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.

Ham and Green Bean Soup

This is an old family recipe.  My mom’s grandma would make this every spring just as the green beans came up in the garden.  It’s a great, easy recipe that’s total comfort food.  I actually made this using a frozen ham hock that we saved from Easter.  You can also just buy a ham hock at the store, or make this soup whenever you’re making a ham and freeze it for later.  If green beans aren’t in season, you can use frozen green beans, just throw them in in the last few minutes and cook until heated through.

Ham and Green Bean SoupHam and Green Bean Soup (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 10-12

  • 1 large ham hock
  • water to cover the hock (about 10-15 cups)
  • 3 Tbsp salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley (optional)
  • 6 medium red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 large carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 5 cups green beans, cut in “1 pieces
  • 2-3 cups diced ham
  • 2 Tbsp dried dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sour cream or plain Greek yogurt to garnish

In a large stock pot, combine ham hock, water, salt, bay leaves and dried parsley.  Bring to a boil, then let simmer for about two hours, stirring occasionally.  Remove the ham hock from the pot and let cool.  Pick any remaining ham off the bone and reserve for later.

Add potatoes and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until beginning to get tender.  Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until vegetables are fork-tender.  Add green beans and ham to the pot and cook for about 8 minutes, or until green beans are bright green and tender and the ham is heated through.  Add dill, taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Easy Homefries

So after making baked potatoes to go with the delicious Santiago Bean Dip, we had a couple left over.  So on our last morning at the beach, it was time to use up the leftovers.  These homefries were the perfect thing.  Everyone loved these and they’re a cinch to make when you already have a cooked potato.  If you don’t have a baked potato on hand, scrub your raw potato, stab it with a fork, and wrap in a damp paper towel; then microwave for about 6 minutes.  The potato should be fork-tender when done.  Allow to cool enough to chop before proceeding with the recipe below.

Easy HomefriesEasy Homefries (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 2

  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 baked potato, diced
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a skillet (I used a cast iron one), heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sautee until translucent.  Add diced potato and cook for about 5-10 more minutes.  Try not to mix the potatoes too much so they have a chance to get crispy and browned.  Add more butter if necessary.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Salmon Cake Salad Nicoise

This updated salad nicoise uses salmon cakes instead of the traditional tuna.  This is a great way to make a salad exciting, or a great way to serve either of these salmon cakes.  Adding salmon cakes to the other traditional aspects of a nicoise salad, like potatoes, green beans, eggs, tomatoes, and olives makes this a great update.   I also like to keep things flavorful throughout the salad, so after boiling the potatoes (when they’re still warm), I dressed them in a honey-mustard vinaigrette, that way each bite of potato is packed with flavor.

Salmon Cake Salad NicoiseSalmon Cake Salad Nicoise (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 4-6

  • 1 salmon cake per person
  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 6 potatoes (I prefer to keep the skin on, so choose a new potato or red potato)
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 3 hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup kalamata or green olives, optional (I didn’t use olives since the salmon cakes had capers in them)
  • honey mustard vinaigrette, to taste

Place washed potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water and add salt.  Cook over high heat, and let boil for about 15 minutes, or until fork tender.  Remove potatoes from the water and leave the water on the stove.  Add green beans to the boiling water and blanche for a few minutes until tender, then run under cold water to stop the cooking and keep the bright green color.  Chop green beans into thirds.  When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into large dice and drizzle with about 1/3 cup honey mustard vinaigrette.

To assemble the salad, divide chopped romaine between plates.  Add 1 salmon cake and sliced hard boiled egg to each plate, then divide potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and olives equally.  Serve with honey-mustard vinaigrette on the side.

Banana Leaf Vegetable Curry

I made this dish for Tuesday’s School of Christian Living.  It was a big hit.  This comes by way of another church lady, but she got it from Sheila Lukins’ All Around the World Cookbook.  There are no bananas, leaves or banana leaves in this curry, so I’m not sure where the name comes from…might have to find a copy of the book to figure it out.  Despite the lack of banana leaves this is one tasty meal!

This curry has a great blend of flavors.  I was surprised to see cinnamon in the mix, but it was a nice touch–adds some warmth but isn’t overwhelming.  I made this the day before, and realized I should have waited to add the raisins until just before serving it.  They added a little too much sweetness since I added them early, but they’re a really nice touch.  Served with brown rice, this is a flavorful, unique (vegan) dish!

Banana Leaf Vegetable Curry

Serves 20

Adapted from Sheila Lukins’ All Around the World Cookbook

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 Tbsp good curry powder
  • 7 carrots, peeled and chopped in 1/2″ pieces
  • 5 Idaho potatoes, washed and chopped in 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbsp agave
  • 1 1/2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 (28oz) large can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 cups toasted coconut, for garnish

Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot.  Add onion and cook until softened.  Add garlic and cook an additional minute.  Add curry powder and stir for another minute.

Add carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, broth, agave, and cinnamon sticks.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.  15-20 minutes before serving, add garbanzo beans, raisins, and tomatoes.  Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro and toasted coconut.

Green Bean, Corn and Potato Salad

Fresh from the farm produce is amazing.  On yet another fruit picking outing, Mom and I picked Honey Crisp apples, blackberries, and peaches.  We also picked up a whole bunch of vegetables while were on the farm.  This salad is a great way of showcasing your farm (or farmer’s market) fresh produce.  The dressing is flavorful but not overpowering.

Green Bean, Corn and Potato Salad

Serves 6

Adapted from Love and Lemons

  • 4-5 fist sized potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 cups green beans, blanched, chopped in 1 inch pieces
  • 1-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 3 ears of corn, grilled and kernels cut off
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained (optional)

dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp agave or honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Drizzle chopped potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden.

Whisk dressing ingredients together and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine roasted potatoes, blanched green beans, grilled corn kernels, basil and capers.  Pour half of the dressing on the salad, taste and adjust seasoning and/or add more dressing.  Serve warm or at room temperature.