National Nutrition Month: Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right!

Farmer with wooden box full of ripe vegetables

It’s National Nutrition Month!

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition accredited and licensed professionals .  There are various health/nutrition claims that circulate through the media, which may make it hard to keep track of what exactly is accurate information.  Knowing who to go to for precise advice on nutrition is the first step!  Registered Dieticians (RD) are EXPERTS in nutrition.  They have medically based nutrition education and training, which makes them a highly credible source for questions concerning nutrition for you and your family.

EatRight.org is a great resource for making informed food choices and developing lasting healthy eating and fitness habits.  They have information on a wide range of topics, some of which include:

  • Eating right on a budget
  • Vitamins, nutrient Supplements
  • Vegetarian Lifestyle
  • Diseases, Allergies & health conditions
  • Children’s health
  • Women and Men’s health
  • Food education and games for kids
  • Food Safety
  • Eating out guide
  • Fad diets
  • Recipes

And much more!

We want to highlight a healthy recipe that you can enjoy making with your loved ones.  Because there’s nothing better than sharing nutritious and delicious foods with the ones you love!

Jerked Chicken with Fire-Roasted Fresh Pineapple

Recipe by Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RDN, FAND, CFCS

Marinated with a salt-free sauce or rub of spices, herbs, chile peppers and lime juice, and grilled over hot coals, jerked chicken makes a great backyard or tailgate entree, especially when complemented with the flavor of grilled fresh pineapple. Grilling caramelizes the sugars in pineapple, intensifying its natural sweetness (no sugar added).

To complete your dinner, serve Jamaican rice and peas (kidney beans or pigeon peas) on the side!

Ingredients 2 (10- to 12-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half

Jerk Sauce

1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of l lime
3 medium green onions, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped *
2 cloves garlic, minced

Pineapple Slices

8 (3 1/2-by-3/4-inch) fresh pineapple slices **
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons honey
Dash of hot pepper sauce

Directions

  1. To prepare the jerk sauce, combine the allspice, thyme, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar and lime juice, mixing with a wire whisk to blend well. Add the green onion, jalapeño pepper and garlic; mix well. Set aside.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish. Brush the jerk sauce evenly over both sides of the chicken breasts. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or longer if possible.
  3. To cook the chicken, preheat the grill to a medium-high temperature. Remove the chicken from the marinade; discard the marinade. Place the chicken breasts on the hot grill, with the thicker portion facing the hotter part of the grill. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness; the internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F when cooked through. Allow the grilled chicken to rest for 5 minutes, covered, before serving.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, brush the pineapple slices lightly with 2 tablespoons oil. Place the pineapple on the grill; cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until heated through and lightly charred with grill marks. Remove from the grill.
  5. Combine the honey with hot pepper sauce in a small bowl; blend well. Drizzle over the pineapple.
  6. Serve the jerked chicken breasts with grilled pineapple slices.

Cooking Notes

  • If you prefer more “spicy heat,” as many Jamaicans do, mix another pepper into the sauce, or add a splash of hot pepper sauce.
  • For convenience, buy fresh pineapple pre-sliced, rather than trimming, coring and peeling a fresh pineapple.

Nutrition Information

Serves 4.  Calories: 420; Calories from fat: 160; Total fat: 18g; Saturated fat: 2g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 90mg; Sodium: 170mg; Total carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary fiber: 4g; Sugars: 25g; Protein: 32g

Enjoy the taste of eating right!!