Thursday, November 5, 2009

Spanish Casserole

Whatever that means. Casserole is a beleaguered word, isn't it? Being that I have a thirteen-month old child, I don't have a lot of time to cook, or eat, for that matter. One-pot dishes that are inexpensive, uncomplicated, quick and tasty are of the essence to my life. If I see too many ingredients in a recipe, I immediately balk. If I see too many steps, I get wary. With that in mind, here is a good, sturdy little recipe that I found in a book called The Reader's Digest Eat Better, Live Better: A Commonsense Guide to Nutrition and Good Health, published in 1982.

This book was one of those books that just somehow gets into your library. You know not from whence they came, and you are even a bit disdainful, until you really flip through the thing and realize, hey, this is actually a good book! It has great illustrations and encyclopedic information on vegetables and fruit, recipes, nutritional content, and so on. I've always loved books of classifications and definitions, ever since that Richard Scarry book that described in detail all the things that are in big boats and houses and stuff. Loved that book! There's even a section on wild, foraged foods. Did you know that Milkweed is edible? The flowers taste like broccoli, apparently. To digress further, we have lots of Milkweed, a beautiful and beneficial plant. At this time of year, its seed pods dry up and inside are silky strands attached to the nut brown seeds and they float away like parachutes, carrying the intended plant on the wind in preparation for next year's plant.

Okay, I will stop rambling. Here is the recipe:

2 whole chicken breasts, split and skinned
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/4 roasted red pepper, diced
1 cup chicken broth
1 28 ounce can of plum tomatoes
1 cup brown rice
1 teaspoon thyme
olive oil, salt and pepper

Use a nice, heavy dutch oven with a lid. Preheat oven to 350. On stovetop, brown chicken in oil. Take them out and put them on a plate while you saute the diced veggies. Add the rice and cook a few minutes. Then slowly add the tomatoes and broth and return the chicken to the pot. Salt, pepper and thyme. Cover and bake in oven for forty or so minutes.

I served this with a spoonful of greek yogurt, which I'm starting to realize you could add to everything and anything. And I'm sure this will be better today when I have it for lunch.

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