If you’ve been a CollegeCandy reader for some time, you know we run our Intro to Cooking series every week, where even the most kitchen-shy co-ed can find easy, yummy recipes to please her suitemates (and sweet tooth!). Well, we’ve changed up the syllabus for Intro to Cooking: you’ll still get the fabulous recipes you love, but we’ll be including background nutritional info on specific ingredients that are must-haves in every college girl’s pantry.
This Week’s Ingredient: Pineapple!
This tropical fruit is currently in season and has an impressive nutrient and health-benefits resume:
* One cup contains more than 125% of your daily value of manganese, a nutrient that keeps bones healthy and maintains blood-sugar levels.
* One cup contains more than 40% of your daily value of vitamin C.
* Pineapple is even more useful than carrots in preventing macular degeneration, a disease which causes loss of vision.
1. Chop it up and add it to Greek yogurt for a sweet-and-sour combo.
2. Drizzle some pineapple slices in maple syrup, place on an aluminum foil-lined broiler pan for 5 mins (or until brown) and serve as a delicious dessert.
The Recipe: Pineapple Chicken
My father is, for better or for worse, your stereotypical Italian-American male when it comes to food. He loves veal, sausage, fish, cheese, butter, and is extremely critical of each meal’s preparation. If food isn’t prepared well, or is poor quality, he’ll make it known. Loudly. So the first time I ever made a meal for him, I knew I had to pull out all the stops, or risk soul-crushing rejection. I didn’t want to attempt one of his favorite dishes and miss the mark, so I steered away from the Italian standards and chose this pineapple chicken dish. When Dad told me it was “the most tender chicken” he’d had in a long time, I was more proud of myself than the day I got into college.
Pineapple Chicken [adapted]
1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice
2 oz Gravy Master
1 tablespoon mustard
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 chicken breasts
1. Stir pineapple, Gravy Master, mustard, vinegar and water, and simmer 5 minutes in a small saucepan, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
2. Coat a large skillet with the EVOO (what up, Rachel Ray?), turn up to medium heat with a small diced pineapple piece. (This is an old trick to know when the pan is hot enough to cook!) When it sizzles, add the chicken breasts, turning occasionally, until the outsides are white.
3. Drizzle the pineapple mixture over the chicken gradually, turning occasionally, until cooked through (about 15 mins).
4. Garnish with the diced pepper, serve with fresh salad and brown rice.