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We try to be so good about meal planning, but some weeks it just doesn’t work out. Our goal is to pick a week’s worth of meals over the weekend and go grocery shopping for any ingredients that we need. Some weeks, though, we don’t get to meal planning or don’t get to grocery shopping, or we do both and then forget to thaw meat. Oops. For some reason we have been particularly bad about this lately. Luckily, we have several fast and easy recipes, so during weeks that we slack off, we can still eat healthy, dairy and soy free meals. Some of our favorite quick weekday meals are rosemary chicken and buffalo chicken bites, and I feel like you can never have too many of these options.

I mentioned in my post about chili cheese fries, that my husband recently had the flu, which turned our whole week upside down. We had completed our meal planning, but I only finished half of our necessary shopping. When I looked at the recipes I had planned to make, I was missing at least one ingredient from each. I had chicken thawed but was short on ingredients and trying to think of something different, but still quick and easy. I thought of when I was a college intern and I used to pour a bottle of Italian dressing over chicken and bake it in the oven. It certainly met the quick and easy criteria, but I think the healthiness is debatable at best. Bottled dressings typically have unhealthy oils in them, often contain dairy and soy, and many times include artificial ingredients. So I started researching ingredients in home made Italian dressing, made my own version, and tried it out over chicken, and with rice. The result was delicious, simple, and easy. I promise this only takes about 2 minutes longer than the bottled version!

 

Herbed Chicken and Rice

 

3 cups cooked rice

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried parsley

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp dried basil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp dried thyme

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup olive oil

1 Tbsp Honey

 

  1. Prepare rice according to directions on container, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, trim chicken of all visible fat and cut into desired sizes. Place pieces in a single layer in a glass baking dish.
  3. Combine all herbs and spices in a bowl or measuring cup. Add vinegar, oil, and honey and whisk well to combine.
  4. Pour out 1/3 cup of the dressing mixture for the rice. Pour the rest of the dressing evenly over the chicken. Move the chicken pieces around with a fork to make sure that some dressing gets underneath them to prevent sticking.
  5. Cover the baking dish and bake at 350º for 25 minutes. Uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until cooked through.
  6. Stir the 1/3 cup of dressing into the prepared rice. Serve the chicken over the rice.

 

Tips:

  • To save time, dry ingredients can be mixed ahead of time
  • The dressing makes a great herb vinaigrette, similar to Italian dressing, and can be used on salads, veggies, etc.

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