Lemon-Rosemary Roasted Chicken Breasts

I don’t usually do a lot of cooking on the weekdays.  I usually try out new recipes on the weekends when I have more time and have had a chance to pick out a new recipe, and do the grocery shopping for it, etc.  However, this week my uncle and cousin are staying with us while their house is undergoing some renovations.  So obviously when company is over (even though it’s family), it’s time to pull out the stops and cook a real, hearty meal.  This recipe definitely fits the bill.  It’s a great one-dish meal that’s mostly hands-off, leaving plenty of time for other things.  This is also something you’ll want extra of since it’s great as leftovers too, or would be easily turned into a soup.

This is easily customizable with the vegetables you have on hand.  I think sweet potatoes would be delicious in this, celery would also be good and add some green.  Mix it up, just make sure that your vegetables are roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

My cousin, Naomi, also discovered that she likes parsnips by eating this dish!  So it’s a great way to introduce new vegetables!  It’s always a thrill for me when someone discovers that they like something new!

Lemon-Rosemary Roasted Chicken Breasts with Roasted VegetablesLemon-Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Roasted Vegetables (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 8

  • 1 acorn squash, seeded and cut in 1 1/2″ chunks (I left the skin on and it was soft enough to eat)
  • 5 small new potatoes, quartered
  • 6 parsnips, cut in 1 1/2″ chunks
  • 6 carrots, cut in 1″ chunks
  • 2 red onions, cut into large segments
  • 4 large chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Grease the bottom of a large roasting pan with cooking spray.

Spread vegetables over the bottom of the pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and just a sprinkle of kosher salt.  Top with chicken breasts.  Drizzle chicken breasts with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.  Flip breasts over and season the other side with salt, pepper, and rosemary.  Top chicken with lemon slices and squeeze a little lemon juice over the chicken.Lemon-Rosemary Roasted Chicken Breasts (A Seat at the Table)

Roast the chicken for about 45 minutes.  Check to see how things are cooking, if vegetables seem to be drying out, add chicken stock.  Continue to cook until chicken is cooked through.  This took about 1 1/2 hours for me, but they were some awfully big chicken breasts.

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Grilled Lemon Chicken Skewers

This is the perfect summer entree.  The fresh lemon flavors make this bright and summery!  You can cook this on the grill or use a grill pan to get that nice smokey grill flavor.  The lemon and spring onions add a complexity to the chicken that really elevates this from just another boring chicken dish.  I think red onion would be great too if you have some on hand.  Grilling the onion brings out the sweetness, which contrasts nicely with the tart lemon.  This will definitely become a summer staple!

I served this with bruschetta, grilled bell peppers and zucchini, and Israeli couscous with scallions and chopped dried apricots.  This would also be great with a large salad, served with rice (and beans), or could easily be served with simple crudites with dips like hummus or a Greek yogurt dip.

Grilled Lemon Chicken SkewersGrilled Lemon Chicken Skewers (A Seat at the Table)

Makes about 8-10 skewers

Adapted from Foodie Crush

  • 1 pkg chicken tenders, about 1 1/2 lbs
  • 4 lemons
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dired oregano
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces

Cut chicken tenders into thirds and set aside.  In a large bowl, add the zest and juice of two lemons.  Whisk in the garlic, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes (no longer than an hour).

Before grilling, soak wooden skewers for about 10 minutes prior.  While the skewers are soaking, thinly slice the last 2 lemons into rounds, then slice the rounds in half.  Once the skewers are ready, thread a folded slice of lemon, then chicken, then about 3 pieces of scallion onto the skewer, repeating two or three times.

Heat the grill and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Once the grill is hot (medium-high heat if using a grill pan), cook the skewers for about 10 minutes, rotating every 3-4 minutes, until cooked through.

Tomato-Goat Cheese Tart

I made this over the 4th of July, and loved the simplicity of it.  This super delicious, cheesy tart comes together quickly, takes advantage of the lovely summer tomatoes, and looks impressive enough for company.  As the saying goes, it’s easy as pie.  I think this would also work well as a galette…which might make it perfect for making at the beach, where pie pans are not always available, but the most delicious farm-stand tomatoes are.  Plain goat cheese gets some extra flavor from rosemary and lemon zest.  You want to be careful to squeeze out the seeds/juice from the tomatoes before layering them on the pie.  Too much liquid and the pie will be soggy.

Tomato-Goat Cheese TartTomato-Goat Cheese Tart (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 8

Adapted from The Endless Meal

  • 1 pie crust (I like Pillsbury)
  • 4-5 large tomatoes, cut off the top and squeeze out liquid then slice
  • 1 cup goat cheese
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary (or twice as much fresh, chopped)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon, zested

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line 9″ pie dish with pie crust and pierce the bottom with a fork.  Set aside.

In a bowl, beat together goat cheese, rosemary, salt and lemon zest.  Layer goat cheese mixture into the bottom of the prepared pie.

Cut the tops of the tomatoes off and carefully squeeze the juice/seeds out.  Slice tomatoes.  Layer tomatoes on top of the goat cheese layer, until pie is filled.  Sprinkle with a little kosher salt.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until crust is golden and tomatoes are soft.  Remove from oven and let stand for at least 30 minutes before serving (I couldn’t wait that long, so my slices kind of fell apart, but they still tasted delicious!).

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

With an abundance of broccoli on hand, I was looking for something different to make than the usual steamed or roasted broccoli.  This takes the super healthy benefits of broccoli and turns it into a great spread, or in this case, sauce.  While this is definitely different from traditional pesto since it doesn’t include basil, it still has the nutty flavor from the parmesan and pine nuts.  I topped this with some chickpeas for some extra protein, and grilled summer squash and zucchini for some extra vegetables.  You could also reserve some of the steamed broccoli to add on top or add any other vegetable you feel like.

Broccoli Pesto PastaBroccoli Pesto Pasta (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 10-12

Adapted from Whole Living

  • 1 box whole wheat pasta, I like rotini (I also tried gluten-free brown rice pasta shells that were good with this)
  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • basil to garnish

In a large pot, boil the broccoli florets for a minute or two, until bright green.  Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.  Refill the pot and cook the pasta according the directions on the box (be sure to generously salt the water!), drain and set aside while finishing the pesto.  Add broccoli and remaining ingredients to a large food processor and blend until smooth (do this in batches if necessary).  Serve with whole wheat pasta and top with favorite vegetables and rinsed chickpeas, if desired.  Garnish with fresh basil.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon poppy seed is my favorite muffin flavor.  It’s been ages since I’ve had one, so I decided it was time to make a batch.  These were very yummy.  The glaze adds quite a bit of sweetness with a balance of tart lemon zest.  The poppy seeds give a nice little crunch to the delicate crumb.  This are great for breakfast or a snack since they aren’t too sweet.  The lemon adds a bright burst of flavor and most of the sweetness comes from the glaze on top.

Lemon Poppy Seed MuffinsLemon Poppy Seed Muffins (A Seat at the Table)

Makes about 15 muffins (I doubled the recipe and got about 32)

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 lemons, zested
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain yogurt

Glaze:

  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add lemon zest and vanilla extract.  Slowly beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the yogurt, in three batches.  Mix until just combined.

Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin (I used a 4oz cookie scoop).  Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Let cool for about 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the muffins are cooking, whisk together all the ingredients for the glaze.

Once you’ve transfered the muffins to the wire rack, add about 3/4 tsp glaze to each muffin while they’re still warm.

Blackberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Check out the new blog feature!  Now when you click on the “Print & PDF” button you can customize how much of the post prints!  You can include or exclude intro text and/or pictures.  Hope that helps with printing and saving recipes!

These bars are definitely a taste of spring.  While they’re not quite as delicious as my favorite cheesecake, this Blackberry Cheesecake, they’re easier to make and less fussy to share.  The lemon and blackberry goes great together and while I was a little skeptical about baking the blackberries, it really brings out the sweetness in them.  These have a subtle sweetness and aren’t as rich as traditional cheesecake.  The the graham cracker crust adds the perfect amount of crunchy to the creamy filling.

Blackberry Lemon Cheesecake BarsBlackberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 12-16

Adapted from Spoonful of Sugar

  • 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 1/2 pkgs (20 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 pints (about 4 cups) fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to 300°F.  Line a 10×15″ (or 9×13″ would also work) baking dish with parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter and mix with a fork.  Pour into prepared pan and press down evenly to form the crust.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Slowly pour in the condensed milk, then add in the lemon zest and juice, beating until smooth.

Pour mixture over the pressed crust and top with blackberries.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until mostly set.  Turn off oven and let sit for an additional 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Cover and chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Springtime Quinoa Salad

Spring this year in DC was a little weird.  We got some crazy hot 90° days and then had some rain and dropped back down to the 50’s…so with our little heat spell, spring seemed to pop all of a sudden.  And despite the fact that the warm weather keeps coming and going, I can’t help but get excited about some new, fun, cold salads.  Does that sound lame?  But really! Salads are great and feel so refreshingly spring!  All of the bright green vegetables in this salad are mixed with quinoa (an awesome “grain” that’s technically a seed and is protein packed!), and then it’s taken to a whole new level of freshness with the addition of a lemon basil dressing.  Yum!  This is great for a crowd and can be served cold or at room temperature.  If you don’t think you’ll eat it all at one time, I’d suggest only adding avocado to the portion you’ll eat.  Avocado has a tendency to turn brown when exposed to oxygen, which will make it less appetizing, although the acid from the lemon should help, as does keeping it in an airtight container, so it should be fine for at least 1 day before it starts looking a little sad.

Springtime Quinoa SaladSpringtime Quinoa Salad (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 12-15

Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

Salad:

  • 2 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bunches asparagus, cut in 3/4″ pieces
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 bag (16oz) frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 avocados, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Lemon Basil Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tsp agave (more to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp salt)

Pour the quinoa into a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Allow the quinoa to toast for a few minutes, until fragrant, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent burning.  Add water and salt and allow quinoa to come to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.  Fluff with a fork and then add to a large bowl to cool.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped asparagus and allow to cook for a few minutes until tender.  Add the lemon juice and remove from heat.  (If your peas aren’t thawed you can add them to the skillet for a minute or two to thaw them).  Add the asparagus and peas to the bowl with the quinoa.

In a bowl or jar, whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Pour dressing over the salad, toss to combine.  Just before serving, fold in the avocado.  Serve room temperature or cold.

 

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Sister came down early to celebrate Mother’s Day, so we had our Mother’s Day brunch a day early.  When we were growing up Sister and I would make breakfast in bed for Mom.  So breakfast foods are our traditional celebration.  This year Mom requested this herbed ricotta tart, and something fruity for dessert (because it’s brunch you totally get a brunch dessert, right?)  So after a bit of Pinterest browsing we settled on this recipe.  It’s a great recipe!  This is the perfect amount of sweet and tart, with a great crumb and a slightly sweet crust.  The blueberries, burst with purple deliciousness and balance wonderfully with the lemon zest that gives this cake a fresh, vibrant taste.

Thanks, Mom for all that you do.  You’re absolutely amazing.  And you have excellent taste in cake 🙂

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast CakeBlueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake slice (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 4-6

Adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large lemon, zested
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (plus a Tbsp for sprinkling on top)
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (1/4 reserved for tossing with blueberries)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease an 8×8″ pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Cream butter with lemon zest until light, add sugar and continuing beating until fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake (A Seat at the Table)

Toss blueberries with 1/4 cup flour (this keeps the berries from sinking).  Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Alternate adding in the flour and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour.  Be careful to only mix until just combined after each addition.  Fold in the blueberries.

Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with a little sugar.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Serve and enjoy!

Smooth and Creamy Hummus

I might also call this obsessive-compulsive hummus, but I’ll let you decide for yourself what name you’ll call it.  What makes it different, is that you actually peal the chickpeas.  I know, say what?! Peel chickpeas?!  Well this advice comes from the incredible Smitten Kitchen, so I knew the recipe would be great…so while I caramelized some onions, I tediously sat by the sink, peeling chickpeas.  It really didn’t take that long, and by the time I was done I also had beautifully caramelized onions, so it wasn’t a total waste of time.  The end result is a delightfully creamy and thick hummus.  I’ve been eating this for weeks, and am a big fan of the subtle flavors and smooth texture.  This has just the right amount of lemon and garlic to accentuate the chickpeas but not overpower them.  It’s a great dip, and I highly recommend it with veggies for a great, easy healthy snack.

Smooth and Creamy HummusSmooth and Creamy Hummus (A Seat at the Table)

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 (15oz) can chickpeas, peeled
  • 1/3 cup tahini paste
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (more to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Peel the outer skin off of the chickpeas, discard the skins and toss the chickpeas in the bowl of your food processor.  Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt.  Pulse several times, then stream in the water and olive oil while blending.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Serve with carrot sticks, snap peas, cucumber sticks, crackers, pretzels, and/or bread.

Lemony Wheat Berry and Brussel Sprout Salad

As much as I like salad, all the cold weather recently has made them the last thing I want to eat.  So I’m attempting to mix things up a bit and try some new, more creative salads to help me eat more veggies.  This salad is a great side dish since it combines whole grains with delicious roasted brussel sprouts.  The lemon adds a great freshness, the wheat berries are chewy, and the brussel sprouts add warmth.

Lemony Wheat Berry and Brussel Sprout SaladLemony Wheat Berry and Brussel Sprout Salad

Serves 6

Adapted from Oh My Veggies

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked wheat berries
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 1/2 lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • toasted walnuts (I forgot these, but I think they’d be great)

In a medium pot, bring wheat berries and stock to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for about 50 minutes, or until wheat berries are tender.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F.  On a large baking sheet, toss prepared brussel sprouts and onion with olive oil and kosher salt.  Roast for about 25-30 minutes, toss halfway through.

When the wheat berries are done drain any extra liquid.  In a large bowl, whisk together about 1-2 Tbsp olive oil with the lemon juice and about 1/4 tsp salt and pepper.  Add wheat berries and toss to combine.  Then add the brussel sprouts/onion, mix to combine.  Serve hot or at room temperature.