Our December recipe of the month is here – Chicken, Corn, and Rice Casserole.
This hot and tasty dish is sure to warm you up on a cold winter evening.
My weekly menus usually reflect the seasons. In the winter, I enjoy making hot casseroles that fill our home with delicious smells and the warmth of the oven. This time of year, I find comfort in gathering our family around the table, enjoying a hot meal together, and having a long conversation. Chicken, Corn, and Rice Casserole is a great recipe to gather around.
To make this recipe, stir together cooked brown rice, frozen corn (that has been thawed), a can of chicken, a can of diced green chilies, a container of plain Greek yogurt, and shredded cheese. Put the mixture into a casserole dish and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes. When you serve it, you can let each person add their own toppings (salsa, shredded cheese, jalapeños, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips).
Our July recipe of the month is Sausage and Vegetable Skillet. This is a delicious way to use all of your fresh summer vegetables. Whether you get your vegetables from the grocery store, produce stand, farmers market, or garden they will taste great in this recipe. Some summer vegetables that would work well in this recipe are tomatoes, zucchini, corn, and peppers.
Start by cooking brown rice according to the package directions. While that is going, you can cook your sausage. After the sausage is cooked, set it aside on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Then the vegetables! Cut them up into bite sized pieces and sauté them until they are tender. Add in the rice, sausage, and some cheese and you have a meal.
My family likes to eat this skillet as is, but I like to take it up a notch. I cut the top off a couple of tomatoes, scoop out the seeds, and re-fill the tomato with the cooked skillet ingredients. Then I bake it in the oven for 10 minutes for a delicious stuffed tomato.
The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of the busiest in the year. I like to make “all in one meals” on the stove that are quick and healthy. The recipes I look for include three or four food groups all in one dish. Most of the time I have enough left over to take for lunch the next day. This saves me money and time!
Our featured recipe this month, Sweet and Sour Rice, allows you to use one pan to cook the chicken, vegetables and sauce. The sweet and sour sauce is super easy and economical. I hate buying a sauce, using it once and then watching it spoil in the fridge. My family liked this sauce better than bottled!
The SpendSmartEatSmart web site has many more recipes that are quick and only use a pan or two so clean up is quick.
Fiesta Skillet Dinner (another quick meal) is featured in our UKnow video series. Other quick meals on our website include – Ham & Brown Rice and Tasty Taco Salad.
Sweet and Sour Rice
Serving Size: 2/3 cup rice and 1 1/4 cup topping Serves: 5 Cost Per Serving: $1.26
- 16 ounces chicken (skinless, boneless)
- 1 bag (16-ounce) frozen stir-fry veggies
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 cups instant uncooked brown rice
- 1/4 cup sweet and sour sauce (make your own or use prepared sauce)*
- 1 can (8-ounce) pineapple chunks with juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ketchup
- Cut chicken into 3/4 inch pieces. Wash your hands thoroughly.
- Remove stir-fry veggies from freezer to thaw.
- Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add chicken and cook until done. Remove chicken to a bowl and set aside. Set frying pan aside.
- Heat water for rice to boiling. Add rice. Let rice cook according to the package directions.
- Return skillet (used to cook chicken) to the stove. Add sauce ingredients. Cook over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, or add the prepared sweet and sour sauce.
- Stir in the pineapple (un-drained), vegetables, and chicken. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook about 5 minutes.
- Serve chicken and veggie mixture on top of the rice.
You can substitute 2 cups cooked chicken in this recipe. Just add it at step six. Cook for about 5 minutes to heat it through.
Bread used to be made from either whole wheat or white flour; although, many times coloring was added to white flour to make it look darker (healthier) . Now we have “whole white bread” and many claims on the label to wade through such as 5 grams fiber, 20 grams of whole grain and 40% fiber. How do you know which is the best? What’s a person to do if we want to make half of your grains whole as recommended?
Bread is made from flour that comes from grain kernels — usually wheat. A grain kernel has three parts: the bran, the endosperm, and the germ.
Whole grains contain all parts of the grain kernel. Refined grains, like the flour used to make white bread, have had the bran (where most of the fiber is) and the germ (where most of the nutrients are) processed out. This leaves only the starchy endosperm, which means you miss out on essential fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc.
Many flour and bread manufacturers enrich their bread by adding vitamins back in. But it’s still better to eat whole grains.
The bottom line……..Check the list of ingredients
If the first ingredient listed contains the word “whole” (such as “whole wheat flour” or “whole oats”), it is likely that the product is predominantly whole grain. If there are two grain ingredients and only the second ingredient listed is a whole grain, the product may contain as little as 1% or as much as 49% whole grain (in other words, it could contain a little bit of whole grain, or nearly half).
Whole grain and fiber are not the same
Fiber varies from grain to grain, ranging from 3.5% in rice to over 15% in barley and bulgur. What’s more, high-fiber products sometimes contain bran or other added fiber without actually having much, if any, whole grain. Both fiber and whole grains have been shown to have health benefits. But they are not interchangeable. So checking the fiber on a label is not a very reliable way to guess whether a product is truly whole grain.