Orange Sage Chicken + Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

 
Orange Sage Chicken + Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts | Jennifer Diaz

It never fails. By the time September rolls around, I'm more than a little fidgety for fall. It's almost as if my mind refuses to accept the reality of the sweltering heat and stifling humidity by occupying itself with dreams of crisp afternoon walks, cozy sweaters, and evenings spent around a bonfire. I've also been known to wear my fall wardrobe a little too early, before it's comfortable or weather appropriate. Because of this slight dilemma, I have a tough time deciding what to make for dinner during such a transitional time of year. I crave warm, savory soups, flavors of cinnamon and clove, and anything containing pumpkin. However, the temperatures here in Tennessee don't quite agree with those flavors yet, so I find myself stuck in somewhat of a "food rut."

After a few weeks of relying on local restaurants to supply the majority of my dinners, I finally mustered up enough motivation to get myself back into the kitchen. I knew I wanted to use sage, since I'd been craving it ever since attending a wedding where they served a delicious mushroom and sage ravioli (a dish that would absolutely be included in my "last meal"). Since it's versatile and relatively difficult to mess up, we always have chicken on hand. As I usually do when I'm unsure of what to make, I gravitated toward an old favorite I hadn't made in a while, and decided to combine sage with a little citrus to satisfy my craving for autumn, while also keeping me present in the spirit of summer. I love how I feel after preparing a healthy, home cooked meal, knowing it's good for my body, budget, and mentality. And as much as I love to be out and about, there's something about being a homebody that speaks to me these days.

Orange Sage Chicken + Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts | Jennifer Diaz

Normally, when we make dinner at home during the week, we think about three things:

  1. Is it relatively quick/easy?
  2. Is it well-balanced?
  3. Will it taste good?

I love trying new recipes and cooking techniques, but on days when I'm packed with clients and appointments, I prefer easier and convenient options. This recipe is a great qualifier (even more so if you food prep ahead of time). Baked chicken is a great source of lean protein, and quinoa is one of my favorite complex carbohydrates. It also contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it the only complete protein that isn't an animal product. Brussels sprouts are considered a cruciferous vegetable, meaning they are rich in sulfur-containing compounds called clucosinolates, which support detoxification, and have been found to greatly reduce the risk of some cancers. They're also a great source of fiber, making our digestive systems very happy!

I plated the chicken with quinoa (made as instructed on the package, with bone or vegetable broth, and a little salt and pepper), but brown rice would also be a great choice!

Orange Sage Chicken + Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts | Jennifer Diaz

I hope this gives you a new healthy option to try on your busy days. And if you're yearning for fall like I am, hang in there, we're getting close!