Chicken & Veggie Riso

Riso
                    Chicken & Veggie Riso

When my kids were little I made this at least once a week.  They were not the best eaters, so I would put them both in the bath tub and feed them this by hand while they splashed around.  There was no other way to get them to eat the peas, tomatoes, red peppers and chicken in this recipe. They would then drift off to sleep freshly bathed with full little tummies.

Riso looks like rice, but is actually pasta.  This is a very forgiving recipe as it gets better over time and can be reheated and is excellent hot or cold. Kids love it!  This is a quick weeknight dinner with leftovers for lunch.  Serve with lots of crunchy sourdough bread and fresh butter.

Ingredients:

1 box of Riso pasta

16 oz. of chicken broth (see home made recipe in my book Real Food (Amazon)

1 lb skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup white wine

2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil

1/4 bag of frozen peas

10 or more kalamata olives, pitted and quartered

1/2 red pepper, diced

8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese balls

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (hold pepper for kids)

Freshly grated parmesan

Fresh basil for garnish

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pour yourself a glass of white wine (any kind, it doesn’t matter).

When oven is preheated place a 1/2 a cup of white wine and the chicken in a baking dish and cook for 30 minuets or until chicken is white inside. Put chicken stock on to boil. Pour yourself another glass of wine and put on some music.

Cook riso as per package instructions, but turn off the burner about 5 minutes early and allow to cook. This way you are sure not to burn it. In a large pasta bowl add sun dried tomatoes, frozen peas, olives and diced red pepper. When the chicken is done cut it up quickly with poultry sheers, no need to dirty a cutting board and add to mixture.

Fold cooked Riso into the chicken mixture. Add Parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in warm bowls or not. It is good cold as well as hot. Pour more wine if desired.

Healthy Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas for Teen Athletes

FullSizeRender-21
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

Most teen athletes make the mistake of focusing on calories when it is nutrient dense foods that should be the focus.  Foods packed with vitamins and minerals are needed for a body that is growing and competing simultaneously.

My older daughter doesn’t look that easy to kill, in fact a boy she goes to school with said she looks exactly how he imagines Joan of Arc to have looked.  She is tall and powerfully built and possesses a warrior mentality.   But like most kids she is actually very fragile.  Last year she was playing club volleyball and swimming, so she was clocking 2 plus hours of intense physical activity per day, and an extra 4-5 hours on the week-ends as an outside hitter for Absolute in Marin County.

In February, I noticed that she was looking a little green.  Because I am her mother, I knew there was something not quite right with how she looked, so I took her to the doctor.   Naturally, as mother always knows best, she was diagnosed with severe anemia.   The doctor started her on medication and she left the next day for Colorado Cross Roads, which in the volleyball world is a pretty big deal and a place where I spend more time with my closest friends from California than I do in California.

All was well, until one of the players became ill with the Noro virus and the team slowly dropped like dominos.  My daughter – a hold out was able to get home and miss the cocophay of vomiting in the bathrooms on the Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Oakland, but then succumbed to the illness and spent nine, yes “9” days in bed.

Because her immune system was compromised by the anemia her recovery was very slow.  Her pediatrician had to prescribe drugs for cancer patients to stop the vomiting.  So, needless to say, I watch this girl closely now.   I can tell if she is dehydrated or even if she has a head ache.  So, keeping my little warrior well fed is a number one priority.  And since she just wants to eat burgers and french fries it can be a challenge to get her to eat her vegetables, so I created this recipe for her.  Needless to say, she ate the entire pan and I couldn’t have cared less.

Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas for the Teen Athlete

Ingredients

1 red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 medium zucchini cut into rounds
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 package corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce (I bought a jar made by a local company and it was excellent)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups Mexican shredded cheese
Garnishes:  fresh cilantro, chopped avocado, pico de gallo, sour cream

Preparation:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and place sliced vegetables in a single layer and roast for 30 minutes or until they look lightly toasted.

Roasted Vegetables

3. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

4.  Allow vegetables to cool so you can work with them.  Then heat your sauce in a shallow pan until warm.

5.  Add a small amount of sauce to the bottom of a large baking dish.

6. Place corn tortilla in the warm sauce and saturate both sides.  Remove and fill with vegetables, black beans and cheese.  Roll and place in pan.  Repeat.

FullSizeRender-19

7. Once all of the tortillas are rolled, add the remaining sauce from the pan, sprinkle cheese and cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted.

8.  Garnish as desired.

FullSizeRender-20