Salsa-Ranch Chicken over Brown Rice

Fun fact about brown rice:  it takes much longer to cook than white rice.  I learned this the hard way, one evening after a long day at work.  I was proud of myself for actually planning out the timing for a meal. I believe it was some sort of baked chicken, with zucchini and brown rice.  It was my first time making it, but not knowing it took longer to cook than white rice, I timed all three parts of my meal to finish cooking at the exact right time.  20 minutes later I lift the lid of the rice pot only to find it was no where near ready to eat.  Confused, I checked the bag – 50 min cook time!!  Needless to say, Hubby and I ate our dinner in two parts that night.  Moral of the story – always verify directions! Or, as I now do, buy the instant or boil in a bag brown rice, which takes much less time.

But why bother changing to brown rice when white rice works just fine, and won’t mess up your cooking plans?  Well, simply because it is healthier.  Brown rice has fewer calories than white rice, but has more nutrients such as magnesium, folate, and fiber. (http://www.livestrong.com/article/381241-nutritional-values-of-white-rice-vs-brown-rice/)

I love brown rice with this recipe.  It’s easy to make and delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 5 chicken breast tenderloins or 1/2 lb chicken breast, butterflied
  • 1/2 jar of medium salsa
  • 1/4 cup Mexican shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Dash of cilantro
  • 1 dry Ranch packet, split 75/25
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 2 tsp butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lay chicken in prepared baking dish, sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, and cilantro

In a small bowl, mix 3/4 of ranch packet with the salsa. Pour over chicken

Sprinkle with cheese and cover with foil.  Bake for 30 min

 

Meanwhile, cook brown rice according to directions :P. Add butter and remaining ranch, stir thoroughly.

Uncover chicken and bake an additional 5 min, or until fully cooked.  Serve over rice. Enjoy!

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