Q: My daughter told me that she sampled a rice bowl at the “Simply Cooking” WIC nutrition program that you presented last month. Could I have a copy of the recipe?
A: Oh yes, this was quite a hit! But before I share the recipe, allow me to explain to our readers what WIC is. WIC stands for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. WIC is intended for pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children up to age 5 who are determined to be at nutritional risk and meet income guidelines.
WIC is a nutrition and health program that offers qualified individuals and families:
• Tips for eating well to improve health
• Breastfeeding promotion and support
• Checks to buy healthy food
• Immunization screening and referrals
• Health and social service referrals
In Douglas County, the WIC office is located in the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department at 200 Maine in Lawrence. WIC nutrition staff meets with each WIC client to:
• Review diet and health behaviors
• Provide individual nutrition advice
• Support families making changes for better health
• Offer a selection of healthy foods
To find out more about this nationwide program, go to www.fns.usda.gov/wic/. Or contact the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-0721.
Now, back to your request. Since WIC nutritionists and I are encouraging families to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and make half of their grains whole, as a guest presenter, I focused my “Simply Cooking” program on choosing a variety of fresh vegetables and whole grains, including brown rice — which are included in the new WIC food packages. Shared by the USA Rice Federation, here’s the rice bowl that was sampled and enjoyed by all of the participants:
Chicken Vegetable Rice Bowls with Chiles and Beans
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes with garlic and onions
1 to 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobe sauce or minced jalapeño peppers
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup cooked black beans, pinto beans or kidney beans
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small green zucchini or yellow squash, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups cooked brown rice (follow package directions)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In saucepan combine tomatoes and chipotle or jalapeño peppers. Over medium heat, simmer 10 minutes. Stir in chicken and beans and heat thoroughly; set aside.
Meanwhile, in large skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Add bell peppers, zucchini and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until tender-crisp; salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon rice into bowl. Top with vegetables, chicken, beans and sauce, and garnish with cilantro.
Makes six servings. Each serving provides: 330 calories, 22 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 42 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams dietary fiber, 40 milligrams cholesterol and 200 milligrams sodium.
For additional ideas on building a variety of healthy rice bowls, go to our Web site.
— Susan Krumm is an Extension agent in family and consumer sciences with K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper St. She can be reached at 843-7058.