No holiday required to cozy up to this hearty combination of protein, veggies, and grains to leave you feeling warm and full.
Funny story, the first time I discovered how delicious this combo was, I ate it for about a week straight. I even once snuck in a small container to the movie theater as it was all I could think about. Don’t tell on me!
This meal is also great because it contains foods that you might already have on hand! Especially after Thanksgiving, you might still have some leftover cranberry sauce or Brussels sprouts kicking around. If you don’t have the amazing superfood, pumpkin seeds, you should get some. As soon as you can. Like maybe now.
I hope this is motivation enough to start cooking. You could prep everything and have a ready-to-go meal at any time! Please don’t be overwhelmed by the length of the instructions. They’re worth it!
Wild Rice – did you know wild rice isn’t actually rice? It’s a water grass that grows in rivers and lakes. This is part of what creates its distinct and rich nutty flavor.
Brussels Sprouts – the star of the show, well, to me. The beautiful cruciferous plant full of minerals and B complex vitamins.
Butternut Squash – smooth, creamy, sweet…the perfect pair to brussels sprouts or they can be transformed into a delicious soup! The options are endless with squash.
Balsamic-Glazed Chicken – I love a moist and flavorful grilled chicken breast, though this meal certainly is still good without one.
Cranberry Sauce – sweet, tangy, spiced, warming, full of antioxidants…need I say more?
Pumpkin Seeds – I mean, they’re a super-food, so I also add these gems to a meal whenever I can. Omegas, magnesium, iron, protein, the list of nutrients goes on and on. Plus, they’re in season with the other ingredients!
Balsamic Chicken over Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash with Wild Rice
- SERVES: 4-6
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 10MIN
5-6 Boneless skinless Chicken Breast
1 large Butternut squash
4 cups Brussels Sprouts
1 cup plus 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
¼ cup plus 1 tbs olive oil
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds, toasted
2 tsp garlic powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Cranberry sauce, optional:
1 bag of fresh cranberries
¼ cup raw honey
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ cup fresh orange juice
Zest from 1 orange
Preheat over to 400F
Cube butternut squash. Everyone has their own techniques for this but I find it easiest to start by cutting off each end, with a sharp knife, to make it flat. Then, cut the squash in half so the more round bottom half is separated from the longer top half.
Peel the skin off each half, using a sturdy vegetable peeler. Then cut the bottom half in half again and use a spoon to gut the seeds out. From here, the pieces can be cubed to desired shape and thickness. Place cubes in a glass baking dish. Better directions for cutting squash found here.
Next, wash brussels sprouts and cut each sprout in half. Place all sprouts in their own glass baking dish.
Now, drizzle squash and brussels sprouts with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. About ¼ cup each. Sprinkle with black pepper then toss vegetables so they are all evenly coated.
Bake in oven for about 45 minutes or when they are cooked through and slightly browned.
For the cranberry sauce, mix all ingredients together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until cranberries pop or cook down to desired consistency. It should take about 10 minutes. Can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Okay! The hardest part is done. While the vegetables are roasting, start wild rice and cook according to the directions on package. Usually, wild rice needs a 3:1 ratio of water to rice and needs to steam with a lid for about 45 minutes. The rice should be done when the vegetables are.
While rice is simmering and veggies are roasting, you can begin the balsamic glaze.
Pour ¾ of vinegar into a small baking dish and heat on medium until it reaches a soft boil. Turn down heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until balsamic has thickened. Set aside.
Now, start to prepare chicken. Heat a large skillet over medium heat then drizzle with about 1 tbs of olive oil.
Once hot, carefully add chicken and let sear. Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste. Pour in additional 2 tbs of balsamic vinegar and allow to evaporate and seep through chicken.
Flip chicken breast over, after about 5 minutes, and season other side of chicken.
Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until fully cooked. Once cooked, slather balsamic glaze over each chicken breast until slightly covered.
Once rice and veggies are done, it’s time to plate!
Fluff rice with a fork and toss veggies around with a spatula.
Begin by placing desired amount of rice on plate or bowl, followed by veggies then with chicken breast, sliced or whole.
Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, drop a dollop of cranberry sauce and a drizzle of additional balsamic glaze. Enjoy your wholesome meal!
Leave A Comment