It’s the last official day of summer, but despite the multiple 85° days in the forecast, the Fall season’s lifestyle began several weeks ago. I’ve never been one to rue the end of summer. As the days sadly get shorter, I revel in the crisper air, the beauty of the changing leaves and gloriously sunny blue skies. I love the fun, social energy of tailgating and football games, and perhaps most of all, anticipating my return to my favorite place on Earth: Canyon Ranch, Tucson…which is the epitome of a soul and spirit-rejuvenator. (Pssst: it’s not too late to join me there next month! 😉
Admittedly, however, September is also an extremely busy time which is why I think this month’s Recipe Redux theme: Sheet Pan Dinners is so timely. Throwing together healthy ingredients – especially the end-of-summer garden bounty – and roasting on a sheet pan couldn’t be easier. You barely even need a recipe (my favorite way to cook) and clean-up is a breeze.
My sister’s first real summer gardening experience was wildly successful producing bumper crops of shishito peppers, baby eggplant and tomatoes. Oh and the cucumbers – how could I forget the cucumbers? They were “over” a few weeks ago but the eggplant and tomatoes continue to rage on. No complaints here. Roasting tomatoes to their most delicious, carmelized potential, requires a bit more time than this sheet pan meal takes which is why I recommend either roasting the tomatoes in advance or roasting them while you’re preparing the chicken and other vegetables. When they’re about half way done you can add the rest of the ingredients to the pan.If you’re thinking that this looks like a “family size” meal and too much for just one or two people, you’re right…and also lucky because you’ve cooked only once but have a high fiber and protein lunch to-go for at least the next day or two. A win-win. Keep in mind that pretty much any vegetables will work here. Use your imagination, or whatever is in your fridge.
Be sure to scroll down and check out my fellow Reduxers Sheet Pan creations. There’s (at least!) one to fit every eating style!
- 2 large, organic chicken breasts
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 T. lemon zest
- 2 T. fresh Tarragon, chopped
- 1/4 c. lemon juice
- 2 T. olive oil
- 4-5 medium tomatoes, washed, trimmed and cut into wedges
- 3-4 baby eggplant or 1 medium-large eggplant
- 2-3 cups Brussels sprouts
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake)
- Olive oil spray
- Kosher or Sea Salt and freshly ground Pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray or olive oil. Place tomato wedges on foil, spray with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 30 minutes.
- While tomatoes are roasting, cut chicken breasts into large bite-sized pieces.
- In a medium bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, tarragon and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces and stir to thoroughly coat pieces. Set aside.
- Wash mushrooms and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Wash and trim eggplant and cut into large bite-size pieces.
- Wash, trim and halve Brussels Sprouts
- After tomatoes have roasted at least 30 minutes, remove from oven and increase temp. to 425°
- Using a spatula, push tomatoes to one end of the pan.
- Add each vegetable -separately- in rows to the sheet pan. Put the mushrooms in the middle, and ideally, the Brussels sprouts (or the firmest vegetable you're using) at the end.
- Lightly spray vegetables only with Olive oil.
- Return pan to oven and roast for 30 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through and Brussel Sprouts are softened, yet becoming crispy on the edges.
- Serve immediately or allow to cool before storing in containers in the fridge for your easy-peazy, healthy to-go lunch tomorrow...or both 😉