthy New Year’s Eve

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We all love gathering together with friends and food to celebrate the holidays; New Year’s parties are centered around food as much as they are around the ball dropping in Times Square.  Here are my 10 favorite tips for surviving those parties without adding on the inches to your waistline.

Tip # 1: If you are the one hosting the party, you can serve healthier options without sacrificing the yum factor. In your cheese and cracker platter, use low-fat cheese and whole grain or rice-based crackers. Look for turkey pepperoni instead of the traditional. Tortilla chips and guacamole is a god option too, You can’t go wrong with veggies and hummus, and I love serving a beautiful platter of fruit.

Tip # 2: Start NYE healthfully with a great morning workout and a hearty breakfast–this will set the stage for a healthy afternoon and evening.

Tip # 3: If you are going to a party, eat a healthy meal beforehand, even if it’s something simple like a tuna fish sandwich on whole grain bread and an apple. Also, I might eat a delicious, healthy snack (like a Kind bar) on the way to the party, to further satisfy me.

Tip # 4: While at the party, apply the concept of sample and savor. Take very small portions (three-bites) of food that you know is amazing, but also, is high-calorie. And then, be sure to focus on the healthier options like the veggie platter.

Tip # 5: If you know what is going to be served at the party, check out calorieking.com beforehand and learn what exercise you would need to do to counteract a popular party food. For example, in order to counteract just four cubes of full-fat cheddar cheese, you have to run for 31 minutes or cycle for 42 minutes.

Tip # 6: When I am invited to holiday parties, I also make sure to bring one of my personal favorite healthy dishes. That way I know that I have a healthy option available to me.

Tip # 7: An important rule of thumb to help you stay healthy at holiday parties is to stay away from the buffet table; this rule will prevent the nibbling that you may not even acknowledge you are doing.

Tip # 8: Also,  watch those liquid calories! Keep the wine, liquor, and beer to a minimum. Avoid soda as well. Drink plenty of water.

Tip # 9: Does your NY resolutions involve health? Get a head start at the NYE party! For example, want to juice more in the New Year? Bring a big bottle of green juice as a role model to others. You’ll feel great and less tempted.

Tip # 10: 

At parties, be the one talking and connecting. The more you talk, the less you will eat! Most importantly, have fun and remind yourself how proud you will be if you make it through the party without sabotaging your health.