Today we're going to talk about delicious ways to balance your plate like MyPlate, especially when it comes to getting enough dark green vegetables. Dark green vegetables include tasty greens like collards, chard, spinach, mustard, kale, spring greens, and pea shoots. A cup of these vegetables contains a scant 50 calories and anywhere from 4% to 1,000% of a day's supply of nutrients, which makes them amazing calorie-light and nutrient-dense foods. Best of all, one cup of dark green vegetables counts as a half serving of vegetables on MyPlate. That means you get to eat twice as much of them as any other food choice on MyPlate.
Often greens and pea shoots are the first vegetables to appear in springtime farmers' markets. They are also found in abundance in local markets and grocery stores.
So how can you incorporate more dark green vegetables into your diet? Start with this fun approach to grilled chicken! In the following recipe, you place rainbow chard on top of chicken (or fish), then grill your improvised packet. This makes a wonderful, quick meal that features exceptionally moist chicken and tons of flavor.
Chard is delicious and keeps grill items moist.
Grilled Chicken and Chard
2 chicken breasts, sliced in half horizontally
1 cup Swiss or rainbow chard with stems removed, rinsed
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 red pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into strips
2 cups pineapple chunks
Dash each: Italian Seasoning, paprika
2 cups cooked brown rice
- Heat the grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut a large piece of foil and set it on a tray. Spray it lightly with oil.
- Place the chicken breasts on the oiled foil.
- Arrange the pineapple, peppers, and asparagus around the chicken.
- Place the chard on top of the chicken.
- Place piled foil on the grill. Grill everything together until the chicken is done, about 20 minutes. It is a good idea to turn everything over halfway through cooking.
- The chicken is done when it is firm in the center.
- To serve, divide the chard evenly among four plates, topping with a chicken breast on each plate. Add 1/2 cup rice next to each chicken breast.
- Divide the remaining fruit and vegetables (peppers, asparagus, and pineapple) into four equal portions and use them to fill the other half of each of the four plates. Serve hot.
Chef's Tips: Looking for a garnish? Try topping the dish with fresh squeezed lime juice.
Serves 4. Serving size: 1 plate. Each serving: 479 calories, 5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 38mg cholesterol, 117mg sodium, 88g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 12g sugars, 22g protein.
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