Where in the world did this week go? Is it really Friday already? I’m not complaining, but holy moly this week flew by. I’m excited for this weekend because Kyle and I are going to play tennis tonight, carve pumpkins and watch Halloween movies tomorrow, and go hiking with the dogs. This is going to be an exciting hike because we’ve never brought both dogs with us. We’ve been working with Grumples for the past year, and we finally think he is ready. If it’s successful, I’ll write a blog all about working with him and not giving up. Dogs can be so hard to train sometimes, but you have to be patient, even if it takes six years.
I love leaving my blog with recipes on Friday, but I’m extremely excited about this one. I knew I wanted to make something delicious on Wednesday night, but I wasn’t sure what. I thought about making enchiladas, pizza, or stuffed bell peppers, but I’ve already done those numerous times. I wanted to create something new, seasonal, and filled with fresh produce. Luckily, my boyfriend loves trying different foods and likes pretty much anything I make. I don’t know if he’s just a good sport, but every time I cook something he says “omg, this is the best meal I’ve ever had,” or “this tastes incredible.” Maybe he really does love my cooking? We don’t go out to eat much, so perhaps he really does like it when I cook, and it’s nice to have someone that enjoys the food I make, even when it’s a random recipe I just made up.
I was sitting in the parking lot at the Fresh Market brainstorming ideas of what to make for dinner. I had a notepad in my hand to write down ingredients. I started thinking about seasonal foods, and cranberries popped into my head. I grew to love cranberries as I got older. When I was a kid, you couldn’t pay me enough to eat them. I got sick a lot when I was younger, and I’ll never forget forcing myself to drink cranberry juice constantly. Now, you can just give me all the cranberries! I decided on a cranberry carrot chicken recipe and the perfect roasted Fall vegetables. Meals filled with healthy ingredients that you can stuff yourself with is my kind of meal! Now that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, I’ll be posting more recipes for the holiday. If you’re not sure what to make as a side for Thanksgiving, these vegetables would be a hit. Roasted vegetables are so beautiful, plus they make balancing a healthy lifestyle during the holidays easy! Not to mention, the roasted vegetables can’t really be messed up. Pretty much anyone can make them.
Now, where to begin with this chicken? It was sweet, spicy, and savory. It had the perfect amount of flavor, cooked perfectly, and tasted like it was pulled straight from a restaurant stove. It’s filled with a combination of flavors like garlic, ginger, fresh oranges, and more! The cranberries glazed the chicken, and it just melts in your mouth. Each bite tasted better and better. Kyle was right, this was probably one of the best recipes I’ve ever made. We ate it again for leftovers last night and we were in heaven all over again. I want to test out this chicken recipe in the crockpot.
Perfect Roasted Fall Veggies
- 1 Medium Yellow Squash
- 1 Medium Zucchini
- 1 Butternut Squash
- 1 Green Bell Pepper
- 1 Acorn Squash
- 1 Cup Rainbow Carrots
- 2 Cups Brussels Sprouts
- 1 1/2 Tbsps Honey
- 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
- 1 Tsp Black Pepper
- 2 Tsps Red Chilli Flakes
- 1/2 Tsp Dill Weed
- 1 Tsp Italian Seasonings
- 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Tbsps Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Balsamic
- 1/2 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Mustard
- In a large bowl, toss the chopped vegetables in olive oil, and coat them in the seasonings.
- Bake at 350 degrees, tossing them every twenty minutes or so.
- Toss the cranberries into the vegetable at the 45-minute mark. Add any additional seasonings if necessary. *I love things with a ton of flavor!
- Let the vegetables cool & Enjoy!
So what makes the roasted vegetables so perfect for fall? Well, the addition of the squash of course! Butternut squash, acorn squash, zucchini, and summer squash all in one 🙂 While I was in the squash section, I picked up an “orangeghetti” squash. Apparently, it’s just like spaghetti squash, so I’m excited to try it out. Have you guys ever had orageghetti? I didn’t even know it was a real thing.
You could toss the chopped up vegetables straight into the roasting pan, but I like to do all the tossing in a large bowl. Don’t be afraid to get creative with these. Add any extra vegetables you’d like, or fun seasonings you think would taste good. One year, I did a sweet cinnamon roasted vegetable tray, and it turned out way better than I had imagined. Roasted vegetables are also great for meal prepping. You can add roasted vegetables to your eggs, salads, and all kinds of other dishes throughout the week.
Always start with the roasted vegetables first. They’ll take the longest to cook, so while they are cooking away in the oven, you can start with the main dish.
How beautiful is that? Oh, and if you’re looking for inexpensive roasting pans, you should definitely check out the Tj-Maxx/Marshalls/Homegoods (assuming most of you already do), but I found this roasting pan for $12.99! I love it! I almost bought one at Macy’s for quadruple the price over the weekend.
All ovens cook differently, so just keep an eye on the vegetables. Give them a toss every twenty minutes.
Take them out 45 minutes after they’ve been in the oven and add the dried cranberries, or fresh ones. Add any extra seasoning, and put them back in the oven. Sometimes the seasoning weakens the longer and hotter it cooks, so I always end up adding more garlic, onion powder, black pepper, and sea salt.
Now that is what I want to see on the Thanksgiving table. The cranberries give the savory vegetables a nice sweet surprise.
Now, let’s start with the cranberry carrot chicken. This recipe is something you’ll want to try out. It’s unique, and you’ll want to make it for everyone over and over again. I’m already excited to make it for my parents. If you are vegetarian, you could try making this with tofu! I bet it would be pretty good.
Cranberry Carrot Chicken
- 4 Large Chicken Breast (skinless/boneless)
- 5 Chopped Chopped Garlic Cloves
- 1 Tablespoons Finley Chopped Ginger Root
- 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Small Orange
- 14 Ounces Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
- 1 Cup Carrots
- 2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Gluten Free Soy Sauce
- 1/3 Cup Water (for chicken)
- 1/4 Cup Water (for cranberry pan)
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dill Weed
- 1 Teaspoon Red Chilli Pepper Flakes
- In a saucepan with cooking spray, add cranberry sauce, and carrots. Let the carrots cook in the cranberry sauce on medium heat. **Do no let the cranberry sauce get too hot, or it'll stick to the pan. If it starts to bubble, immediately reduce the heat. **
- In a separate large saucepan, Add chopped garlic, ginger, olive oil, and the juice from the small orange. Once the pan is hot on medium-high, add the chicken breast.
- Add 1/3 Cup of water into the pan with the chicken. Cook on each side for about ten minutes. Add the black pepper, dill weed, pepper flakes, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- When the carrots are slightly soft, pour the cranberry mixture into the pan with the chicken. **You'll notice that the chicken has absorbed the water at this point.** Add the 1/4 cup of water to the cranberry saucepan to collect any leftover juices. Add in the soy sauce. Flip the chicken twice.
- Turn the heat to medium and let the chicken slow cook in the juices.
- Once the chicken is done, turn the heat off and allow the sauce to slowly glaze the chicken as it cools. Top with parsley and serve! You can also add chopped pecans on top, too.
Glazing the carrots with the cranberry sauce will make your entire house smell like sweet fall baking. It was so hard not to steal some of the glazed carrots and eat them. It also doesn’t matter what kind of carrots you use. You can use baby carrots, diced carrots, or any fresh shaped carrots you find. Just don’t use the pre-cooked frozen carrots or canned carrots. Using canned cranberry made it easier, but if you want to make your own cranberry sauce, you can do that as well.
Three flavors that were meant to be together; ginger, garlic, and orange.
Add about one tablespoon of olive oil to the bottom of a large cooking pan. Add garlic, ginger, and the juice of one small orange.
When the pan is hot enough, add the chicken.
Add 1/3 cup of water to the pan. This will help the chicken cook through, and it keeps it nice and moist. No one likes dry chicken!
Flip the chicken over, season it with dill, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and let it cook five more minutes.
Once the carrots are slightly softened, pour the cranberry and carrot glaze into the pan with the chicken.
Add 1/4 cup water to the cranberry pan to collect any leftover cranberry sauce. Pour that into the pan as well and add soy sauce. Turn the chicken to medium heat and cook for an additional fifteen minutes, and continue to flip a couple of times. It’s better to let the chicken slow-cook on a low/medium heat. That keeps the chicken from drying out.
Top with parsley and serve! Make sure to use a thermometer to determine if the chicken is fully cooked. 165 degrees is the proper temperature.
I promise this recipe tastes just as good as it looks, if not better. You could even make a version of this recipe with your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.
Now that I’ve learned how easy and flavorful chicken breast slow-cooked on the stovetop can be, I’ll be making a ton of recipes similar to this, with fun and unique flavors, of course.
This dish only took about an hour to make, and it’s the perfect way to end a day. Nothing better than healthy comfort food, especially when it tastes this good.
If you don’t like vegetables, or feel like making roasted vegetables the chicken would pair perfectly on a bed of rice. The sauce and the rice would taste so good together.
Questions for you?
- What is your favorite healthy comfort food?
- Cranberries. Nay or Yay?
- Do you enjoy creating new recipes at home? Or trying new recipes at restaurants?