One-Pan Lemon Chicken and Brussels Sprouts

 

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One pan chicken and Brussels sprouts, with a side of roasted butternut squash.

A big thank you to Sara Wallace for inspiring this meal!  Sara and I met as freshmen on the Williams College rowing team, and became fast friends during our first Winter Study together.  She has a thirst for adventure and has the energy for any fun, new diversion!  Somehow, we have yet to cook together, but in a recent email she told me she regularly makes one-pan chicken and Brussels sprouts.  I found a recipe online on a lovely gluten-free cooking blog called “So… Let’s Hang Out“, and made minor modifications to the ingredients.  I added butternut squash to my meal because I have been loving the roasted squash flavor lately.  Chili powder adds another layer of flavor to the naturally sweet butternut squash – the combination is so good that I find myself “taste-testing” straight from the baking sheet!  The chili powder/squash concept comes from “The Whole30 Cookbook”, by Melissa Hartwig.

Alex and I shared this one-pan wonder for an easy weeknight meal.  He had his chicken over leftover brown rice, which soaked up the lemon juice and chicken broth.  I am still following Whole30 most days, so I just increased my Brussels sprouts pile for extra carbohydrates.  The great thing about this meal is that you will have 30 minutes of down-time while the chicken and Brussels sprouts finish in the oven, and cleanup is a breeze.  I used pre-cut butternut squash and Brussels sprouts to speed up the process, and thanks to that shortcut, this dinner took about 45 minutes to prepare from start to finish.

Recipe

One-Pan Lemon Chicken and Brussels Sprouts – serves 2 to 4

We experimented with using both chicken breasts and thighs in our first pan.  You can also use skin on, bone-in chicken, but if you have large pieces, use a meat thermometer to make sure chicken is fully cooked.  Cast-iron works especially well for this meal, because it makes your chicken nice and crispy.

You will need:

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  1. 1 large butternut squash, or one container of pre-cut squash (thank you, Whole Foods!)
  2. 1-2 T olive oil
  3. 2 t chili powder
  4. 2 t salt, 1 t pepper
  5. 1 T coconut oil
  6. salt and pepper to taste
  7. 2 pounds of chicken breasts or thighs, or both
  8. 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  9. 1 T olive oil
  10. juice of one lemon
  11. 1/4 C chicken stock

Optional: serve over brown rice.

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine butternut squash pieces with olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring at least once to make sure pieces are not sticking to the baking sheet.
  4. While butternut squash is roasting, prepare your Brussels sprouts.  Wash and halve sprouts, and combine with olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Mix thoroughly to coat, set aside.
  5. Heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (the butternut squash can handle the heat for a little while!).
  6. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper to taste, on both sides.
  7. Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium to medium-high heat, and add coconut oil.
  8. When oil is hot, add chicken to your pan in a single layer, and do not move for 6-8 minutes.  You want the chicken nice and browned on the bottom before flipping.
  9. When the first side has browned, flip chicken and continue cooking.
  10. Next, add Brussels sprouts, lemon juice and chicken stock, stirring to combine.  Scrape the bottom of your pan to loosen any browned bits.
  11. Carefully place your pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Your butternut squash should be done around the same time, but if it is starting to get too browned, you can remove the sheet pan so the pieces do not burn.  Simply return the pan to the oven when the chicken and sprouts have just a few minutes left to cook.

Sources:

Gina Marie. “One-Pan Crispy Chicken Legs & Brussels Sprouts {Gluten-Free & Paleo}.” So…Let’s Hang Out. N.p., 16 Apr. 2015. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.

Hartwig, Melissa. The Whole30 cookbook: 150 delicious and totally compliant recipes to help you succeed with the Whole30 and beyond. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. Print, page 65.

Salmon Series Part Three: Salmon Burgers with Sriracha Mayo

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Our late-night salmon burger dinner

Now that we have officially moved to our Seattle apartment, Alex and I are staying with friends while we finish up with work and school.  This week, my teammate Fran and her partner, Simon, are our gracious hosts. I made dinner for Alex and Fran this week and had the opportunity to test out another new salmon recipe.  We enjoyed a late dinner and chatted about our recent move to Seattle and what we will miss about living in Chicago – our friends, my rowing team, the proximity to Buchanan, MI and the food scene!  Fran has an impressive collection of cookbooks that I have enjoyed flipping through, and is knowledgeable about a variety of vegetables and plants that I am just getting to know.

For salmon burgers, I consulted Patrick Rider, our long-time family friend and wonderful chef, for advice on what ingredients to use.  Patrick introduced me to a video of Guy Fieri visiting our local Chicago DMK Burger Bar, where he learned about the signature salmon burger with ginger, scallions, Asian slaw and a red Thai curry sauce.  I then checked Food.com for a recipe to use as a reference for cooking times and temperatures.  Based on those two sources, and what was fresh at my local market, I came up with the following new recipe for salmon burgers!

Recipe

Salmon Burgers with Sriracha Mayo – serves 4

We love to have butternut squash or sweet potato when we make burgers at home.  For this meal, we simply purchased pre-cut butternut squash.  The squash roasts in about twenty minutes, and pairs nicely with salmon burgers and fresh greens.  We drizzled olive oil on the squash and sprinkled on black pepper and a little salt before roasting.  If you are making sweet potato fries, plan for an extra ten minutes of baking time before adding salmon patties to the oven.  We added fresh spinach for a simple salad.

You will need:

  1. 1 lb salmon
  2. 2 T Sriracha Mayo
  3. 2 large eggs, beaten
  4. ½ C bread crumbs
  5. 2 T fresh ginger, chopped
  6. ½ C green onions, finely sliced
  7. 1 t garlic salt
  8. 1 t lemon pepper
  9. ½ t black pepper
  10. 1 T dried parsley
  11. cooking spray

Serve with:

  1. Sliced tomato
  2. Slaw topping – about ¼ C per burger
  3. Sriracha mayo or ketchup, to taste
  4. Your favorite bun – we picked Pretzilla pretzel buns

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Start by chopping fresh ginger and slicing green onions.  Set aside.
  3. Remove skin from salmon filet, and cut salmon into small cubes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine salmon, Sriracha mayo, beaten eggs, bread crumbs, ginger, green onions and your spices.
  5. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  6. Once your oven temperature has reached 425 degrees, divide your salmon mixture into four equal parts and shape patties gently between your palms.  Space four patties evenly across your baking sheet, and set inside oven.
  7. Cook salmon patties for a total of twenty minutes, flipping after about ten minutes.  If you like your burger buns toasted, add buns to the top rack of the oven for about two minutes per side.
  8. Serve patties warm with buns, more Sriracha mayo or ketchup, and top with slaw or lettuce and tomato.

 

Sources:

“Salmon Burgers With Guy Fieri Video : Food Network.” Salmon Burgers With Guy Fieri Video : Food Network. Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Web. Accessed 10 May 2016.

Sherrycooks2012. “Oven Baked Salmon Patties Recipe – Food.com.” Oven Baked Salmon Patties Recipe – Food.com. Web. Accessed 10 May 2016.

Butternut Squash Vegan “Quesadillas” and Colorful Cauliflower Sides

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Mixed greens with frisée, raspberries and raspberry vinaigrette.  Orange cauliflower, mashed.  Green cauliflower, roasted.  Black beans with sautéed onions.  Butternut squash mash.  Purple cauliflower, steamed.

 

 

“Eat your colors” – Michael Pollan, “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual”

Having devoured the “Omnivore’s Dilemma” on my recent travels, I stopped by Read It and Eat, my favorite cookbook bookstore in Chicago, in search of any other books by author Michael Pollan.  In “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” Pollan challenged readers by exposing the relationship between the food industry and the foods they consume; “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual” turns the truths that Pollan exposes in “Omnivore’s Dilemma” into digestible advice.  Pollan’s notions have become more visible in mainstream culture.  At one San Diego restaurant, True Foods, a Pollan quotation is chalked on the wall above the bar: “Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.” (from “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” which I will be reading next).

Last year, I began talking regularly with Georgie Fear, registered dietitian and sports dietetics specialist.  The most fun thing that Georgie has taught me is to include more vegetables in my meals!  I had to get creative to prevent roasted asparagus-induced boredom, and I’ll endeavor to share some of my favorite vegetable recipes with you in the form of “Intimidating Vegetable” posts.

On my last night in San Diego, I cooked dinner in Jess’s mother’s kitchen one last time.  I made a vegan meal for us, including half a dozen produce varietals.  I used a recipe for butternut squash “quesadillas” and black beans that I picked up when I trained in Seattle last March and stayed with Katherine Robinson.  With this final dinner, I made use of the rest of our produce from when Jess took me to the PB Farmers Market.

Recipe

Butternut Squash “Quesadillas” – serves 4

Butternut squash is so flavorful that you do not even need to add cheese to your tortilla!

You will need: IMG_2218

  1. 1 large butternut squash, chopped (see below)
  2. 1 1/2 T olive oil
  3. salt
  4. pepper
  5. 14.5 oz can black beans
  6. 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  7. 4 tortillas
  8. 1 avocado, sliced
  9. your favorite salsa for serving

Steps:

  1. Microwave your butternut squash for 2-3 minutes, with the skin on.  This will make it much easier to remove the skin. Allow several minutes for squash to cool before handling. When squash has cooled, chop into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Add butternut squash chunks and ½ cup of water, cover.
  4. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until squash begins to soften.
  5. Meanwhile, add 1/2 T olive oil to a pan over medium heat.  Add chopped onions and sauté for about 2 minutes, just until the onions begin to turn translucent.  Add black beans and stir to heat.
  6. Mash the squash with the back of your spoon, until about half of the chunks are completely smooth. You will want to retain some squash-chunk texture to enjoy in your tortilla.
  7. Remove squash and beans from heat.
  8. Serve with tortillas and avocado slices, with beans and salsa on the side.

 

Recipe

Colorful Cauliflower Sides – serves 3-4

The cauliflower at the farmers market was so vibrant that we could not choose just one variety! I had three cauliflower heads, and wanted to retain their original flavors for accurate comparison, so I decided to keep my preparation simple. I roasted the green cauliflower, steamed the purple and mashed the orange. The orange cauliflower claimed to taste cheesy, and is otherwise known as cheddar cauliflower, so I knew I would not need to add much to make a satisfying mashed-potato alternative.

You will need:

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  1. 1 head of green cauliflower
  2. 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  3. ½ T olive oil
  4. 3 t black pepper
  5. 1 head of purple cauliflower
  6. 1 t salt
  7. 1 head of orange cauliflower

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Chop green cauliflower heads. Chop garlic clove into large chunks.
  3. Arrange cauliflower and garlic in a single layer on a baking sheet, coating with olive oil and 1 t black pepper.
  4. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops of the cauliflower pieces have begun to brown.
  5. Meanwhile, chop both the purple and orange cauliflower heads.
  6. Arrange orange and purple cauliflower into two separate pots on the stove, set to steam for 5 to 7 minutes. Check tenderness. When the purple cauliflower is tender, remove from heat and sprinkle with ½ t salt and 1 t black pepper.
  7. Steam orange cauliflower for a few additional minutes, until it is soft enough to mash with a spoon. For a smoother consistency, like mashed potatoes, transfer cauliflower to a food processor and blend for a minute before adding spices and butter, if desired. For this recipe, mash cauliflower with a spoon and then add ½ t salt and 1 t black pepper.

 

Pollan, Michael. Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. New York: Penguin, 2009. Print.

Pollan, Michael. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. New York: Penguin, 2008. Print.

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print.