Chicken, Veggies, and Rice Pilaf “Sealed” with a Hike to Red Rocks Reserve, New Zealand

On a beautiful weekend day, full of sun and no wind (a rare occurrence in Wellington), we trekked to the Red Rocks Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand in search of Seals and to build our appetite for dinner.

After a 2 mile walk we spotted them.  Health Tip – never attempt to take a selfie with a seal (first trauma case today at the hospital) and never stand between a seal and the ocean.

And then some portraits.  I am not a good photographer, but this place makes it pretty easy to set up a shot.


Upon returning home, I created a simple one dish Chicken, Veggie, Rice Pilaf inspired by GastroSenses Recipe


  • 5 chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 small white onions (almost shallot size), diced
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 cups of rice (note, if using jasmine rice, use the 4 cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of rice and simmer this 10min ahead of time to soften it a bit)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 6 cups frozen mixed veggies – carrots, corn, peas (split in 2)


    1. Grease a large oven proof casserole dish and heat the oven to 350 F degrees (173 C)
    2. Heat up 1/2 the olive oil in a pan
    3. Add chicken breast and brown on each side for 3 min
    4. Set chicken aside.
    5. Add the rest of the olive oil to the same pan.
    6. Add crushed garlic and diced onion.
    7. When onion is translucent add 3 cups of frozen veggies and mix until defrosted


    1. Transfer veggies to baking dish, add chicken
    2. Cover with 4 cups of broth
    3. Add rice on top, submerging it, but not mixing it


  1. If using jasmine rice add the already halfway cooked broth and rice on top of chicken and veggie mixture.
  2. Cover and bake in the oven for 20-25 min.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked (no longer pink inside) shred it with a fork and mix it all together.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve with additional defrosted veggies.


The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experiences to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer adventures – Eleanor Roosevelt.  HAPPY TRAILS, ANA-MARIA TEMPLE, MD

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