Are you looking for an easy healthy weeknight meal? Try this maple-glazed asparagus and carrot with flavorful grilled chicken breast.
Weeknight meals can quickly get overwhelming and repetitive. You can easily find yourself grabbing junk food to keep up. I know there are days when I don't want to be bothered to make dinner after the stress of a long commute or running around completing errands, and the list goes on.
STOCKING UP YOUR PANTRY
The advice I give to family and friends is to plan your grocery list around your meals. You don't have to meal prep during the weekend if you don't want to. All you need to prepare a weeknight dinner could be right in your pantry or fridge compartment. Shopping right while doing groceries is vital.
Pin a list of simple weeknight meals that won't take more than an hour from start to finish. Add the items to your shopping list. Stock your pantry with rice, grains, beans, canned goods, Jared goods, corn, pasta, legumes, seeds, oil, sauces, vinegar, baking essentials, herbs and spices, stocks, potatoes, etc. Fresh vegetables could be a little hard as it gets bad quickly.
Get some fruits, milk, eggs, cream, etc. You can always substitute fresh herbs for frozen ones like spinach, kale, green beans, corn, peas, and so on. When you are stocked up, it's a breeze to whip up a meal in no time. You will be surprised at what you can create with what you already have.
USING A STEAMING BASKET FOR VEGETABLES
Asparagus is at its peak season, so it's only wise to take advantage of the nutritious vegetable. If you make this dish, try not to overcook the vegetable if you intend to glaze it. A great way to cook vegetables with all their nutrients intact is by using a steaming basket.
This favorite steamer of mine here keeps my produce crisp when prepared as directed still maintaining its vibrant colors.
When glazing, I prefer using maple syrup. Feel free to use whatever you like or nothing at all. Using some sweetener is the only way to get my kids to eat more vegetables.
Tips to make it work
I usually marinate my chicken and leave it in the refrigerator overnight to soak up some flavor. But, if you, my friend, are pressed for time, 30 minutes to an hour will be fine for the chicken to suck up some flavor still. Look no further for a healthy weeknight meal. Don't let me hold you up; go ahead and give it a try!
MAPLE GLAZED ASPARAGUS AND CARROTS WITH CHICKEN BREAST
- 30 g asparagus
- 1 lbs carrots
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1.6 lbs chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice ( from 1 lemon)
- Mix together smoked paprika, curry powder, minced garlic, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Pat dry the chicken breast with a paper towel, poke chicken with a fork, this will allow the marinade penetrate properly.
- Pour the marinade on the chicken breast, put in a zip-lock bag or cover with cling wrap over a bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight if you want to prep ahead of time.
- In a heavy bottom pan, drizzle any neutral oil of choice (I used grapeseed oil because of its high heat content), let it heat for a few seconds. Place chicken in pan one at a time and allow to cook on each side for 4 to 6 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
FOR THE VEGGIES
- Cut the tough ends of the asparagus, and trim the head of the carrot. Cut the carrots into sticks or however, you wish.
- Place a pot on the stove top with a steamer inserted, making sure that the water you add to the pot doesn’t touch the steamer. Bring to a boil.
- Place carrots in first and allow to steam for 3 minutes, add the asparagus and cover to steam for another 5 minutes, remove from heat (if your steamer is small, do this step one at a time allowing asparagus to cook for 4-5minutes and carrots for 6-8 minutes).
- Drizzle a tablespoon or 2 of oil on a pan, once it’s beginning to get hot, add one clove of minced garlic, stir for a few seconds, immediately add the carrot and asparagus, add the maple syrup and toss. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat.
- plate and serve immediately