Submitted by: Joanne Perez, Real Bite Nutrition
It’s almost time for us to hibernate for the winter (luckily for me, it’s only a few weeks). That usually means heartier meals, more commonly known as “comfort” foods, and more time at home, which can lead to more snacking. But heartier doesn’t have to mean heavier. This Chicken Cacciatore is full of vegetables and served over brown rice (yes, a healthy carb). It is easy, filling, and a great meal after a day shoveling snow or hitting the slopes.
Real Bite Chicken Cacciatore uses both green and yellow peppers, which belong to the Solanaceae plant family that also includes chili peppers, cayenne pepper, eggplant, tomatoes and some potatoes. Did you know that most bell peppers don’t start off the color they will actually mature to? A green bell pepper may actually be an immature, not fully ripe version of another color. Makes sense since red, yellow and orange peppers are definitely sweeter tasting. So what about the other popular colors? Orange and yellow peppers, which tend to be harder to find, are more mature than green ones and have a fruity taste. If you want the most mature of what you can find at the local market, a red bell wins the contest. This pepper has more beta-carotene and a fruit-like sweetness.
Bell peppers are full of good nutrition but if you want to maximize the nutritional benefits of the bell pepper, you need to pay attention to the degree of ripeness. If you buy it at its perfect ripeness and store it for ten days, you could lose up to 15% of its vitamin C. Along with vitamins C and A, peppers are great source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, and the minerals molybdenum and manganese. Here are some of benefits your body might get from eating bell peppers:
* Better Eyesight – Vitamin A has been shown to help keep your eyesight strong while vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin have been known to slow down development of cataracts and macular degeneration.
* Healthy Brain and Body – Vitamin B6 is necessary for many chemical reactions throughout your body, including those in your brain and vitamin C helps boost your immune system.
* Cancer Protection – Beta-carotene and lycopene are known to decrease your chances for developing certain cancers.
Real Bite Chicken Cacciatore will make you believe that life’s too short to not take a Real Bite!
Real Bite Chicken Cacciatore & Rice
- 1 pound plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 6 ounces small button mushrooms
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
- 1 large green pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 large yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 large zucchini, cut into matchsticks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- Cooking spray
- 1 lb. boneless chicken breast
- ½ lb. boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary, divided
- 1 ¼ cup low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 14 ½ ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup thinly sliced basil, divided
- 1 tbsp. drained capers, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking pan with non-stick foil.
- Spread the tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and peppers on baking pan.
- Place the olive oil, vinegar and Italian seasoning a large plastic and bag and mix well. Drizzle over the vegetables to coat.
- Roasted the vegetables for 20 minutes.
- Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over a medium-high heat until hot. Add the chicken and brown each side for 6-8 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and place aside.
- In the same skillet add the canned tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, salt, rosemary, basil and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Add the chicken and pull apart with a fork into pieces. Add the roasted vegetables and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
- Serve over rice.
Nutrition Info Per Serving (with ½ cup brown rice): Calories 570, Protein 55g, Fat 17g, Carbohydrates 51g, Fiber 8g, Sodium 480mg
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