Monday, December 13, 2010

One-pot wonderful: Winter perfect for casserole cooking - Chicken with Rice

(ARA) - Some call it "casserole cooking," others "the one-pot wonder." Regardless of what you call it, one-pot cooking is the quintessential fall and winter cuisine and it's a favorite method of meal preparation for moms across America because of its ease of use and versatility.

According to a recent NPD Group study, Americans are dining out at restaurants less and finding themselves cooking more at home. With more meals to cook, home cooks are hungry for simple solutions to prepare meals for the family. Because of its ease of use, cooks have come to love the convenience of one-pot cooking. It's a great tool for putting a delicious dinner on the table with less to clean up.

Cast iron pots were the original tool used for preparing hearty stews and casseroles, but it was a challenge to precisely manage the temperature. Today, one-pot cooking has evolved into non-stick multi-cookers that can steam vegetables, sear and cook meat, prepare rice, make stews and warm sauces all in the same pot. Plus, with the introduction of advanced heating technology, the cookers can precisely control varying heat.

George Foreman, the maker of America's beloved grills , has recently expanded to include healthy cooking appliances including a skillet, panini press and countertop oven as well as multi-cooker that has taken one-pot cooking to a whole new level.

"We found that our customers were looking for a product that could do it all - sear meat, saute vegetables, steam rice ... all in one pot, and that's how the George Foreman Healthy Cooking Smart Kitchen was born," says Carmen E. Garcia, senior director of marketing for George Foreman - USA & Canada. "Moms like me love this appliance because of its versatility and ability to help us put a healthy meal on the table for our families, without the hassle."

The Smart Kitchen comes with a tempered glass lid with an adjustable steam vent for monitoring cooking progress and controlling steam; and includes a "sear" button for meats, making it even easier to prepare a healthy meal in minutes. Its easy-to-use one-touch digital Intelli-Probe controls have settings to make an assortment of foods, as well as variable settings up to 500 F for stews, soups and sauces making one-pot cooking easier and more convenient than ever.

The holidays can be stressful, but healthy cooking doesn't need to be. Try this recipe for Arroz con Pollo (Chicken with Rice) that features a blend of lean chicken for protein, vitamin C-packed tomatoes and fat-free steamed rice. It is a complete meal with only 380 calories per serving and is packed with vitamins and minerals.

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Arroz con Pollo

(Chicken with Rice)

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes


1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch flat pieces
1 cup long grain white rice
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped white onion
1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced pimento stuffed green olives
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon each: chili powder and ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
1/2 cup salsa
Chopped fresh cilantro and sliced green onions (optional)

Set multi-cooker to the browning setting and add butter and chicken; cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is browned, turning once or twice. Stir in rice and cook for five minutes more. Stir in onion, broth, wine, bell pepper, olives, seasonings, garlic and chiles; cover and cook on the simmer setting for 20 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for five minutes. Stir in salsa and sprinkle with cilantro and green onions, if you like.

Corn tortillas may be warmed in the steamer basket. Place over the cooked chicken and rice and let warm during the five-minute stand time. Makes four to six servings

Nutritional analysis per serving:

Calories: 380, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 2.5 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 80 mg, Sodium: 680 mg, Potassium: 507 mg, Carbohydrates: 40 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 3 g, Protein: 32 g, Vitamin A: 20 percent, Vitamin C: 60 percent, Calcium: 6 percent, Iron: 20 percent.

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