Chicken and Harvest Veggie Skillet 

This time of year always seems to get really hectic. With all the other things going on during the holiday season, easy dinners are high on my priority list. 

Another thing I’m looking for is healthy meals. I’m all about the Christmas treats and yummy special meals, so that makes it all the more important that we eat healthy as often as we can to try to stay on track.

This meal fits both those criteria. It honestly came out of necessity. I needed to clean out my fridge so I just sort of threw a bunch of ingredients in a skillet and crossed my fingers. I’m so glad it worked because this was delicious! My husband requested it immediately be added to our regular rotation!

Chicken & Harvest Veggie Skillet 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed, seasoned with salt and pepper

4 slices of bacon, cut into pieces

1 medium sweet potato, cubes

3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered 

1/2 diced Onion 

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Granny Smith Apples, cores and cubes

2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)

1 cup chicken broth 

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard 

1-2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

In a skillet, brown you chicken in some olive oil until just cooked through. Remove from the skillet to a paper towel-lined plate.

In the same skillet, cook your bacon until crispy. Remove to a lined plate.

To bacon grease, add the onion, garlic, sprouts, and sweet potato and cook until slightly softened.

Add the thyme, salt and pepperto taste, and apple and cook until softened and the rest of the veggies are slightly browned.

Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the broth evaporate. It will only take a few minutes.

In a small bowl, add the Dijon, vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk until smooth. Note: these are approximate measurements. I eyeballed it and forgot to keep track. 

Add the chicken and bacon back to the skillet. Toss the whole mixture with the Dijon vinaigrette.


Pancetta Brussels Sprouts

Ok, so if you had told me a couple years ago when I started this blog that I would have not one but two Brussels sprouts recipes, I would have told you to get out of town.

Seriously. I never would have guessed years ago when I was drinking more soda than ever, that one day I would want a snack and make Brussels sprouts! My husband said the same thing. 

I’ve heard many people say this, and I agree wholeheartedly, I think of you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you probably haven’t had them prepared correctly. They have quickly become one of my favorite vegetables.

This is a very similar recipe to the other one I posted, but it doesn’t require you to turn on your oven and it comes together much quicker. 

This recipe serves two as a side dish at around 80 calories per serving.

10 Brussels sprouts, halved

1 T olive oil (I love garlic infused for this)

Leeks, sliced, about an inch or two of the leek

1 oz diced pancetta 

1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 

In a hot skillet, add your olive oil and place the sprouts cut side down. This helps the core soften and makes for some really good caramelization.

After a minute or two over medium high heat, add the pancetta and leeks. (I used regular onions this time because I was out of leeks, but I really prefer the leek flavor.)

Let the pancetta, onion, and sprouts continue cooking until the pancetta is crispy and the onions and sprouts are browned. You can start turning over the sprouts so they can cook all over.

When everything is almost done, add a pinch of salt and the honey. Mix altogether.

Put in a bowl and finish off with a little Dijon mustard. Stir to coat and enjoy! 

Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries in a Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

Ah, the poor, misunderstood Brussels Sprout. Growing up, my only knowledge of the little veggie was that it was gross. Why? Because that’s what TV shows and movies told me. Brussels Sprouts were always the example used when someone needed to make a point about a food that no one liked, especially kids. Because of this, I think it was given a really bad rap and may have grounds for some sort of libel suit.

You know, if it were not a vegetable.

I guess I sort of understand why people might not like Brussels sprouts. On their own, they aren’t the greatest. Even just boiled, they are pretty much blah. They are a bitter little cabbage that needs a lot of help to be palatable. Fortunately, that “help” comes in the form of very easy to prepare dishes that turn out delicious! A simple roast or pan fry and you’ve got yourself a yummy side dish. Add extras like bacon and cranberries and take them over the top.

Brussels sprouts are also highly nutritious, loaded with lots of vitamins like C, K, and B1; are high in folate, manganese, dietary fiber, and omega-3s.

Unfortunately, try as I might, I tend to be the lone Brussels sprouts fan in our house. The kids won’t give them a chance and my hubby doesn’t like the texture. That being said, he did like these sprouts. I roasted them a lot longer than I usually do, so the core was a lot softer than usual. He said that was much better, but he’s still not super gung-ho about them.

Oh, well. More for me, right?

This recipe was really easy and so tasty. I could eat this every day. Caramelized veggies are always good and the dressing was a tiny bit tangy and a tiny bit sweet for a really scrumptious combo. 

I know it’s July, but I think this would actually make a really good Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish (I’ve been watching a lot of the Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie Preview Week so I’m feeling rather festive lately! Anyone wanna come help me put up my tree??)

I initially found this on Pinterest and then made a few changes of my own. I didn’t add any nuts to this version, but I think throwing in a handful of walnuts or pecans towards the end of the roasting time would be a really yummy addition.

Please keep in mind that I only made enough for myself, so any measurements listed are really guesses. I did a lot of eyeballing. You can find the full recipe HERE. I swapped out the rice wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar and added a touch of honey for the dressing. It was yum, yum, yum! Like I said, I could have this as a side dish all the time.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash with Dried Cranberries and Honey Dijon dressing

Adapted from A Beautiful Plate

Brussels sprouts, halved

1 cup cubed butternut squash

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

¼ cup dried cranberries

For the dressing (approx. measurements):

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon honey

Place the veggies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and make sure the veggies are in a single layer. A good tip is to put the sprouts cut-side down so they caramelize a little better.

Roast at 450 for about 20-30 minutes. During the last 5 or so minutes of roasting, add your cranberries.

Meanwhile, in the bowl you are going to serve the veggies in, whisk together your dressing ingredients. You can add more salt and pepper here, but since they are already on the veggies, I opted not to. People can always add more at the table if they want.

When the veggies are done, add them to the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat.

Serve and become a sprouts fan for life.