Dining services coordinator, Chef Andres Basto, from Sunrise at Bluemont Park, VA, was one of the lucky five finalists flown to The Fairfax in Fort Belvoir, VA, to compete in the third annual Senior Eats® Nutritional Challenge. He submitted a nutrition packed recipe for residents to taste at this year’s event.
Andres was born in Bolivia and has lived in the United States for more than 32 years. After graduating from Chemist Bolivian College, Basto earned his culinary degree in Bolivia and later, a hotel and hospitality degree from Northern Virginia Community College. He has worked at a number of hotels and restaurants in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland, including the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on the National Harbor. He has now been with Sunrise for four years.
Basto has been married to his wife for 24 years and has two children. In his spare time, his hobbies include indoor soccer, hiking with his dog, gardening and, you guessed it, cooking!
His Mediterranean Chicken was a huge hit at The Challenge this year. And moreover, it’s a dish packed with health benefits! Chicken is an excellent source of protein with a 4-ounce serving of breast meat providing 35 grams. Chicken also contains all B vitamins, most notably vitamin B3 (niacin), which is present in abundant quantities. Unlike beef, regular consumption of chicken has not been associated with any increased risk of colorectal or other cancers. In fact, consuming chicken regularly as part of an otherwise balanced diet has been shown to decrease total blood cholesterol levels and improve the quality of triglycerides in the blood.
6 boneless / skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
¼ cup julienned sundried tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon fresh oregano
1½ cups Moroccan couscous
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Soak the sundried tomatoes in boiling water until soft. Drain, squeezing out excess water. Whisk together 1 cup of the stock, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, garlic and oregano. Add the tomatoes. Place the chicken in a shallow container. Cover with the sundried tomato marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to marinate.
Remove the chicken from the fridge. Cook the chicken in a small amount of the marinade in a skillet over medium heat until internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 8 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside. Pour any remaining marinade in the skillet and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
Bring the remaining 3 cups of stock to a boil in a separate pot. Add the couscous. Remove from the heat and cover the pan tightly. Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork. Serve couscous topped with chicken and sauce. Garnish with feta cheese and parsley.