Rainbow Rice: Top chef-inspired school lunch recipe you can make at home

Submitted by Chef Patricia D'Alessio, kids and school nutritionist, community members from Highland Elementary School, Cheshire, Connecticut.

Recipe: Rainbow Rice

  • ½ cup brown rice, long-grain, regular, dry
  • 3 Tbsp brown and wild rice blend, dry
  • 6 Tbsp barley, quick pearl, dry
  • 2 tsp low-sodium chicken base
  • 2 Tbsp quinoa, dry
  • 3 Tbsp bulgur wheat, dry
  • 1 cup fresh carrots, peeled, diced
  • 1 cup fresh red bell peppers, seeded, diced
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 3 ½ cups cooked diced chicken, ½-inch pieces (12 oz)
  • 1 ½ cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
    1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
    2. In a medium pot, combine brown rice, wild rice blend, barley, and 1 tsp chicken base with 1 ¼ cups water..
    3. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until water runs clear, not cloudy. In a small pot, combine quinoa and bulgur wheat with ¾ cup water and remaining 1 tsp chicken base.
    4. Bring both uncovered pots to a rolling boil. Stir occasionally. Turn heat down and simmer over low heat until water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes over low heat. Fluff with a fork.
    5. In a large mixing bowl, combine carrots and red peppers. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss lightly. Pour into a large nonstick baking pan. Roast at 350 °F for 20 minutes or until tender.
    6. Combine cooked grains, chicken, and spinach with roasted vegetables. Mix well. Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes to an internal temperature of 165 °F or higher for at least 15 seconds (use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature). Serve hot.
    Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour Amount: Makes six 1-cup servings (1 cup provides 2 oz equivalent meat, 1/8 cup dark green vegetable, 1/8 cup red/orange vegetable, and 1 oz equivalent grains).
      Nutrients Per Serving:
      Calories 232, Protein 22 g, Carbohydrate 28 g, Dietary Fiber 5 g, Total Fat 4 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 55 mg, Vitamin A 5414 IU (271.09 RAE), Vitamin C 37 mg, Iron 3 mg, Calcium 29 mg, Sodium 159 mg.