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It seems as if the school
year begins earlier and earlier each year. Politicians would have you believe
that as long as kids are in the classroom, they are learning. In truth, there is
so much more to learning than simply showing up: eating the right foods helps,


Studies have shown that
malnourished children have a harder time staying focused in the classroom. Many
of the foods that make up a Standard American Diet -fast food, packaged snack
foods, and refined grains – are low in nutritional value per calorie. They are
literally designed simply to fill us up in the least expensive way possible,
using the cheapest or even completely synthetic ingredients. The brain just
doesn't function as well without the nutrients it needs.


Let's send our kids to
school this year with the best chances for success by feeding them real, whole
foods that nourish their bodies and their minds. Cooking whole foods doesn't
have to mean hours of time and effort in the kitchen: try this easy infused
one-pot meal for a handy time-saver. Its mild flavors and separated ingredients
stem complaints from picky eaters, and you can even use all frozen ingredients
without changing the cooking time.


Plain Jane Chicken

Serves 4-5


4-5 pieces chicken

salt & pepper to taste

12-16 new potatoes,
unpeeled, scrubbed, quartered

4 cups carrot medallions

8-10 mushrooms, washed,
thickly sliced

4 cups frozen peas


Preheat oven to 450
degrees. Spray inside and lid of 3 1/2- or 4-quart cast iron Dutch oven with
canola oil. Set chicken pieces into pot, trying not to overlap. Lightly season
with salt and/or pepper. Add quartered new potatoes and carrots. Lightly season
again. Scatter mushrooms into pot. Pour in peas.


Cover and bake for about 50
minutes, or 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully-cooked meal escapes the oven.



For a bit more flavor, drop
a few peeled and halved garlic cloves underneath and around the chicken. Or
consider drizzling 4 Tbsp. of your favorite Italian salad dressing over the
chicken instead of salt and pepper for a totally different and extremely tasty



About the Author:


Elizabeth Yarnell is a
Certified Nutritional Consultant and author of Glorious One-Pot Meals: A
new quick & healthy approach to Dutch oven cooking
. Her new e-book,
Glorious One-Pot KIDS Meals
, offer many more kid-friendly, quick and
easy weeknight dinner solutions. Glorious One-Pot Meals recipes use a unique,
patented cooking technique (US patent 6,846,504
). Visit her online at