Easy Dinners…Emphasis on Easy!
As we finally begin spring in Michigan, I’ve been thinking about all the things I would like to do while the weather is warm…travel, go to Summer Festival events, attend the Art Fair, see friends and family. But one thing that is missing from this list is spending hours in the kitchen.
With that in mind, I began looking for quick dinner recipes that would be healthy, easy, and lighter than winter fare. I found four recipes, each of which I’ve tested at least twice, and will add them to my regular dinner rotation over the next few months. I will be posting all four over the next few days. I would love to know if you tried them and what you thought. Also, there are a million variations that you could make using different ingredients, so if you create a new version, please share! I hope you like them!
This first one can be cooked on the grill or in the oven. I used the oven because it’s really easy and you don’t have to watch it, but on a really hot day, I may try the grill.
Italian Chicken and Veggies
- 1 pound of chicken tenders, about 8 *
- 2 cups baby potatoes, halved or quartered
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced into rings
- 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tablespoon EACH: dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon EACH: onion powder, dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Optional: fresh lemon, fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
*You can buy boneless chicken breasts and cut into tenders, but tenders are easier!
- Preheat the grill to high or the oven to 425°F.
- Pound the chicken tenders to even thickness. Use about 4 oz. for each serving.
- Prep the potatoes, pepper, onions, carrots, and garlic, as noted in the ingredients, and put them, along with the chicken, in a large bowl.
- Pour the olive oil over everything and then add all of the seasonings, up to the salt and pepper.
- Toss all of the ingredients together to ensure everything is well coated in the seasonings and oil.
- Set out 4 large sheets of foil (if using the grill either use heavy duty foil or 2-3 layers of regular foil; for oven I use 2 layers of regular foil or one of the heavy duty variety).
- Put 2 tenders on the foil. Then divide the vegetables evenly and place over the chicken.
- Seal the foil and grill on high heat for 15-25 minutes. Or in the oven for 30-45 minutes.** As heat can vary for both, just make sure that the chicken is cooked to 165°F and vegetables are tender.
- Remove the foil packets from the grill or oven and open carefully allowing for the steam to escape. If desired, top with any or all of: Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, or a squeeze of lemon juice. Eat right out of the foil packet and you have very little to clean up!
** I usually put the packets on a baking sheet before putting them into the oven.