Taste & Create: Balsamic Chicken with Vegetables

Last week our favorite “farmers” market (a grocery store, but focused on produce, bulk foods, fresh items, etc.) had boneless, skinless chicken breasts on for $1.67 per lb. Since we are using more lean protein, we stocked up. Okay, that is an understatement. We packed our tiny little freezer right to the ice maker!

So, when my Taste & Create partner was announced, I ♥ Food 4 Thought, I went straight to the categories on her site and selected chicken. One dish immediately caught my eye, the Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms. Let me tell you, it is delcious! In fact, I have already made it a few times. The first time I followed the recipe exactly, and then I added in some of her suggestions and a few of my own tweeks.

Thank you Clara – this is a great light and easy dish! So light in fact, that you should be able to justify some dessert from her other blog, I ♥ Cuppycakes.

balsamic chicken

Balsamic Chicken with Vegetables
Recipe adapted from I ♥ Food 4 Thought
This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, and Soy-Free

This dish can be made on the fly, but it is best if you plan ahead, and let the chicken marinade for at least 4 to 24 hours.

  • 1 lb Chicken Breasts
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Crushed Garlic or 4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 8 Ounces Mushrooms, halved or quartered (depending on size)
  • 1 Small Onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 Medium Zucchini, sliced

Spread the chicken out in a dish. Combine the vinegar, mustard, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour 3 Tablespoons of this mixture over the chicken, flipping it to coat, and cover. Cover the leftover marinade. Place the chicken and leftover marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours if you have the time.

When ready to cook, heat the teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat, moving it around to cover (can use cooking spray instead). Add the chicken along with all of its marinade (not the reserved marinade) and cook until it is cooked through (no pink left in the middle) – I cover it to retain moisture – flipping only once. Remove the chicken and divide it among your serving plates.

Add the onions to your skillet, and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add the zucchini and reserved marinade, and cook for 2 more minutes, followed by the mushrooms, cooking until all the vegetables reach your desired doneness. Serve the vegetables alongside the chicken. If desired, this dish goes nicely with a grain, such as brown rice or quinoa.

Want some Broccoli?: Instead of the zucchini use 6 to 8 ounces of broccoli florets. Add the florets after just one minute of cooking the onion, along with 1 tablespoon of broth, wine, or water. Cover, and allow the broccoli to cook for a few minutes, before removing the lid and adding the reserved marinade and mushrooms.  Proceed cooking until the vegetables are done to your liking. Since the mushrooms will release some additional liquid, you may want to sprinkle on a little flour to thicken the sauce.

Note: If there is any leftover sauce that looks a bit runny, I like to thicken it for a minute or two after I plate the vegetables, by sprinkling in just a little bit of flour (your choice) and whisking over the heat then drizzling it over the chicken and veggies.

Yields 2 to 4 servings (depending on your appetite, and if you serve it with a grain)

Balsamic Chicken

Taste & Create: Sautéed Lemon-Garlic Broccoli(ni)

Is there such a thing as too much broccoli? No seriously. The fact that I ate half a pound of broccoli in one sitting doesn’t indicate that I have a problem does it?  Perhaps I have a slight love for those little green trees, or perhaps this recipe was just too darn good.

Let me start from the beginning to work this out …

tasteandcreatelogoSo I signed up for Taste & Create. I have been hesitant on joining any of the blogger cooking/baking events, as I kind of panic when it comes to having to cook a specific recipe. But, I liked the idea of picking a recipe from an assigned blog (with some options) to try out. You see, when it comes to trying new recipes, I tend to be a commitment-phobe. I bookmark and clip a bazillion recipes, but my execution rate, well, it’s pretty dismal. This blogging event would force me out of my little box.

For my first Taste & Create event, I was assigned to LET THEM EAT CAKE … and all things baked! She is a relatively new blogger, launching her inaugural post in January of this year, but already a veteran in the blogger event world. I hope I don’t disappoint, but contrary to the blog name, I, for once, did not choose a baking recipe. Nope. I went for a humble, yet insanely delicious, broccoli side dish. This recipe is from her participation in the Barefoot Bloggers events, tributes to all recipes Ina Garten. It was my first recipe from Ms. Ina, and she definitely did not let me down.


While broccoli may not seem adventurous to some, I really hadn’t ventured beyond steamed and sprinkled with salt, so a new flavor or two was in order. The original recipe called for Broccolini. I realize this baby vegetable has become quite hot on the internet, but I could only find it at Whole Foods … at $2.49 for a pitiful little bunch! But… beautiful broccoli crowns were on sale at my local grocer for just $.78 per pound! Come on, which would you choose? On my behalf, I cut the broccoli into strips using more of the stem, so they looked kind of like broccolini … well, sort of.

I made a few little changes to the recipe to make it my own and to keep it dairy-free. I also found, that if you wanted to go lower in fat, you should be able to get away with just a wee bit less oil … perhaps 1-1/2 tablespoons or 4 teaspoons. Though I wouldn’t go lighter than that, and I did like it with the full amount (I used coconut oil … just love the rich flavor).

Sautéed Lemon-Garlic Broccoli(ni)
Taste & Create recipe idea from: LET THEM EAT CAKE … and all things baked!
Recipe adapted from: The Food Network / Ina Garten
This Recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, and Vegan

  • 1 lb (16oz / 454g) Broccolini, Broccoli Florets, or Broccoli cut into Broccolini-like Strips
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, plus a dash for the boiling water
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Heaping Teaspoon Grated Lemon Zest + 1 Tablespoon Juice from that Lemon
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil with a dash of salt. Add the broccoli and allow it to cook for 2 minutes. Drain the broccoli immediately, and submerge it in a bowl of ice water to quickly stop the cooking process.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the lemon zest and garlic and give it a quick stir.  Drain the broccoli well, and add it to the sauté pan. Sauté the broccoli for just 2 minutes or until it is heated through. Add the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper, and toss well before serving.

Yields 4 Servings (or 2 if you eat as much broccoli as I do)