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Recipe #3

Cover of "Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet...

Cover via Amazon

To continue meeting my goal of picking out and preparing a new recipe each month this year to both expand my cooking skills, and maybe find some new dishes I can make that are healthy and offer me a little variety in food.

This month, I picked “Chicken and Rice Dish” found on page 177 of the Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook (Available on Amazon.com for under $15)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups cut fresh asparagus (1 inch diagonal cut pieces)
  • 1 package (6 ounces) long grain and wild rice mix
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat butter, divided
  • 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch strips
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel, optional

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, combine the water, asparagus, rice mix with contents of seasoning packet and 2 tablespoons butter.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the chicken, garlic and salt in the remaining butter until the chicken juices run clear.  Addthe carrot, lemon juice and lemon peel if desired; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.  Stir into rice mixture

Nutrition facts

  • serving size 1-1/4 cups
  • calories 247
  • diabetic exchange 2 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable

My thoughts about the recipe

  • Very tasty, but seemed to taste kind of salty. So, I’m inclined to not include the 1/4 teaspoon of salt if I make this in the future, since the rice mix season packet has salt in it already. I think a recipe that doesn’t call for a prepackaged box of rice with its own seasoning would probably be a lot better in terms of salt content since I could season to taste.
  • degree of difficulty for me I would say that it was a little harder then making a box of mac-n-cheese, but still not so difficult that I feared messing it up because of complexity.
  • I do feel that using the mix probably simplified the recipe since it cutout the need to measure seasonings, so for prep time it’s a really good recipe think it took me about 30 minutes to get everything prepped and started cooking including cleaning/chopping the asparagus, and gathering the ingredients needed.
  • The cost of the ingredients wasn’t too bad
    • the bunch of asparagus cost me $3.29 (I only used about half the bunch maybe a little less)
    • chicken was $6.49 for 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I only used 1 in the recipe)
    • long grain and wild rice mix, I used a store brand which cost me $1.99, but I did see that Uncle Ben’s had it as well and it was marked at $2.99 on sale.
    • minced garlic, I had a couple garlic on hand but I think I paid about $1.29 for 2 whole garlic and for this recipe I used 1 clove
    • carrots I paid $1.37 for a bag of them, and used 1 carrot from the bag (my stores don’t sell individual carrots I’ve heard that someplaces they do, I just don’t happen to be in one of those places so I have to buy them by the bag)
    • I used Smart Balance butter and since I bought it last month I have no idea how much I paid for it, but I think it might have been around $3-$4 for a large tub of it.
    • Lemon Juice was $0.98 for a large bottle of it, I got it from the reduced section. I left out the lemon peel since my lemon juice came from a bottle and not a fresh lemon.
    • I think a rough estimated total spent on the entire dish I would estimate it at about $6  for everything needed to make a single batch of this recipe which serves 4.

Would I make it again … I have to say yes, but I’ll explore ways to decrease the saltiness of it.

When I served myself, I included 1/2 cup of fresh grapes and a bottle of water which brought me in at about 299 calories for the entire meal and I felt stuffed after eating it, so it rates high on my list of filling meals.

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