Eat the Rainbow for Health Benefits

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Foods

By Kim Kirchherr, MS, RD, CDE SUPERVALU Dietitian

Celebrate American Heart Month on your plate with a delicious dish that makes vegetables come to life! There are so many wonderful colors, tastes, and textures in the vegetable category, and this recipe takes advantage of their beauty, ease of preparation, and nutrients.

Eating the rainbow of colors each week for the mix of nutrients this provides is easy when you combine colors in one simple dish! This great recipe comes to you from the American Heart Association. See how quickly a dinner can come together that is both better for you as well as tasty. Pairing vegetables with skinless chicken is a super easy way to prepare this tasty and versatile protein choice. Make it savory with a variety of spices, too.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Foods

Louisiana Chicken and Vegetables

Serves 4; 3 ounces chicken and 1/2 cup vegetables per serving

Take a colorful break from rice, potatoes, and pasta-use corn instead. It is a whole grain and provides texture, fiber, and great taste, too!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each), all visible fat discarded
2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun or Creole seasoning blend
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided use
1 tablespoon canola or corn oil, divided use
1 1/2 cups frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed and patted dry
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup carrot in matchstick-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion (yellow preferred)
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (coarsely ground preferred)
Red hot-pepper sauce to taste (optional)

Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the seasoning blend, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the chicken for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until no longer pink in the center. Transfer to a serving platter and cover to keep warm.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the corn, bell pepper, carrot, and onion for 4 to 6 minutes, or until beginning to brown on the edges, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the water, black pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spoon around the chicken. Serve with the hot-pepper sauce.

Cook’s Tip : If salt-free Cajun or Creole seasoning blend is hard to find, you can make your own in a jiffy. Just combine the following in a small bowl: 1 1/2 teaspoons each chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper. For a hotter mixture, stir in up to 3/8 teaspoon cayenne. Use 2 teaspoons of the blend for this recipe and store the rest in an airtight jar to season a wide variety of food, such as baked fries (white or sweet potatoes), other vegetables, or seafood, including catfish and shrimp. You may want to turn on your exhaust fan when using this and other blackening seasonings over medium-high or high heat.

(per serving)
Calories 243
Total Fat 5.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 66 mg
Sodium 381 mg
Carbohydrates 20 g
Fiber 3 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 29 g

Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat

This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association’s Face the Fats campaign. Recipe copyright © 2009 by the American Heart Association. Look for other delicious recipes in American Heart Association cookbooks, available from booksellers everywhere, and at

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