Sunday, January 2, 2011

Roasted Veggies and Chicken Salad

Personally, I LOVE veggies!! I'm pretty sure it comes from having a huge garden which my mom worked tirelessly in to grow organic, delicious veggies in as I grew up. I personally am not able to keep a cactus alive but hopefully one day will be able to semi create the same magical feel that I had in her garden in my own. Until then, thank goodness for the local farmers market!!

This is a nice, quick dinner to whip up when I want something that's light. The original recipe is one that was in an inStyle magazine in 2003. The marinade is light and delicious. And since the lemon tree in the backyard (which, thank goodness is watered by a timer) has started to yield fruit, I wanted to pull this out!

I recommend following the steps for marinating your food first since both have to sit for about 30 minutes to soak in the yummy flavors. This is the perfect time to pour yourself a cup or glass of whatever weeknight goodness you like after a hard day. Since I don't drink on weeknights, for me its a glass of sparkling water with a lemon. I swear I'm not pretentious!! Now if its a weekend....pour yourself the rest of the white wine and sit back to wait while the flavors meld together! Then you can go ahead and roast the veggies and chicken.

This will make enough for 10 people.

Things you need:
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano (or basil, I love basil!!)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp sugar

Marinate your Dinner!!
Mix all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Since I'm huge on recycling, I kept an old glass salad dressing jar and it works perfect when I make marinades. Shake really well.

Maybe dance around the kitchen and sing a bit while you do this. May I suggest something from gLee? Perhaps their version of 'Forget You'?

Chicken Deliciousness

2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
salt and pepper

Cut the chicken into strips, season with salt and pepper and place in plastic tupperware. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Allow it to sit for 20 min.

Marinade for Veggies
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp dried Italian seasonings

Throw all ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and mix well. Dance again.

3 zucchini
2 yellow squash, cut length wise
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut in strips
2 eggplants
2 bunches of asparagus

This is where you can indulge your creative side. The veggies listed are a suggestion. I usually don't use eggplant because I don't really like the texture in my mouth. Instead, I throw in some red onion or broccoli or carrots. Anything that you like!! Place your choice of veggies in a roasting pan and pour the marinade over the veggies BUT save 1/4 of a cup of the marinade. Toss the veggies with tongs and set aside for 30 min.

Lets Roast!

Heat the oven to 450F and line two baking dishes with foil. One is for the chicken and the other is for the veggies.

Pour the extra marinade off the veggies and season with salt and pepper. Arrange so that they are in one layer and roast until tender. The veggies have to roast longer. The original recipe advises to roast each type of veggie separately but I'm lazy so I do it all together. But if you do this some of your veggies will softer than others as each takes a different amount of time to cook. If you want the conformity you can bake each type of veggie separately.

Heat the oven to 450F and line a baking dish with foil. Pull the chicken strips out of the container with tongs and place on the foil, discard the marinade from the container. Bake for 8-10 min until cooked all the way through.

Toss 2 bunches of arugula and 1 head of romaine lettuce with the remaining marinade. Arrange the veggies and chicken on a plate and enjoy!!

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