Whether it’s for a holiday or a weeknight meal, one pot meals are where it’s at and using whole grain rice as a foundation makes sure there is nutrient density in every spoon.
Rice is a practical grain that goes with everything and is a healthier option than many other starches. In my day, nutrition-robbed boiled potatoes graced every plate. According to a study published in Food and Nutrition Sciences, rice consumption was associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake than seen in non-rice consumers.
Not only is whole grain rice itself more nutrient rich than some other starches common at our dinner tables, but it also is typically served with highly nutritious items like beans, fish, tomatoes and greens.
- About 50% of North Americans consume only half of the magnesium that they should. Magnesium is critical for muscle function, the heart is the largest muscle in the body. There is more magnesium in 1 cup of cooked long grain brown rice (21% DV) than in 3.5 cups of spinach (20% DV)
- That same 1 cup of rice has about 4 g of fibre which is almost 25% of your day’s amount
Take a look at some great recipes on www.riceinfo.com but here is one that I have adapted to make a versatile one pot meal for the season.
ONE POT GREEK CHICKEN SPANAKORIZO
To change the flavors, switch out the lemon marinate for Italian salad dressing and the oregano for Italian Seasoning. Use parmesan instead of feta and you have a whole new dish. Or, swap oregano for curry powder and feta for plain yogurt and India is at your dinner table. You get the idea, start with the basics and use your imagination.
¼ cup (50 mL) lemon juice
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon zest
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each sea salt and pepper
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 mL) dried oregano
1 tbsp (15 mL) chili flakes
1 ½ cups (375 mL) USA long grain brown rice
1 ½ cups (375 mL) chicken broth
½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
4 cups packed baby spinach
½ cup (125 mL) crumbled feta
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped parsley
In a bowl, combine 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp zest, 1 tbsp oil, salt and pepper and chicken. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Heat a large Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium-high heat, sear chicken pieces on both sides to a golden brown; remove to plate. In same pot sauté onion, garlic, oregano and chili flakes with 1 tbsp oil until onions are softened, stir in rice. Add broth, wine and remaining lemon juice; bring to a boil. Stir in spinach, reduce heat to a low simmer and top with chicken pieces. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 40-45 minutes undisturbed until chicken juices run clear and rice is tender.
Stir in 1 tbsp zest, feta, oregano and parsley just before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
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