Logan Guleff loves nothing more than proudly serving up something he has cooked.
And he likes to make extra so he can tote leftovers to school the next day.
“One of the best things about making it is that you really get to show off that you made it and show it to friends, family and be like, ‘I made this. Look, it’s awesome,”’ says the winner of the second season of “MasterChef Junior.”
When he’s making a recipe, he’s learned to prep the ingredients ahead and put them in bowls, a technique used by professional chefs called mise en place.
“If you really have a nice, clean, well-organized, really thoughtful mise en place, it will help you throughout the kitchen,” he explains.
He uses coloured cutting boards and knives with coloured ceramic handles. One colour is reserved for preparing raw meat while he uses another mainly for vegetables.
When it comes to serving brown or white rice, registered dietitian Cara Rosenbloom recommends choosing what your children will eat. Brown rice doesn’t taste much different, especially when incorporated into recipes with flavourful sauces.
But brown rice, being a whole grain, does have more nutritional value. “Whole grains, when they’re intact, they have more fibre, more vitamins, more minerals and more of these antioxidants and phytonutrients that you can’t recreate. White rice is good too because it’s enriched so you’re still getting some vitamins and minerals.”
Here is a skillet supper prepared by Logan that features some of his favourite southwestern ingredients — corn, onions and tomatoes — served with a fresh salsa full of vibrant colours.
TACO-LICIOUS CHICKEN SKILLET WITH WHOLE-GRAIN BROWN RICE
Roasting corn in the oven intensifies and brings out its sweet flavours. It’s the perfect accompaniment to this skillet dinner and fresh tangy salsa.
When making the recipe, Logan suggests flattening the chicken before cutting it. The pieces will be of uniform thickness and cook more evenly.
Browning spices first injects even more flavour into the dish, Logan says.
Use ancho or chipotle powder for the chili powder and jalapeno or serrano chili pepper for the red pepper in the salsa for added spice.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 50 minutes
10 ml (2 tsp) olive oil
340 g (12 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
5 ml (1 tsp) chili powder
2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cumin
250 ml (1 cup) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
175 ml (3/4 cup) no-salt-added chicken broth
175 ml (3/4 cup) whole-grain brown rice
125 ml (1/2 cup) shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 corn cobs, husks and silk removed
10 ml (2 tsp) olive oil
1 ripe mango, chopped
250 ml (1 cup) halved cherry tomatoes
125 ml (1/2 cup) chopped orange pepper
50 ml (1/4 cup) finely chopped red onion
45 ml (3 tbsp) lime juice
15 ml (1 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
Pinch salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F).
In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook chicken, chili powder and cumin for 5 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
Stir diced tomatoes and broth into a skillet; bring to a boil. Add rice; reduce heat to low. Return chicken to skillet; cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush corn evenly with oil; transfer to a baking dish. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes or until tender and golden brown in some spots.
While other items are cooking, stir together mango, cherry tomatoes, orange pepper, red onion, lime juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Serve with chicken and rice and roasted corn.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional information per serving (1/4 of recipe): 450 calories; 12 g fat; 57 g carbohydrates; 19 g sugar; 6 g fibre; 320 mg sodium; 30 g protein.
Source: Uncle Ben’s.