Quick & Colorful Chicken and Vegetable Skillet...to usher in National Nutrition Month!

It's March, and you know what that means! No, not winter coming to an end, the other thing! Okay, no, not Mardi Gras AND St. Patty's Day fast approaching, the other other thing! No? You mean you haven't heard? Why, it's National Nutrition Month!

It seems as though it's always some National Month, but I think you can understand my going all gung-ho with excitement about this one. It even has an annual theme, and this year's is eating lots of colors or having a colorful plate. So, although I don't know that I can promise a 100% nutritious blogging month (I have some dessert recipes that I'm so tempted to share with you immediately), I did want to start it off well and, more specifically, with a dish that embodies the theme specifically.

I wasn't originally going to tell you about this gorgeous skillet meal because it was, to be perfectly honest, something I threw together on a whim a couple of weeks ago. I didn't even write down measurements or instructions, so I can tell you right now when we get to the recipe part of this post, it'll be interesting. But the pictures I took of it are so darn colorful, and it was so delicious that I wound up making it two days in a row for lunch, so I'm going to try my absolute best to tell you what magical ingredients went into making such a healthy and flavor packed meal. Did I mention it's low carb?

Rainbow Chicken & Vegetable Skillet
Yield: 1 serving
(printable recipe)

The Ingredients
3-4 ounces chicken breast, pounded thin
hot sauce, to taste
mustard, to taste (I used garlic mustard, which was awesome)
1/2 small onion, sliced
1/4 cup frozen tri-color pepper slices
3-4 cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup spinach
scant amount of oil or PAM, just to coat the pan

The Method
Brush both sides of the chicken with the hot sauce and the mustard* and slice the chicken down into stir-fry appropriate strips. Place into a skillet greased with aforementioned scant amount of oil or PAM, and cook for approximately 2 minutes. Turn over and cook an additional minute, then transfer to a plate, cutting board, etc. to rest.

Meanwhile, toss the onion in a little more hot sauce and mustard to coat. When the chicken is done, add the onion to the pan and saute approximately 3-4 minutes, to soften. It won't brown because of the marinade, but it also won't stick. Add in the peppers and saute another couple of minutes until the peppers have thawed. Add more hot sauce, mustard and/or oil if you'd like, or if the skillet seems to be drying up a bit too much. Add the tomatoes to the skillet, cooking another minute or so before adding in the spinach** and chicken. Stir and cook until the spinach has wilted.

Notes: *Feel free to let the marinade soak into the chicken if you have the patience. However, I did call this a quick chicken and vegetable skillet, and I certainly didn't wait around for any sparks to fly between my chicken and sauce, so go ahead and dump it into the pan. **I like to grab a handful of spinach, rinse it in the sink, squeeze it out juuussttt a bit, and add it to the skillet still damp. I like to think the water aids in the wilting process as well as some non-fat anti-stick action in the last few minutes of cooking - I could be way off, but it never does my food any harm, either.

And there you have it! A very quick, very colorful, and very delicious meal. of course you can serve this with rice, but I found it perfectly satisfying on its own. It's light, it's got tons of veggies, and I think you'll be happy with the results if you give it a shot.

What I really encourage you to do, though, is get involved with National Nutrition Month! I'm not saying give up sweets for the whole month or kill yourself at the gym - but choose that apple over that cookie for a mid-day snack, walk to the post office around the corner instead of driving there (what's left of the o-zone layer will thank you for that one too, so double bonus!), try a meatless meal, anything! It could be your chance to try out something new. You never know when you'll discover something absolutely unforgettable when you step out of your comfort zone, even for a day.

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