It’s that time of the year, ya’ll. Peaches are OUT, squash is IN. And APPLES! Did I mention it’s APPLE season? Ben and I are planning on going to Cville next weekend for our annual Carter Mountain apple picking trip. It’s so worth driving 6 hours total for 3ish hours of apple-hoarding, doughnut-nomming, cider-drinking, kiddo-ogling, dog-petting, hayriding, and jam-buying fun. (Maybe it’s less worth it for him, but at least he knows I’m the happiest lady in the world for those three hours!)
Since it’s fall now, I decided my “meal of the week” (read: large casserole that will make leftovers for about 12 days straight) should be some sort of roasted vegetables with an ode to apples. I was over by Trader Joe’s this afternoon, and they were sampling out little cups of the most DELICIOUS spiced apple cider, so of course I had to buy a gallon.
The result of my shopping trip was this roasted root vegetable medley, layered on top of a mixture of brown rice and lentils (inspired by my Chicken Marsala Rice Bake from a few months ago) chopped kale, and topped with chicken breasts and dijon apple cider sauce. I infused a few sprigs of fresh thyme into the cider sauce, as well as into the roasted veggies, to give it a little more harvest flavor.
- 2 butternut squashes, cubed
- 1 acorn squash, cubed
- 5 carrots, sliced thinly
- 2 cups brussels sprouts, quartered
- 1 small carton baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- ½ red onion, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- S+P (about ½ tsp each)
- 6 chicken breasts
- 1 24 oz. carton low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup apple cider (I LOVE the spiced apple cider from TJ's!)
- 1 apple, diced
- 1 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
- 1 cup brown rice medley
- ½ cup lentils
- 5 oz. chopped kale (about ½ bag)
- Preheat oven to 375 deg.
- Chop squash, carrots, brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and onion, and toss in a large baking pan with 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, 3 sprigs thyme (stems removed), garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Roast 15 minutes, stir, and roast 10 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet on medium high. Add chicken breasts and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear until just browned, about 2 min per side. Set aside.
- Add 2 cups chicken broth, 1 cup apple cider, dijon mustard, chopped apple, remaining thyme, and extra salt and pepper. Bring to a boil
- Lower heat to simmering and cover. Simmer about 15-20 minutes until reduced by half.
- In a large casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray, spread an even layer of rice and lentils. Cover with kale and pour remaining chicken broth over top. Add roasted vegetables and wedge in the chicken breasts.
- When sauce is done, pour over top of chicken.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 deg until chicken is cooked through and rice is al dente, about 40 minutes. Uncover and cook 10 minutes more.
I hope you enjoy this healthy Harvest supper just as much as we did!
P.S.Keep an eye out for a special post from our trip to Carter Mountain next weekend!