Roasted Chicken and Autumn Veggies

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Are you ready for the best Autumn dinner ever?  Well, I’ve got the recipe for you right here!  I got the idea from the following pin that links to a recipe for roasted chicken and veggies.

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I used different veggies and different seasoning to create a perfectly autumn-esque dinner!  As usual, this dish is REALLY good for you.  With the sweet potato, brussels sprouts, onion, and apple, this dish packs some serious nutrition! Some of those health benefits are as follows.

  • Full of antioxidants
  • Cancer prevention
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Cardiovascular support
  • Immune boosting
  • High in Fiber

That just reaches the surface of how good this dish is for you.  So, that’s all great, but what I really like best about this dish is the cozy feeling I get while eating it.  It’s warm and satisfying, and the flavor is SO amazing!

Okay, let’s get to the recipe!

ROASTED CHICKEN AND AUTUMN VEGGIES

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. sage
  • 1 very large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 large Honeycrisp apple, cored and chopped into cubes
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, washed and quartered
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into 1 inch square pieces
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  In a small container or 1 quart plastic sealable bag, add the chicken breasts, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, the apple cider vinegar, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, the rosemary, thyme, and the sage.  Move chicken breast around to coat with the oil and herbs.  Set aside while you prepare your veggies (at least 10 minutes).

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2.) Prepare all your veggies and apple as described in the ingredient list.  Spray a large baking sheet with olive oil.  Spread the veggies and apple out on the baking sheet.  Drizzle the other 2 Tbsp. olive oil over the veggies and sprinkle with the other 1/4 tsp. garlic powder.  Stir on the pan to coat.

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3.) Place the chicken breasts on top of the veggies, and drizzle the leftover juice in the bag or container over the chicken and veggies.  Place in the oven and bake at 450 degrees for 35-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

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4.) When done, transfer to a plate and season with sea salt and pepper.

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Now get ready to have your sock knocked off, because this is DELISH!!!  Enjoy! 🙂

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Veggies

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Would you believe me if I told you that I cooked dinner in 3.5 minutes tonight?  Guys, it’s true!!!  I recently bought a stovetop pressure cooker, and tonight was my first experience at giving it a try.  I’m not going to lie…it was a bit terrifying, and once I put it on the heat to create the pressure, I may have went and hid behind a living room chair in fear that the pot would somehow explode, but we made it through injury-free, and the result was a delicious and QUICK dinner! I think that this is the start of a lifelong friendship between me and my pressure cooker!

Pressure cooking can be a bit intimidating at first, but once you do it once, you’ll see that it’s actually quite easy!  I found the following pin on Pinterest that links to a site that has a very thorough list of cooking times for various types of food.

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Before I got started, I had so many questions…can I cook the meat and veggies together?  Do I have to do one type of food, then clean the cooker and do another type of food?  Is the noise of the steam releasing going to hurt my ears? Will the food taste good?  Will all the water evaporate and the pot explode? Is Harvard going to call me offering me an honorary PhD when I figure out how to use this thing? Are people all over the world going to want to be me?…you know, normal questions that people have about pressure cookers before they’ve used them. 😉

Anyway, the answers are yes, no, no, YES, no, doubtful, and definitely no…in that order.

I started with something basic – chicken and veggies, and wow you guys – this chicken came out so tender and juicy, and the veggies were cooked to perfection! I just used brussels sprouts, carrots, and onion.  Again, the cooking time was only 3.5 minutes, and I probably would have done better with just 2.5 – 3 minutes because my veggies and chicken were chopped, but I was scared that the chicken wouldn’t be cooked through if I went with the recommended time.

Okay, enough touting the pressure cooker – let’s get to the recipe and instructions.  I should quickly mention that my pressure cooker is a stovetop model, not an electric model, so keep that in mind while going over the recipe!

PRESSURE COOKER CHICKEN AND VEGGIES

Ingredients: 2 servings

  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3/4 lb. brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 20 baby carrots, sliced in halves
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • sea salt, for seasoning

Directions:

1.) Heat the olive oil in the bed of the pressure cooker over medium heat.  Add the onion, and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the sea salt.

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2.) Place the pressure cooker lid on the pressure cooker and lock into place.  Increase the stove heat to high.  Allow the pressure regulator to begin to gently rock back and forth/rattle.  When it begins to do this, set the timer for 3 minutes, and let the food cook for these 3 minutes. At the end of the 3 minutes, carefully place the pressure cooker under running cold water until the pressure indicator drops and there is no pressure left in the cooker.

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3.) Once you are sure there is no pressure left in the cooker, carefully remove the pressure cooker top, and observe the miracle of your food being cooked in a flash! Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken and veggies to a bowl or plate. Season with sea salt, and serve.

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You can discard the leftover liquid, but even better, save it and use it as a soup broth, or even just drink it at another time – lots of good minerals in that water! I’m going to use mine in a soup I am making tomorrow night.

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Seriously can’t believe how easy this was!  So delicious!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

Mashed Rutabaga and Broccoli

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So, if someone were to ask me to think of two of the healthiest vegetables possible, it would be hard to narrow it down, but I can guarantee you that rutabaga and broccoli would be on the top of my list of possibilities!  Check out the following pins giving good reason as to why these two veggies are two of my favorites!

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See?  Told ya so! 🙂  Anyway, with this in mind, I wanted to find a side that included these two delightful veggies.  I’ve shared my recipe for mashed rutabaga before…after thinking about it, I figured, why not add in some broccoli and top it with a bit of shredded goat cheese and plain yogurt – best. decision. ever.

This stuff is REALLY yummy, and you just saw how packed with nutrients it is!  Best part is that it is super easy to make!  Let’s get to it!

MASHED RUTABAGA AND BROCCOLI

Ingredients

  • 1 rutabaga, washed, peeled, and chopped into cubes
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
  • garlic granules
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, plus more for topping
  • hard goat cheese for shredding
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1.) Cover the rutabaga with water in a saucepan.  Place over high heat and boil until very tender, about 10-15 minutes.  While doing this, steam the broccoli in a steamer until tender.

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2.) Place the cooked rutabaga and broccoli into a food processor.  Add garlic granules (to taste) and 1/2 cup of plain yogurt.  Process on high until it reaches your desired consistency.

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3.) Transfer to a bowl, and top with shredded goat cheese and a dollop of plain yogurt.

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Yum yum yum!  Makes for a perfect lunch, or as a side dish paired with a baked chicken breast for dinner.  Enjoy! 🙂

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

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Yummy, yummy, yummy!  Summer is coming to a close, fall is getting close which means the season of everything pumpkin is right around the corner!!!  This is great news not only for our tastebuds, but also for nutrition!  Pumpkin is great for you and has lots of vitamins and minerals!

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Notice that the pin revolves around pumpkin and the immune system?  Another great thing about pumpkin season is that it coincides with the beginning of the dreaded cold and flu season.  It’s great, because pumpkin is excellent for the immune system!  Yay!

Okay, so we know pumpkin is good for us, but let’s talk about the taste!  It’s delicious!!  A lot of pumpkin treats this time of year are baked goods, and a lot of baked goods means a lot of gluten.  If you’re one of the individuals that avoids gluten, this could mean bad news for you.  However, in addition to this pumpkin bread recipe being moist and delicious, it’s also gluten free!!!  Double yay!  Another plus is that it’s super easy to make…just a few ingredients in a blender or food processor into a bread pan and into the oven.  Wa-la, pumpkin goodness!

Before we get to the recipe, I do want to mention that after making this basic recipe, I realized that next time I would probably add chopped walnuts and raisins for sure.  This recipe is fantastic as is, but add-ins, such as raisins, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, coconut, or chopped nuts of your choice, are completely fine and definitely something to keep in mind!

GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN BREAD

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey (I used maple syrup)
  • 15-ounce can organic pumpkin puree (make sure the can lining is BPA free)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or combine 1 1/2 tsp. worth of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves)

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a bread pan with parchment paper (as shown – this will come in handy when taking the bread loaf out of the pan after baking).  Lightly grease the pan and paper.

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2.) Add the oats to a food processor or blender and process on high until it reaches a consistency of gritty flour.

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3.) Add the rest of the ingredients to the oats in the food processor and process on high until completely combined and smooth.

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4.) Poor the batter into the prepared bread pan and bake in the oven for 33-35 minutes.  Take the bread out of the oven and poke a toothpick in the center of the bread.  If the toothpick comes out clean, allow the bread to cool in the pan.  If not, cover the top of the bread with aluminum foil (this will protect the top from getting burnt while the inside is cooking completely) and place back in the oven for 3 minute increments until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.  Let the bread cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes.

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5.) Remove the bread from the pan and use a knife to cut into slices.

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6.) Transfer slices to a plate and serve.

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You’re going to love this stuff!  So good and so good for you!  Happy pumpkin season!  Enjoy! 🙂

Baked Sweet Potato Salad

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I LOVE this salad!  Sweet potatoes were on sale on my last grocery shopping trip, so I decided to try something new with them, and this salad was the result!  I’ve mentioned the health benefits of sweet potatoes many many times before, and anybody that follows my blog knows that I eat tons of sweet potatoes, but don’t eat regular potatoes!  The following pin shows some of the reasons why sweet potatoes always win in a health competition with regular potatoes!

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The fact that I prefer the taste of sweet potatoes over regular potatoes is just an added bonus!

Anyway…this salad…YUM!  This thing makes for a fantastic meal, and provides you with gobs of veggies!  It’s quite easy to put together, and have I mentioned YUM?!  Alright, let’s get to it!

BAKED SWEET POTATO SALAD

Ingredients (makes two servings):

  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped into cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 7-8 cups baby spinach

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and chop your sweet potato.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the sweet potato on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and sea salt.  Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

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2.) Prepare your dressing:  In a small bowl, add the avocado and mash with a fork.  Chop up 1 tomato and add it to the avocado.  Mash with a fork a bit more.  Add 1 Tbsp. red onion and the yogurt.  Sprinkle with sea salt and stir to combine.

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3.) Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup of chopped red onion.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add the other chopped tomato, cook for 1 minute.  Add the spinach, sprinkle with a bit of garlic powder and sea salt.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until the spinach is slightly wilted.

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4.) Divide the spinach mixture up onto two plates.  Top with the baked sweet potato pieces, and then top with the dressing.

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5.) Stir together with a fork and serve.

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Like I said, YUM!  Enjoy! 🙂

Veggie Stuffed Chicken “Sandwiches”

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Oh my gosh!!! These chicken “sandwiches” that I made are absolutely adorable!  Eating gluten-free, sometimes I really miss just throwing a sandwich together for lunch or dinner, so I am constantly looking for different ideas for “bread” that isn’t really bread.  This evening, I had baked some chicken breasts, and I noticed how much the outside looked like it could pass for bread – LIGHT BULB!  A chicken “sandwich” in which the chicken is the bread.  It turned out wonderfully!  I mean, look!

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And yes, it tastes just as scrumptious as it looks!  It was amazing!

Another plus when it comes to using chicken breast as bread is that chicken has a lot of health benefits!  Of course, we all know that it’s an excellent source of protein, but it goes much further than that!  The following pin lists some health benefits of chicken and links to a site that describes 7 impressive benefits of chicken.

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Awesome!  Plus, um, these chicken sandwiches are so yummy, guys!  You can really use any fillings you would like, but I gotta say that the mixture I made to fill the sandwich really is amazing.  Let’s get to it!

VEGGIE STUFFED CHICKEN “SANDWICHES”

Ingredients: 2 servings

  • 1 large chicken breast (6-8 ounces)
  • 1/3-1/2 small head of cauliflower, cut into slices and small florets
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups of baby spinach and arugula (mixed), finely chopped
  • 2 ounces shredded cheese (I used a hard goat’s milk cheddar)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • garlic granules
  • sea salt, to taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with garlic granules, and place in a baking dish.  bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until baked through.

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2.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the prepared cauliflower on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic granules.  When the chicken has 25 minutes left to bake, place the cauliflower in the oven and bake for 25 minutes along with the chicken.

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3.) While the cauliflower and chicken are baking, heat 1 1/2 tsp. of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.  Add the spinach and arugula, and cook until completely wilted, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat, and stir in the shredded cheese.  Mix completely.

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4.) When the chicken breast is done cooking, cut it in half length-wise.  These will be your two buns.  Cut each of the them in half width wise creating a top bun and a bottom bun for each of them.  Place a layer of cauliflower on the bottom bun, and top with a layer of the spinach and arugula mixture.

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5.) Sprinkle with a small bit of sea salt, and then place the top bun on top, creating a sandwich.

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Dig in!  Enjoy! 🙂

Butternut Squash Porridge

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Okay, this is my new favorite breakfast (until I come across my next new favorite breakfast 😉 )  But for now, this is it!  I LOVE that butternut squash is a vegetable!  It’s SO versatile, and has so many uses.  And now, I’ve got a new one for you – porridge, or hot cereal, you could really call it either or, but once you try it, you will definitely call it delicious!

Yes, I have professed my love for butternut squash many times before on here, but I can’t help it!  Check out this pin with some great health benefits of butternut squash!

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Look at all those nutrients!  No wonder why I love this stuff!  Oh, and as a HUGE added bonus, when you are baking the butternut squash for this recipe, it will fill your house with some amazing smells!  Your house will smell like a bakery or doughnut shop, and your mouth will be watering!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH PORRIDGE

Ingredients – makes one serving

  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch of stevia
  • 1/2 tsp. alcohol free vanilla
  • 2-3 fresh strawberries chopped
  • handful of fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 – 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, add your butternut squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stevia.  Toss to coat.

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2.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread out the butternut squash on the sheet.  Bake for 50-60 minutes till the squash is tender at 350 degrees.

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3.) Place in a bowl, add the vanilla, and mash with a fork.

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4.) Add the almond milk, strawberries, blueberries, coconut, and chia seeds.

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Now get ready to have a new favorite, because you will be so addicted once you try this!  YU-UUU-UUUUM!!!  Enjoy! 🙂