Salmon Nicoise Salad

Plated Salmon Nicoise Salad.JPG

Hello, friends!  It's been quite a while since my last post.  This season has been a packed one that seems to have flown by.  I was super excited to get away this Memorial Day weekend.  Kyle and I took a trip to the ranch, which meant no phones or computers or social media - just family, exploring, reading, writing and grilling.  It was just the right balance of exploration and rest. We navigated our way along streams that opened to fresh pools of cold water surrounded by the greenest grass (a very unique find in the Texas - New Mexico desert) and we made ourselves at home on the large rocking chairs that lined our front porch with plenty of reading and writing material in hand (& morning visits from our peacock friend, which you know about if you saw my IG post, ha).  Given the time and lack of technology, I got to catch up on all of my fun reading, brainstorm new recipes and articles, and start making progress on recipes I have been wanting to post for some time now.

As summer is quickly approaching, I thought getting my Salmon Nicoise Salad up would be a good first step.  It's fairly simple to throw together and, although a salad, it is hearty enough for a filling and satisfying weeknight or weekend dinner.  Not only is it simple and filling but wild salmon is also reaching its peak season as we speak, making it a perfect time to give this recipe a try!  Parts of this salad can also be prepped ahead of time, which is great if you're making this for company and want more time to talk and hang out vs being in the kitchen. I'm excited to finally get this recipe up and here it is - my Salmon Nicoise Salad.  It's recipe that friends and family have enjoyed these last few months and I think you will enjoy as well!

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

SALMON NICOISE SALAD

Serves 3 - 4

INGREDIENTS (for Salad):

Ingredients.JPG
  • Two 6-ounce salmon filets
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium lemon, sliced into 6 thin slices
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced (about 4 cups diced raw)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, to cook potatoes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives (drained of juice)
  • 2 tablespoons capers (drained of juices)
  • 3 cups mixed greens
  • Champagne Vinaigrette - see recipe below

INGREDIENTS (for Dressing):

  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and place both salmon filets on baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle salmon filets with a pinch of salt and cracked pepper (<1/8 teaspoon salt on each).
  4. Top each salmon filet with 3 slices of lemon, covering the length of the filet and set salmon aside.
  5. Line separate large baking sheet with parchment paper (may need 2 - see step #7).
  6. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
  7. Spread the potatoes out onto the large prepared baking sheet (use 2 baking sheets if the pan gets too crowded).
  8. Place sweet potatoes in the preheated 400 degree oven on the top rack and cook for about 35 minutes, flipping the potatoes about 15 - 20 minutes into cooking.  If cooking potatoes on bottom shelf, turn or stir about 10 minutes into cooking to prevent burning on one side.
  9. While potatoes cook, add capers, olives, tomatoes, and mix greens to a bowl and set aside.
  10. Now start the green beans..  Fill a medium pot with about 1/2 - inch water and bring to a boil.  Add the steamer basket to the pot followed by the green beans.  Cover the pot and allow beans to steam about 5 minutes.  After the beans have cooked, turn the burner off but leave beans in the basket covered to stay warm.
  11. When the potatoes have about 15 minutes left, add the salmon filets to the oven and cook for another 15 - 20 minutes (cooking time of salmon will vary.  A general rule is to cook the salmon 10 minutes for every inch thickness). 
  12. While the salmon & sweet potatoes cook, make the dressing by whisking together all dressing ingredients.  Or add to a small jar and shake really well!
  13. Add about 1 tablespoon of the dressing to the greens-caper mix and toss to combine.
  14. After the last 15 minutes, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and turn the oven on broil, cooking just the salmon filets about 1 more minute.  The lemons will brown and caramelize slightly.  Remove from the oven.
  15. Now that all items are cooked, to a dinner plate:  Place 1/2 salad mix.  Add 3/4 cup green beans to one side of plate.  Add 3/4 cup of sweet potatoes to another side of plate.  Flake the warm salmon in the middle.
  16. Serve with the remaining dressing, caramelized lemon slices and warm crusty bread.
  17. Enjoy!

 

 

what's in this??

Green Beans:  folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A

Sweet Potatoes:  beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese

Lemons: vitamin C

Dressing:  monounsaturated fat, vitamin E

Salmon:  omega 3 fatty acids, protein, B12, selenium

Spinach:  vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron

 

fun nutrition facts - salmon

Did you know what the different types of salmon mean?  I didn't really until recently when I asked the man at the fish counter about it and then read an article on it in my new Cook's Illustrated magazine.  Yes, knowing the difference between these can play a role in what you choose from a nutrition perspective, but it may also help your friend or family member like salmon!  Salmon can certainly be a fishier fish, but some varieties are more mild than others.  Here is a brief rundown of what I now know....

WILD SALMON (Coho / King / Sockeye) - leaner, tougher, a stronger flavor

FARM RAISED (Atlantic / King salmon) - milder flavor, more omega-3's (fattier fish), a softer, flakier texture (some say "buttery").

Want more details on the salmon varieties?  There's a good overview here. (Thanks Cook's Illustrated!) or here (thanks Food & Nutrition magazine)!

 

 

 

tomato caper prep.JPG
 Dressing whisked!

Dressing whisked!

 olive mix &amp; greens tossed together with dressing and added as base of dinner plate&nbsp;

olive mix & greens tossed together with dressing and added as base of dinner plate 

 Layer roasted sweet potatoes, steamed green beans &amp; flaked salmon to dish.&nbsp; Serve with the roasted lemon slices.

Layer roasted sweet potatoes, steamed green beans & flaked salmon to dish.  Serve with the roasted lemon slices.

Cinnamon Apple Tarts! A light, flakey & subtly sweet dessert

If you haven't already realized or, if you are new to my blog, I'm all about delicious but simple and stress-free recipes and meals.  I eat most foods but, in this space, you'll find a bit healthier recipes.  I'm out to prove that healthier meals can be delicious, that they don't equal deprivation AND that they don't have to be complicated.  And, seeing as my background is in mainly wellness, exercise and sports nutrition (both adult and pediatric), my recipes are all created with this theme in mind.  I have a few principles that I follow when thinking up dinners,  principles that work whether I am cooking for one, cooking for the family, or cooking for an entire house of guests.  I won't go into detail about them today but I can tell you that following these is what allows me to create balance and keep flavor at our table each week.  These principles are getting summed up in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy today's recipe, these Cinnamon Apple Tarts, that are just sweet enough, light enough and simple enough to make the menu of many celebratory and more time-consuming meals. 

A little story behind their creation...

AC Tarts Cover photo 2JPG.JPG

These apple cinnamony treats came about when Kyle and I were having my Bible Study leader and her husband over for dinner.  I have been in her Bible Study for probably about 5 years to the point that she is like family.  She even flew up to Memphis to attend my mom's funeral, a woman she had never met.  I got to know her husband through being at their house every other week for Bible Study and through our church.  After I met Kyle, they welcomed him into their lives, joining us for dinners and brunches and lending words of wisdom when we needed it.  Her husband actually ended up being one of the ministers that married us.  So, with all of this to say, these were some very special dinner guests.  That night I, with Kyle as my sous chef :) , made some of my favorite dishes - a Roasted Beef Tenderloin with a Rosemary Chocolate and Wine Sauce (thank you, Ellie Krieger!!  This dish is delicious and one of my favorites for special occasions and entertaining!), roasted root veggies, spinach and brown butter gnocchi and a mixed greens salad.  This might sound complicated but it fits perfectly with those "Three Principles for Simplified Dinners".

For these tarts - the key to preparing them is pulling the pastry dough out of the freezer before dinner begins because they need about 40ish minutes to thaw.  You can either have your apples already sliced or do a quick slice after dinner before throwing them in the oven.  On this particular occasion, I had the pastry thawing and then, as everyone was taking their last bites of dinner, I tucked away into the kitchen, assembled the tarts (using apples I had sliced before dinner) and then baked them in the oven for about 15 minutes while I joined the rest of the conversation.  When they were done I broiled them for just a minute and then plated them and served each with a ramekin of cold and creamy Blue Bell vanilla bean ice cream (everything is better with Blue Bell in this house).  They were simple and light, the perfect ending to a satisfying and filling meal.

So, here you go - my recipe for Cinnamon Apple Tarts.  I hope they bring your future dinners many happy endings :)

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

CINNAMON APPLE TARTS: a light, flakey & subtly sweet dessert

Makes 18 tarts 

CA Tarts Ingredients.JPG

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 rectangles of a puff pastry sheet, thawed for about 45 minutes
  • 1 red apple (like golden delicious)
  • 1/2 green apple (like granny smith)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of regular sugar
  • 4 teaspoons honey

 

DIRECTIONS:

 1.&nbsp; Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and dust a baking sheet with flour.  2.&nbsp; Using 6 of the long rectangular sheets of puff pastry, cut each into 3 smaller squares (should end up with 18 squares).  3.&nbsp; Slice each apple in half.&nbsp; Then, place cut side of each apple half on cutting board cut into another half lengthwise,&nbsp;along the length of the core.&nbsp; Keeping apple in that same position, begin slicing from the side you just cut, inwards.&nbsp; Repeat with each section of apple so that you have 32 red apple slices and 16 green apple slices.

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and dust a baking sheet with flour.

2.  Using 6 of the long rectangular sheets of puff pastry, cut each into 3 smaller squares (should end up with 18 squares).

3.  Slice each apple in half.  Then, place cut side of each apple half on cutting board cut into another half lengthwise, along the length of the core.  Keeping apple in that same position, begin slicing from the side you just cut, inwards.  Repeat with each section of apple so that you have 32 red apple slices and 16 green apple slices.

 4.&nbsp; Layer the top of each pastry square with 3 apple slices - 2 red and 1 green.

4.  Layer the top of each pastry square with 3 apple slices - 2 red and 1 green.

 5.&nbsp; Drizzle apple slices with half of the honey and sprinkle with cinnamon (I really just eyeball the honey I drizzle on each tart.&nbsp; Don't stress about being super precise - just have fun drizzling a little over each tart, saving enough to drizzle each again in a little bit!)  6.&nbsp; Place the pastry squares on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes.  7.&nbsp; At 8 minutes,&nbsp;remove the tarts, drizzle with remainder of the honey and bake for about 5 - 8 minutes more.  8.&nbsp; After baking, remove tarts from the oven and turn the oven to broil.&nbsp; Sprinkle each tart with a little granulated sugar and place under the broiler for about 30 to 60 seconds until the tops are browned and caramelized..&nbsp; Make sure to watch them so they don't burn!&nbsp; &nbsp;

5.  Drizzle apple slices with half of the honey and sprinkle with cinnamon (I really just eyeball the honey I drizzle on each tart.  Don't stress about being super precise - just have fun drizzling a little over each tart, saving enough to drizzle each again in a little bit!)

6.  Place the pastry squares on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes.

7.  At 8 minutes, remove the tarts, drizzle with remainder of the honey and bake for about 5 - 8 minutes more.

8.  After baking, remove tarts from the oven and turn the oven to broil.  Sprinkle each tart with a little granulated sugar and place under the broiler for about 30 to 60 seconds until the tops are browned and caramelized..  Make sure to watch them so they don't burn!   

 9.&nbsp; Remove finished tarts from the oven and let sit a moment while you scoop out ice cream,&nbsp;pour your coffee, or put together whatever you choose to serve them with :)

9.  Remove finished tarts from the oven and let sit a moment while you scoop out ice cream, pour your coffee, or put together whatever you choose to serve them with :)

 10.&nbsp; Serve and enjoy!

10.  Serve and enjoy!

Serve it again!

Store any uneaten tarts in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.  When ready to eat again, remove from fridge and place on foil or baking sheet.  Reheat in a preheated 350 F oven for about 10 minutes.

Breakfast anyone?  While not the best pre or post - exercise breakfast, these make a great accompaniment if hosting a big weekend brunch or they serve as perfect leisurely weekend homemade pastry.

 

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Cinnamon Apple Tarts
Light, flakey and subtly sweet
Ingredients
  • 6 rectangles of a puff pastry sheet, thawed for about 45 minutes
  • 1 red apple (like golden delicious)
  • 1/2 green apple (like granny smith)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A pinch regular sugar
  • 4 teaspoons honey
Instructions
1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and dust a baking sheet with flour.2. Using 6 of the long rectangular sheets of puff pastry, cut each into 3 smaller squares / rectangles (should end up with 18 squares).3.  Slice each apple in half.  Then, place cut side of each apple half on cutting board cut into another half lengthwise, along the length of the core.  Keeping apple in that same position, begin slicing from the side you just cut, inwards.  Repeat with each section of apple so that you have 32 red apple slices and 16 green apple slices.4.  Layer the top of each pastry square with 3 apple slices - 2 red and 1 green.5.  Drizzle apple slices with half of the honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.6.  Place the pastry squares on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes.7.  At 8 minutes, remove the tarts, drizzle with remainder of the honey and bake for about 5 - 8 minutes more.8.  After baking, remove tarts from the oven and turn the oven to broil.  Sprinkle each tart with a little granulated sugar and place under the broiler for about 45 to 60 seconds until the tops are browned and caramelized..  Make sure to watch them so they don't burn!   9.  Remove finished tarts from the oven and let sit a moment while you scoop out ice cream, pour your coffee, or put together whatever you choose to serve them with :)10.  Serve and enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 18 tarts

Roasted Red Pepper & Pesto Chicken Salad

A chicken salad with pesto and home roasted red peppers.  It's mayo-free and packed with flavor!

Friends, this chicken salad is so scrumptious. I wish I could hand you a sample through the screen!  I tested this recipe a few times because I couldn't get the chicken how I wanted it.  I quickly learned that if the chicken isn't cooked like you want it then the final product will not be exactly what you want.  However, once I mastered the basic chicken breasts, the rest of the recipe was a breeze!  You can learn how I perfected the chicken breast and find my recipe for fool-proof tender juicy chicken by clicking here!

After I determined the best way to cook my chicken I added just TWO simple ingredients and, voila!, a delicious, tender, flavor-packed chicken salad.  It's the perfect protein-packed AND flavor-packed lunch to keep you energized throughout your day. 

I love chicken salads like this because they are such an easy way to get my protein at lunch.  I especially appreciate this when I have had an intense resistance workout early in the morning before work.  Because our bodies can only utilize about 20 - 30 grams of protein at one time for muscle building and repair, it's important to have your protein present in not only the meal following your workout but also each meal and snack throughout the day (if you're trying to build or simply maintain muscle mass for your sport, personal goals, or general health and well-being).  This is a protein - packed recipe that does not disappoint!  It stays tender and moist throughout the week and it keeps its flavor while passing on the higher saturated fat mayonnaise common in so many chicken salads.  

This recipe usually gets me about 3 to 4 lunches, depending on how big I make my portions :).  I really do make this all the time and am super excited to share it with you today!  Make sure you read to the very end for ways to use this one recipe for a variety of deliciously simple meals throughout the week!

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

ROASTED RED PEPPER & PESTO CHICKEN SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.75 pounds raw boneless skinless chicken breast (should make about 3 cups cooked shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 of a fresh lemon, cut into quarters
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 4 tablespoons jarred pesto

DIRECTIONS:

 1.&nbsp; Prepare chicken by roasting according to my  Tender Juicy Oven - Baked Chicken Breasts  recipe.

1.  Prepare chicken by roasting according to my Tender Juicy Oven - Baked Chicken Breasts recipe.

 2.&nbsp; While the chicken roasts, prepare your roasted red bell peppers by following the recipe in my   DIY Roasted Red Bell Pepper   post!

2.  While the chicken roasts, prepare your roasted red bell peppers by following the recipe in my DIY Roasted Red Bell Pepper post!

 3.&nbsp; Once the chicken is cooked, allow to rest for about 5 minutes.  4.&nbsp; Then, using two forks, shred the chicken to bite-size pieces.&nbsp; The chicken should still be hot and should shred easily.

3.  Once the chicken is cooked, allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

4.  Then, using two forks, shred the chicken to bite-size pieces.  The chicken should still be hot and should shred easily.

 5.&nbsp; Add the pesto to your warm chicken and toss to combine.&nbsp; You want the chicken to still be warm so that it really absorbs all of the flavors in the pesto.&nbsp; Mmmmmm :)

5.  Add the pesto to your warm chicken and toss to combine.  You want the chicken to still be warm so that it really absorbs all of the flavors in the pesto.  Mmmmmm :)

 6.&nbsp; Add in your warm roasted red bell peppers and toss to combine until all ingredients are well incorporated.

6.  Add in your warm roasted red bell peppers and toss to combine until all ingredients are well incorporated.

 7.&nbsp; Serve or store and enjoy!

7.  Serve or store and enjoy!

 

IDEAS FOR MIXING IT UP!

I love recipes that can be incorporated numerous ways to make a variety of dishes.  This recipe happens to be one of my favorites of these type of recipes.  Here are all different ways you can incorporate this chicken salad to keep dishes interesting, delicious and energizing throughout the week!

  • Serve it on its own with whole grain crackers and a side of fruit
  • Warm it up (or serve immediately after preparing) and serve it over penne pasta for dinner
  • Keep it cold and toss in bowtie pasta for a fun picnic lunch
  • Serve it over a bed of spinach and add small cubes of mozzarella cheese for a Spinach Chicken Salad
  • Pile it between two slices of your favorite bread, add a slice of mozzarella cheese or sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over the top and place in a panini press (or press it in a skillet over the stove) for a warm Italian Pesto Chicken Panini

 

nutritio notes:

Chicken:  protein, vitamin B12

Pesto:  monounsaturated fats, vitamin E

Red Bell Pepper:  vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber

 

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Roasted Red Pepper & Pesto Chicken Salad
A CHICKEN SALAD WITH PESTO AND HOME ROASTED RED PEPPERS.  IT'S MAYO-FREE AND PACKED WITH FLAVOR!
Ingredients
  • 1.75 ounces (should make about 3 cups cooked shredded) Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon Olive oil
  • 1/2 Fresh lemon (cut into quarters)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2 medium Red bell peppers
  • 4 tablespoons Jarred pesto
Instructions
1.  Prepare chicken by roasting according to my Tender Juicy Oven - Baked Chicken Breasts recipe.2.  While the chicken roasts, prepare your roasted red bell peppers by following the recipe in my DIY Roasted Red Bell Pepper post!3.  Once the chicken is cooked, allow to rest for about 5 minutes.4.  Then, using two forks, shred the chicken to bite-size pieces.  The chicken should still be hot and should shred easily.5.  Add the pesto to your warm chicken and toss to combine.  You want the chicken to still be warm so that it really absorbs all of the flavors in the pesto.  Mmmmmm :)6.  Add in your warm roasted red bell peppers and toss to combine until all ingredients are well incorporated.7.  Serve or store and enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: About 4.5 cups

 

 

Pesto Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauli side shot.JPG

Wow, it was a fast moving February, which I'm pretty sure is going to turn into a fast moving March!  Kyle and I accomplished a trip to Houston and a trip to Mexico City, Birthday celebrations for him, engagement celebrations for friends, a new Bible Study, lots of work travel for Kyle and tons of work checklists and Board meetings for me.  Wowzers.  And in one short week we are taking off to Israel!  Detailed meal planning has been at an all-time low and needless to say, my quick and simple favorites have really come to the rescue lately!

One fairly new quick and simple side that I want to share with you today, and that I have been making on the regular lately, is my Pesto Roasted Cauliflower.  If you have noticed in my posts, I have been making a lot of roasted cauliflower this year AND using lots of pesto (it is such a SIMPLE way to add a LOT of flavor!).  After basically making these two components a weekly constant, Kyle and I then went to grab a quick bite at Celebration and one of their vegetables of the day was a pesto roasted cauliflower.  Hello!?!?!  Why had I not thought of that?!

So, the next week pesto roasted cauliflower was absolutely on the menu.  I love this dish because it carries so much flavor on its own that you don't need to worry about having super flavor-packed fancy items to go with it.  I love this as a side to beef or pork tenderloin, chicken or salmon, or added into a bowl for lunch.  You could even chop it up finely and add to scrambled eggs in the morning.  Such a good prepped veggie to have around for the week.

So, here you go - my recipe for Pesto Roasted Cauliflower...

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

 

Pesto Roasted Cauliflower

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small to medium head of cauliflower, chopped and rinsed (about 4 to 5 cups raw)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon + 1 - 2 teaspoons jarred pesto

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, drizzle cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat.
  3. Spread the cauliflower out evenly over the baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for about 20 minutes (see my first picture in this post for a visual).
  4. After 20 minutes, remove cauliflower from the oven, scoop the cauliflower into that same mixing bowl, add the pesto, and mix with a rubber spatula to coat the cauliflower evenly with pesto.
  5. Scoop the cauliflower back onto the baking sheet, place back in the oven and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until fork-tender and some of the smallest pieces are getting crispy.
  6. Remove baking sheet with cauliflower from the oven and allow to sit about 5 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately or allow to cool completely and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for meals later in the week!

 

WHAT'S IN THIS?

Cauliflower provides a lot of VITAMIN C and FIBER

Vitamin C... helps strengthen the immune system and prevent infections

Fiber... great for a healthy digestive system, helps fill you up, can help lower cholesterol

 

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Pesto Roasted Cauliflower
A simple side that packs tons of flavor. A great go-to any day or night of the week.
Ingredients
  • 1 small (or 4 - 5 cups raw) head of cauliflower, chopped & rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 - 2 teaspoons jarred pesto (or homemade)
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.2. In a large mixing bowl, drizzle cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat. 3. Spread the cauliflower out evenly over the baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for about 20 minutes.4. After 20 minutes, remove baking sheet from the oven, scoop the cauliflower into that same mixing bowl, add the pesto, and mix with a rubber spatula to coat the cauliflower evenly with pesto.5. Scoop the cauliflower back onto the baking sheet, place back in the oven and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until fork-tender and some of the smallest pieces are getting crispy.6. Remove baking sheet with cauliflower from the oven and allow to sit about 5 minutes.7. Serve immediately or allow to cool completely and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for meals later in the week!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:

 

 

 

Tender Juicy Oven-Baked Chicken Breasts

TENDER JUICY OVEN-BAKED CHICKEN BREASTS:  Boneless skinless chicken breasts you'll actually look forward to eating!

Baked Tender Chicken.JPG

 

Raise your hand if you're too familiar with dry bland cooked chicken breasts.  Taking it a step further, who instantly associates "baked chicken" with "tough" or "flavorless"?  I was absolutely one of those people!  Even some of my chicken salads with all of the dressing and mix-ins would end up dry.  That chicken would absorb any moisture in a 10 foot radius before I even had a chance to put it in the fridge!

Well, one weekend last month, I decided enough was enough.  I did a little online searching, comparing different blogs and websites and came up with this method of baking my chicken breasts.  It was still pretty quick prep and to my excitement, it came out of the oven so tender and juicy.  Even better, it stayed fairly tender and moist the following days, whether I shredded it and incorporated it over a spinach salad, added it to tacos or a flatbread, or mixed it with a dressing and turned it into a fun chicken salad!

I love this method because it acts as a base from which you can add whatever flavors you want, from herbs and spices to a variety of vinegars, and you still have a moist, tender chicken dish.  Or you can keep it simple, adding only a little salt and pepper, to incorporate in various dishes throughout the week!  Keep reading for this short and simple trick to Tender, Juicy Oven - Baked Chicken!

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

TENDER JUICY OVEN-BAKED CHICKEN

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Makes 2 Chicken Breasts

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 - 1.5 pounds raw boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 or less teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 of a whole lemon, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter (or less) or cooking spray, to grease one side of parchment paper that goes over the chicken.

 

DIRECTIONS:

 1.&nbsp; Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  2.&nbsp; Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  3.&nbsp; Place chicken breasts on the parchment paper and brush chicken breasts with the olive oil.  4.&nbsp; Sprinkle chicken with the salt.  5.&nbsp; Place the 4 pieces of lemon on the baking sheet with the chicken.

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3.  Place chicken breasts on the parchment paper and brush chicken breasts with the olive oil.

4.  Sprinkle chicken with the salt.

5.  Place the 4 pieces of lemon on the baking sheet with the chicken.

 6.&nbsp; Butter or spray with vegetable spray a second piece of parchment paper that is big enough to fit over the baking sheet and seal in the chicken and lemon wedges (I usually just take a stick of butter and run it over the surface of the parchment paper until the paper is pretty coated with a thin layer) .

6.  Butter or spray with vegetable spray a second piece of parchment paper that is big enough to fit over the baking sheet and seal in the chicken and lemon wedges (I usually just take a stick of butter and run it over the surface of the parchment paper until the paper is pretty coated with a thin layer) .

 7.&nbsp; Place that second sheet of parchment paper butter / oil - side - down over the chicken and lemon wedges and seal around the sides of the baking sheet.

7.  Place that second sheet of parchment paper butter / oil - side - down over the chicken and lemon wedges and seal around the sides of the baking sheet.

 8.&nbsp; Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

8.  Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

 9.&nbsp; Your final product should be super easy to slice with a knife, or shred with two forks and no longer pink in the middle.&nbsp; If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken should read 165 degrees F.  10.&nbsp; Serve right away or save for meals later in the week!

9.  Your final product should be super easy to slice with a knife, or shred with two forks and no longer pink in the middle.  If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken should read 165 degrees F.

10.  Serve right away or save for meals later in the week!

 

WHAT'S IN THIS???

Chicken provides us with protein, niacin, vitamin B6, among other nutrients.

1 ounce of cooked chicken has about 7 grams of protein.

 

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Tender Juicy Oven-Baked Chicken Breasts
Boneless skinless chicken breasts you'll actually look forward to eating!
Ingredients
  • 1 - 1.5 pounds raw boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon or less kosher salt
  • 1/2 whole lemon, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter (or spray of cooking spray) - to grease one side of the parchment paper that covers the chicken
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.3. Place chicken breasts on the parchment paper and brush chicken breasts with the olive oil.4. Sprinkle chicken with the salt.5. Place the 4 pieces of lemon on the baking sheet with the chicken.6. Butter or spray with vegetable spray a second piece of parchment paper that is big enough to fit over the baking sheet and seal in the chicken and lemon wedges (I usually just take a stick of butter and run it over the surface of the parchment paper until the paper is pretty coated with a thin layer) .7. Place that second sheet of parchment paper butter / oil - side - down over the chicken and lemon wedges and seal around the sides of the baking sheet.8. Bake the chicken in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.9. Your final product should be super easy to slice with a knife or shred with two forks and no longer be pink in the middle. If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken should read 165 degrees F.10. Serve right away or save for meals later in the week!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 chicken breasts