I’m a huge fan of quick and easy dinners, if they can be made with minimal washing up then all the better! If they’re healthy then that’s another plus. But if you can also turn the leftovers into a new tasty lunch then I’m 100% sold!
The inspiration for this dish is pretty simple. I had chicken to cook and I wanted to make a sauce to go with it. However, I wanted to keep it healthy and a lot of sauces are laden with saturated fat and calories – especially creamy sauces or sauces from jars. While I’m not going to lie, I do use jars of sauces in my cooking regularly because sometimes it’s just so much easier, I do want to try and start making my own from scratch more often. Homemade tomato based sauces are the best choice as they are low in saturated fat, sugar and salt. Tomatoes are also packed full of lycopene a potent cancer fighting anti-oxidant.
The base of this sauce is a tin of tomatoes (which are super cheap). I tried to use as little salt as possible to season the sauce and used herbs to add flavour. Salt is a major contributor to high blood pressure – one of the leading causes of mortality and which often goes unnoticed. Watching the amount of salt in your diet is so important – however you may not know that most of the salt we take in is actually salt already contained in foods and not the extra salt we add at the table! Foods such as bread, processed meat and sauces are major contributors of salt in the diet (Reference and a very good report to read if you are interested in the research and guidelines). It is also worth noting that as a person reduces their salt intake, their tastebuds begin to adapt to lower salt levels and so over time they won’t want to or crave adding salt to their food.
This dish is a chicken, tomato and vegetable bake. For dinner I served it with brown rice and more vegetables and for lunch the next day I mixed it with salad leaves, tomato and peppers. Of course you could reheat it the next day but there’s no microwave in college so I’m calling it a cold salad!
It’s very easy to make and cheap too!
Recipe: Makes 3 servings:
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 3/4 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
- 1 Courgette
- Handful mangetout
- Handful mushrooms
- A few basil leaves
- *You can use whatever vegetables you like or happen to have in the fridge!
- *You could add some garlic cloves if you want for more depth of flavour – I didn’t think of it until after!
- Put the chicken breasts in a baking dish and drizzle with 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil, some sea salt and black pepper.
- Add in the tin of tomatoes and about 3/4 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence.
- Coat the chicken and then bake in the centre of a pre-heated oven at 180C for about 30 minutes or until fully cooked.
- About 10 minutes before the chicken is cooked, coarsely chop the vegetables and add into the dish.
- Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and top with torn basil leaves.
- Serve with 1 cup/125g of cooked brown rice per person and more vegetables if desired (62g of uncooked rice should yield about 125g cooked rice). Alternatively you could use microwaveable brown/wholegrain rice.
- Leftover chicken and vegetables.
- Salad leaves of choice.
- Extra veg such as tomatoes, grilled red pepper, cucumber etc.
- Torn basil leaves.
- Salt and pepper for seasoning if desired.
Simply cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the salad.
As always let me know if you try it!