Pesto Chicken, Brown Rice*, and Stir-Fry Peppers

If you haven’t tried pesto with basil, you’re missing out on excellent flavor and great nutrition.  Basil is a highly fragrant plant whose leaves are used as key ingredient in pesto, which is often a mixture of basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.  Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese; a very good source of copper, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), and vitamin C; and a good source of calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.  Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that protects epithelial cells (the cells that line the blood vessels) from free radical damage and also helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the blood.

Look for pesto in the refrigerator section or on the aisle.  Once opened it needs to be refrigerated and used within a week or so, but it’s doubtful you’ll need to do that!

Ingredients:

2-3 pounds, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
About 4 tsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
One 11-oz carton Buitoni Pesto with Basil (or pesto of your choice)
Brown rice (cook enough for the needs of your household)
 *If you’re eating low carb, omit the rice of stick to a ½ cup portion

Red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced

Directions:

Cook rice according to package directions.  Brown rice takes longer to cook, so start the rice early!

When rice is nearly done, start to sauté chicken in about 1-2 tsp oil of choice in large frying pan.  Cook about 8-10 minutes, over medium heat, until done.   Reduce heat to low.  Add pesto and mix well, allowing the pesto to warm with the chicken. 

In another large pan, saute peppers over medium-high heat with the other 2 tsp oil.  Flavor with seasoning of your choice.  I use Costco (Kirkland brand) Organic No-Salt Seasoning.  Veggies will take about 4-5 minutes to cook.

Serve pesto-chicken over the rice and have the veggies on the side, or just combine everything! 

Delicious, colorful, healthy – and easy!