Another wonderful fall-inspired menu, and you should be able to get it on your table in less than 45 minutes. Cranberry and orange are very complementary and you'll find that this meal provides lots of flavor and texture while being low in calories and carbohydrates. If you don't have quinoa on hand, wild rice is a great alternative. For those with larger appetites, you could easily increase your serving of chicken or have a vegetable on the side, such as a garden salad or roasted brussels sprouts (toss with a little canola oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic, and place in a separate baking dish in the oven next to the chicken).
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 6, 3-4 oz fillets)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. canola oil
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
3/4 cup quinoa, uncooked (can sub wild rice)
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/4 cup pecan chips (or chopped pecans - these will be a bit bigger in size)
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup warm water
Chicken: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush about half the oil onto a medium to large glass baking dish. Arrange chicken fillets on top in a single layer. Brush remaining oil on chicken fillets and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake uncovered in middle rack of preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes or until fillets are lightly browned and are thoroughly cooked. Meanwhile, place orange juice, honey, and vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, continue to cook for about 5 to 10 minutes or until sauce is reduced to about 1/3 cup. Serve 1 tbsp. on each chicken fillet.
Pilaf: Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender. While this is cooking, place dried cranberries in a small bowl with 1/4 cup warm water (this will plump them up). Reduce heat to low and add pecan chips, cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Add cooked quinoa and dried cranberries (drain water), stirring to combine.
Chicken: 6 (1 fillet per serving)
Pilaf: 6 (a heaping half cup per serving, about 3.5 oz)
Chicken: 169 calories, 8 grams carbohydrate (0 grams fiber), 26 grams protein, 3 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated).
Pilaf: 156 calories, 22 grams carbohydrate (3 grams fiber), 4 grams protein, 7 grams fat (2 grams saturated).
Written by Michelle Baglio of Optimal Nutrition and Health (Google+). All recipes, unless otherwise noted, are created and tested in my home kitchen. Any resemblance to other recipes available in print or online is purely coincidental. The use of particular brands and/or products is sometimes noted because of their quality and the use of other products, while similar, may affect the outcome of the finished dish. Please do not reprint this recipe for distribution without my permission. To feature this recipe on your website, please link to this post as the original source.
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