Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It's Back to School Time, Got a Minute® Ready to Serve Rice?

Tracking Pixel Here at ChiIL Mama, our family is preparing for a big back to school year for both of my kids. My son is starting high school at one of the best schools in the nation. My daughter is heading to a new school for junior high that's an IB honors academic center. Smart kids make smart choices for lunches, too. Mine frequently pack rice, so we were elated to be chosen to partner up with Minute® Ready to Serve Rice for a sponsored post. They've just made lunch even quicker and easier than ever, and portion control's a no brainer. 

Spice up lunch time with Kid Friendly 
Chicken Jambalaya.

Back-to-school season is a crazy, busy time for most families, and kids are almost universally sad about the end of summer vacation. With a little creativity, school lunches can be a New Orleans worthy celebration! Got a minute? That's all you need to reheat and eat this tasty treat. We're all about creating meals that are tween and teen friendly. Quick and easy is a must for our busy, on the go family, so Minute® Ready to Serve Rice is one of our "go to" choices for the coming school year. 

We were asked to create an original dish using Minute® Ready to Serve Rice, and we were more than happy to rise to the challenge. Our Kid Friendly Chicken Jambalaya recipe is a flavorful blend of both chicken breast and Andouille chicken sausage, for a New Orleans kick. It's decadently delicious over brown or white Minute® Ready to Serve Rice. It's also low fat and kid friendly. We've dropped the shrimp, toned down the spice a bit, and dropped the onions, peppers and other bits kids sometimes avoid in traditional Jambalays, but of course you can customize it for your family's taste.

Kid Friendly 
Chicken Jambalaya (6 servings)
This quick and easy, low fat lunch is one of our favorites! Customize the spice level for little taste buds.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 packages of fully cooked Andouille chicken sausage  
1lb of boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips 
28 oz crushed tomatoes (Basil & Garlic rocks for Jambalaya but any will do)
2 cups chicken stock
Minute® Ready to Serve Rice brown or white
1/2 teaspoon of cajun spice
hot sauce on the side

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. TOSS chicken with spices. Add to skillet. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until cooked through. At this point, you can easily chop the chicken into smaller cubes with a firm spatula. Add sausage and cook until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and the chicken broth and bring to a low boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Individuals can spice it up to taste.

Pack it in lunches right away or refrigerate it for up to 4 days as an easy, kid friendly topper for Minute® Ready to Serve Rice. If your child has microwave access at lunch time, pack a sealed Minute® Ready to Serve Rice and they can heat it for a minute when they're ready to eat. If not, pop a Minute® Ready to Serve Rice open in the morning, mix it in a microwave safe bowl with the Jambalaya, heat it, and pack it in a heat safe container for later. Either way, it's a quick and tasty way to spice up your kids' lunches.

As self sufficient as my kids are becoming, I'm in still in the heart of the "mom taxi" years, and it's also still my job to keep the pantry full of healthy food choices for my family. We'll absolutely be stocking up on easy Minute® Ready to Serve Rice packs, available in many varieties including: Whole Grain options of Brown Rice, Brown & Wild Rice and Multi-Grain Medley, Jasmine Rice, White Rice, Chicken Rice Mix, Yellow Rice Mix, and Fried Rice Mix. We can't wait to check out the newest option, Minute Ready to Serve Black Beans & Rice. It's ready in just 90 seconds. 

Growing minds and bodies need quality fuel to function well. This year my kids will be waking at the crack of dawn to catch busses to two different school. I'm glad to know Minute® Ready to Serve Rice makes healthy options and a great base for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for kids. Of course Minute® Ready to Serve Rice makes a great base for money saving mom and dad lunches, too.

Summer may be ending, Mardi Gras like fun can live on, with Minute® Ready to Serve Rice & Kid Friendly Chicken Jambalaya.

I've got a competitive gymnast daughter who is tiny but has a mighty appetite. She often eats two dinners on either side of her 3 hour team practice. My 14 year old son plays on an Ultimate Frisbee team, and he's pretty much always hungry whether he has practice or not. Parents of teens, know what I mean?! Minute® Ready to Serve Rice is an ideal portable solution for a quick lunch or really any meal, because you can eat it on-the-go, straight from the cup. In just 60 seconds, you have fully cooked rice with nothing to add or customize it for a sweet or savory treat. 

Send Back to School Blues on the run with New Orleans style fun. Minute® Ready to Serve Rice & Kid Friendly Chicken Jambalaya.

Although it's a bit bittersweet for me to have 12 & 14 year olds instead of cute little preschoolers, the up side is they are so much more self sufficient at packing their own lunches, getting after school snacks, and even dinners when I'm working late or on the run to activities and events. It's a joy to see my kids grow into such cool, creative, independent people. Need recipes for your 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Minute® Ready to Serve Rice. As always, all opinions are my own.

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