Jalapeno Chicken and Brown Rice | Washington, DC Dietitian

I usually try to plan out and shop for dinner recipes, but some days are a "what's in the fridge?" type of day.

Washington - DC - Nutritionist

This meal was a perfect example of that. Use what's on hand and get creative! We had leftover Jalapeno Chicken Sausage, brown rice, black beans and fresh spinach. Easy, simple to make, healthy and tasty! Win-win all around.

Jalapeno Chicken Sausage and Brown Rice Plate

Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

3 links chicken sausage (I used Jalapeno but any flavor will do!)

2 cups brown rice, dry (I used TJ's microwaveable brown rice)

1 bag fresh spinach

1 can black beans

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions. For the TJ's steam in bag it was 2 minutes in the microwave. Allow more time for brown rice made on stove top.

2. Heat chicken sausage in microwave or on stove top for 2-3 minutes

3.  Grease cooking pan with cooking spray or olive oil. Add bag of fresh spinach to pan and cook until wilted

4. Drain black beans. Add to cooking pan until heated.

5. In large bowl add brown rice, chopped chicken sausage, spinach and black beans. Add salt and pepper to taste and combine ingredients. Serve by candlelight!

Washington - DC - Nutritionist

Chicken sausage is a great option to spice up any meal, while being a healthier option than regular sausage. I recommend it in rice dishes, stir fries, in salads, soups and more. Try different flavors to see which you like best. Enjoy!

A Healthier 'Dilla | Washington DC Dietitian

I don't know about you, but usually the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is cook an elaborate dinner. As much as I enjoy cooking (love. it.), I like it better when I have time and don't feel rushed. My go to solutions for this are the following:

  • Prepare foods on Sunday to have for the week (smart choice)
  • Eat out with friends (fun choice)
  • Quesadillas! (perfection)

Quesadillas are my go-to meal because they are easy, fast and delicious. You can make them for yourself or for groups and I'd say they are always a crowd pleaser.

But I know what you might be thinking. Aren't quesadillas bad for you??

First off, I don't believe that there are any good or bad foods. But it can be true: quesadillas are basically cheese, some sort of protein and high fat toppings. Luckily, like most foods they can be healthified pretty easily! I'm not going to lie and say you won't notice the difference, but these dillas are still pretty darn good.

To healthify these bad boys I use the following:

  • Whole grain tortillas instead of regular flour tortillas. The calories are the same but the whole grains offer more fiber and nutrients.
  • Low fat Mexican cheese is subbed for regular cheese to reduce calories and saturated fat. Cheese is considered a protein and you will usually get a substantial amount from this dish, so I will usually omit any meat.
  • I add spinach to the dillas for nutrients, but any vegetables will do. I like spinach because it doesn't involve any prep and cooks quickly. (I wasn't lying about these being fast!)
  • Another way to healthify these is to use non-fat Greek Yogurt instead of Sour Cream as a topping. I grew up with sour cream (hi mom!) so they are essential to my quesadillas. Non-fat Greek yogurt tastes the same and adds a nutritious punch.

Super Easy Quesadilla

Serves 1

Total Time: 10 minutes (If not using chicken)

Ingredients

  • Fresh spinach
  • Boneless skinless chicken breast (optional)
  • 2 Whole grain tortillas
  • Low fat Shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1/4 avocado
  • Non fat plain Greek yogurt
  • Salsa

1. If you are using chicken, bake chicken breast in baking pan at 350 degrees for 35-40 min or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. 

2. Spray saute pan with Pam. Cook 1/2 bag of fresh spinach until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Put aside. 

3. Place 1 tortilla on same, freshly sprayed Saute pan. Top with Mexican cheese and spinach. Place second tortilla on top. Cook on medium heat.

4. Let the tortilla cook on each side for a few minutes until slightly browned.

5. Top with salsa, small amount of avocado and Greek yogurt.

6. Eat every last bit.