Chicken and Roasted Vegetables
Looking for a fast and easy dinner that is low cal AND satisfying? Those two terms seem to be at odds, don’t they? Certainly, that would be my impression as well. But as I have slowly managed to wean myself off of cheeseburgers and pizza, my taste buds returned to being more sensitive to a variety of flavors. I’ve learned that you CAN have something low cal and still have a satisfying and hearty meal.
What is even better is that it doesn’t require a ton of work! Sometimes when I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and in that case I go for something quick and easy like this …sautéed chicken and roasted vegetables!
The secret is in the sauce:
Well, not really …but kind of! This meal features a special, optional ingredient! My friend, and Isagenix teammate, Scott Robinson, and his family make garlic cooking wine at home. They really do a very nice job, and it works great in multiple roles! In this meal, I sauteed the chicken in the garlic cooking wine and it was fantastic!!
One boneless, skinless chicken breast.
12-20 Brussel sprouts
Carrots, 1 – 2 cups
12 mini potatoes.
Scott Robinson’s Garlic Cooking Wine (or substitute of your choice!)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Penzey’s Ozark spice mix.
3 sprigs of rosemary
(Vegetable Ingredients can be varied based on your tastes)
- Variety is the spice of life. Don’t feel like you need to stick to these exact ingredients! In fact, I RARELY use potatoes when I roast vegetables. They are nice addition if you are not doing something additional like rice or lite pasta, and add a good deal of heartiness to the meal. It’s also helpful if you are cooking for someone who is not all that keen on just vegetables. The “meat and potatoes” folks do appreciate a little something that sticks to the ribs.
- Feel free to use red cooking wine, or none at all …it’s all about seasoning the chicken how YOU want it to taste. The chicken remains a HUGE part of the flavor profile of this meal, so two things to be careful of are NOT overcooking it, and making sure it is seasoned to your taste. Don’t be afraid of trying things like bbq dry rub, Russian seasonings, or even opting to sautee your chicken in a salad dressing. I have been known to use a Lite Northern Italian dressing from Ken’s Steak House for a marinade and sauté medium.
- Make sure you don’t go too high on the sautee heat. Stick to medium at highest and let the chicken cook. What we want is to make sure it cooks fully (so there’s NO pink) but at the same time stays juicy and tender. Too high of a heat can dry the chicken out in a hurry and lead to overcooking with the various different sized pieces. Medium is a more forgiving setting.
- Additonally, on the heat – be wary of getting it too hot so that it sears off all the garlic wine before it has a chance to cook into the food. Lower heat helps it infuse into the chicken rather than sear it off too quickly.
- When you roast the vegetables, consider spraying a light coating of vegetable oil or olive oil spray on the cookie sheet to keep things from sticking.
- Penzey’s Ozark Seasoning is a fantastic blend. It contains salt, black pepper, garlic, thyme, sage, paprika, mustard, ancho, celery, cayenne, dill weed, dill seed, caraway, allspice, ginger, cardamom, bay leaf, mace, cassia and cloves. I never get tired of the amazing combinations these folks come up with.
- Preheat Oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Vegetable Prep: Let’s start with getting out your chef knife and slicing up the vegetables. Here’s how I do it:
- Brussel Sprouts: cut in half them along the long axis.
- Carrots: cut in half along the long axis.
- Parsnips: Chop off the last centimeter of the thick end, quarter along the long axis. Then carefully remove the woody-core sections. If the parsnips are small, the core won’t be a problem. On the large ones the densest section of the core is an issue, so that’s what I would remove. Cube the remaining parsnip.
- Onions: peel off the exterior layer, then half, and quarter each half.
- Mini potatoes: cut each potato in half.
- Place all vegetables in a bowl. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil on them, then mix up the olive oil lightly coats the vegetables.
- Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread vegetables in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Add 3 sprigs of rosemary to the sheet. I find that roasting veggies with a sprig of rosemary is lends a wonderful aroma to the result. Discard rosemary after roasting.
- Once oven is to 450, put the vegetables in for 25 minutes
- Go sit down and watch the hockey game for 20 minutes. Go habs go! (or the Leafs, or the Wild, or <insert favorite team here, unless it is Boston. If it’s Boston, you’re beyond my help.>)
- About 5 mins before the 25 minute mark on the vegetables, start warming up your sauté pan. Use medium heat.
- Prepare the chicken by slicing the breast into strips. Usually I buy fairly large chicken breasts so a single breast will yield about 6 ounces of cooked chicken …which is not bad for two people. Or one really hungry person!
- At 25 mins check the vegetables. Likely they will be almost done. You can take them out and turn them if you like, or just let them continue cooking. Generally, I find I like them to go about 30-35 minutes, but that depends on the size of the veggies. Carrots and potatoes are a good measuring stick here – they will be the least done of that group. When you are satisfied with the carrots, the rest are done as well. So here you will, likely, want to give them another 5-10 mins. But when finished, simply turn off the oven and let them sit to keep them warm.
- Add in a tablespoon of olive oil to the saute pan. Swirl it around so it coats the bottom of the pan. When it reaches the appropriate heat, put in the chicken. While the chicken is cooking, season it with the garlic wine and Ozark spice mix.
- The chicken will cook about 8 mins or so before you want to turn it. The photo of the cooking chicken needs another few minutes before turning. The edges are opaque, but the bulk of each piece is still pink. I turn the chicken when it is still pink …but it needs just a couple more minutes to ensure it is done on the other side.
- Once you turn the chicken the cooking time should be just a couple of minutes. It’s only necessary to cook it through. You can re-season at this point if you would like. I was liberal in my use of the cooking wine here. I’m glad I was. It was delicious! If in doubt about how done the chicken is, simply cut a thicker piece in half and check the center. Make sure there is no pink.
I like to use a bowl for this. I scoop about 3 cups of roasted veggies into the bowl – and because Scott’s Garlic Wine is so delicious, I sprinkled a little over the roasted veggies once in the bowl …not much, but just a little. Then top with about 3 -4 ounces of chicken and you’re ready to go! Done!
I’m going to give you two number here. One is for roasted vegetables made without potatoes and one with potatoes. Both are based on a Brussel-sprout heavy mix. Understand that there is a lot of play in the potential calories of the vegetable mix …as much as probably 30-40 calories per cup.
- Roasted vegetables without potatoes: about 110 calories per cup. 3 cups is 330 calories.
- 4 ounces of sautéed boneless and skinless chicken breast is 184 calories
End result: This meal is around 515 calories.
- Roasted vegetables with potatoes: About 160 calories per cup. 3 cups is 480 calories.
- 4 ounces of sautéed boneless and skinless chicken breast is 184 calories
End result: This meal is around 664 calories.
Go here for my guide to preparing healthy meals