Snow is on the ground, and I think it’s here to stay. 🙂 A perfect time to get together with loved ones for a warm, roasted meal full of the flavours of fall. I made this recently for my hubby and I, and now you can try it, too.
Looks fancy, but is pretty easy to put together. Cranberry sauce is nicely complimented by the tang of balsamic vinegar, smoothness of oil and butter, and a hint of sage for even more holiday flavour.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
I could just snack on these by themselves. Roasting makes veggies sweeter, calms any bitter notes, and introduces a lovely contrast between soft & creamy insides vs. slightly crisp exteriors. And Brussels are nutrition powerhouses! Like all vegetables in the cabbage family, they may help ward off cancer.
Brown Rice Pilaf
If there’s a white and a whole grain version, you know I’m going to be cooking the whole grain one. Brown rice has a lovely, slightly nutty flavour that goes nicely with the flavours of broth and aromatic vegetables that make up this side dish. There’s so much flavour here on it’s own, but you’ll be fine if a little cran-balsamic sauce from the chicken mixes in, too.
Ready, Cook, Eat!
Recipes start next. You’ll want to start about 1 1/2 hours ahead of mealtime. First tasks will be to preheat the oven, marinate the chicken, and chop veggies. But don’t worry – you shouldn’t be busy cooking for a full 90 minutes, and if you’re cooking for less than 4 people, there will be leftovers for later in the week. Once you’ve started everything roasting or simmering, please sit back, relax – maybe with a glass of wine, and enjoy!
- 1½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken, or pork tenderloin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp + ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- black pepper
- 1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
- 1 Tbsp butter
- ½ tsp dried sage
- Place chicken in a large zip-top bag or non-metal bowl. Add the garlic, olive oil, 2 Tbsp of the balsamic vinegar, salt, and some pepper. Massage the bag or mix the bowl to coat the chicken in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Heat a large skillet oven medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it is deep golden brown on each side, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to the lined baking sheet, and place in the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
- In the same skillet used to brown the chicken, add the cranberry sauce, remaining ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, butter, and dried sage. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking to combine. Summer, using the whisk to help scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a cutting board to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Slice, and smother the pieces in the sauce.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Makes 3 generous servings.
- 2-3 cups Brussels sprouts, or 1 ~600g bag frozen
- 1-3 Tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp Black pepper
- Lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350-400F.
- Wash Brussels, pat dry, then toss with olive oil and pepper.
- Spread on a baking sheet, and place in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Shake pan after about 20 minutes, then every 10 minutes. Brussels are done when outside layers are beginning to brown. The inside should be soft at this point.
- Season with a sprinkle of salt and lemon juice, or with a liberal shake of grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy hot.
Brown Rice Pilaf
- 1-2 Tbsp oil
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
- 1-2 cups mushrooms, celery, green pepper, cabbage, etc
- 1 cup brown rice, uncooked (not instant, but 20-minute versions OK)
- 2.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth (low-sodium, if available)
- Black pepper to taste
- Chop onion and mince garlic. If using other vegetables, chop them too.
- In a small pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic and other vegetables. Cook, stirring often, until onions are golden and other vegetables are softening.
- Add rice and cook, stirring, for one minute.
- Add broth and bring to a boil. Immediately cover and reduce heat to low.
- Leave covered & gently simmering for 40-45 minutes (or 20 minutes for quicker-cooking rice). Check if the water is absorbed and rice is cooked. If not, cook for up to 10 more minutes. More water can be added if needed.
- Uncover & serve.
There you have it. A complete, healthy, balanced, and tasty meal you can make this week.
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