So I’d like to say that one of my main inspirations for starting this blog was to be able to provide budget and time friendly meals for people with limited amounts of both. As a mama, I feel that the free time that I used to have to be creative in the kitchen and throw meals together while sipping a glass of wine are long gone AND I know that doesn’t just hold true for us parents either. People in general–single, engaged, married, kids, no kids–are just BUSIER. I swear busy-ness is going to be the downfall of us all. What seems to suffer the most though when you’re strapped for time? In our family, it’s our food choices. If we’ve all had a long day, usually the last thing anyone wants to do is the making of the meals. The taking out of the meats. The picking of the vegetables. The cooking of said food items. The thinking in general. We’ll be the first to ditch the stove and run out to the local burger joint to stuff our faces. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no shame in ditching the routine and having a little fun during the week if your soul is craving some family time, and if that includes greasy burgers (and your stomach can handle it) then by all means DO IT. And enjoy the heck out of it. The problem arises when that becomes your norm. Because life as we know it is, and will always continue to be BUSY. The trick is finding the tricks that work for you to keep you from that slippery slope as much as possible. For me, it’s about not getting too fancy in the kitchen, especially on weeknights. Now, let me also say this–keeping things simple doesn’t mean they have to be boring or tasteless! You can make beautiful, delicious meals at home that literally take 30 minutes to prepare and cook. And yes, you guessed it, I have the perfect meal for YOU, the on-the-go-doer-of-all-the-things. I have no idea where I got the inspiration for this meal, only that I LOVE the combination of salty and sweet. You can rest assured that a salad prepared by me is going to have some sort of fruit in it. I love anything salted caramel. In fact, Pre-Paleo (PP), I used to eat my popcorn dipped in Coca-Cola. (How weird was I?!!) I digress. This one pot meal is the perfect combination of chicken, tomatoes, grapes, onions, garlic, FRESH basil, and balsamic. What’s not to like about all of those delicious ingredients? AND, it takes 30 minutes to cook and about 5 minutes to prepare. That’s all! One (maybe two if you count the mixing bowl) dish to clean afterwards. It’s seriously my idea of heaven. The one note I will make about this meal is that really try and cook this with FRESH basil. I am all about money saving, but the one place I’ll hardly ever skimp is using fresh herbs for my meals. They take something potentially blah-worthy and turn it into something with really clean, strong flavors that make a weeknight meal feel really special. So here’s my one pot meal, ENJOY!
4-5 chicken breasts, thawed
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup red grapes
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly grease a baking dish (I used 11x9 in) and place chicken breasts in the pan.
- Put tomatoes, grapes, and red onion slices in a medium mixing bowl.
- In separate small bowl mix oil, balsamic, garlic, spices, and fresh basil until well blended.
- Pour oil mixture over grapes, tomatoes, and onions and toss until well coated.
- Pour oil and veggie/grape mixture over chicken breasts in pan to cover evenly.
- Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until chicken is done (time will vary depending on size of breasts)