Food is love. When something major happens in a person’s life, the BEST thing you can do for them is to cook them a meal. It says, “I’m here for you, I’m thinking about you, and I know that sitting in your house talking about it might not be the best thing right now – here’s dinner”. This dish is easy, universally pleasing, and the perfect give away meal. Every time I’ve brought it to someone’s house they thank me for the healthy option; who would have thought that lasagna and baked ziti could become boring so quickly?
I came home from the hospital (after having my daughter) on a Sunday morning, and can still see my friend Kristen walking through the door that afternoon with a dish in her hands. She literally just wanted to give kisses and drop off food – it was incredible. If you haven’t had a baby yet, let me tell you a little something. You come home from the hospital utterly exhausted already, and you hurt everywhere. Like, everywhere. You have NO idea what to do with this tiny person, and in the back of your mind is that fact that you’re already like, 15 overdue for thank you cards. The ONLY good part of this process is getting to hold your baby. Well, in walks well-wishes who say, “here, I’ll hold the baby so you can rest”. “Resting” usually means getting said person a beverage and frantically trying to hide the piles of baby stuff that you
stole from the hospital left on the floor. Also, if you’re anything like I was you will be savagely hungry.
A surgery, death, move, sick kid, etc – BRING A MEAL. It requires you to take some time from your day to do something for someone else, but it will be SO appreciated and make you feel like you’re helping in some way. If your go-to for meal bringing is an Italian casserole, consider this. While delicious, these meals can be “heavy”. If you know the person you are cooking for likes to eat healthy or is watching their weight, be considerate and make your dish healthy! This chicken is under 200 calories per serving and gluten/dairy free. Each serving (if you make with rice) involves protein, veggies, and a grain. To “fill the plate” accompany this dish with a box of organic spring mix.
Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs
You can make this at least 8 hours in advance and keep refrigerated – bake before serving
4 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3/4 c. whole grain mustard
3/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
4 bell peppers, or 2 c. jarred roasted red peppers
olive oil cooking spray
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
4 c. cooked brown rice
1. Combine garlic, mustard, honey, thyme, and cayenne and mix to combine.
2. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and place in Tupperware.
3. To the rest of the mixture, add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (or as long as overnight).
4. To roast peppers, set oven to broil and raise an oven rack to the highest position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and place whole peppers on sheet. Broil until blackened, then turn, until each pepper is thoroughly and completely black. Alternately, this can be down on top of a gas burner. Just put the heat on high and set pepper right in the flame. Using tongs, turn the pepper to blacken all over.
5. As soon as they’re cooked, place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rest about 20 minutes. Remove the blackened skin, stem, and seeds and slice the pepper into strips.
6. While peppers rest, preheat oven to broil and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on sheet and broil for 7-10 minutes or until tops are golden. Turn chicken over and return to oven for about 5 more minutes.
7. Remove chicken and heat oven to 350 degrees.
8. In a 9×13 baking dish, spread cooked rice evenly. Top with chicken, peppers, and reserved sauce. If giving away or serving later, cover with plastic and refrigerate. If cooking immediately, place in oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until heated through.
9. Remove from oven and top with parsley. Serve.