I impressed myself with this one. I had no idea what to make for dinner, and I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store after finishing my wod at RC Crossfit. I figured there would be something I could pull together from what I had at home.
The spicy lemon herb chicken was a no-brainer. I had plenty of chicken in the freezer and an abundance of fresh lemons in my fruit bowl (I left a bag of freshly-picked lemons at RCCF, have you been grabbing them??!). I knew I could bring the two together easily, but I had no idea what to do for a side dish. I looked at the vegetables I had in the fridge–leftover unadulterated eggplant from yesterday’s recipe, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and lonely little zucchini glared at me. Then it hit me, ratatouille!!
Today’s recipe is super easy. You can cook the ratatouille while the chicken is in the oven. I used chicken tenderloins so they cooked up super quickly. Enjoy!
- Olive oil
- 5 chicken tenderloins
- Juice from one lemon
- Seasonings to taste: Garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasonings, lemon pepper, crushed red pepper flakes (I use a blend from Sprouts), salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put a little olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange your chicken tenderloins. Season liberally then squeeze about half of the lemon juice over the chicken. Place in the oven. The chicken tenderloins took about 20-30 minutes. Halfway through, I flipped them, lightly seasoned the other side and squeezed the rest of the lemon juice over the chicken.
Ratatouille (The amounts I used are in the paragraphs, makes about 2-4 servings–two generous servings, four small servings)
- Olive oil or other fat of choice (I have this amazing olive oil infused with garlic and this other amazing olive oil infused with basil.)
- Eggplant (about 3 or 4 leftover medallions from yesterday’s eggplant recipe), diced
- Zucchini (1 small little guy), diced
- Bell Peppers (half of one green, though any color would be fantastic), diced
- Carrots (half of a carrot, leftover from the chicken wrap slaw), diced
- Tomatoes (one and a half), diced
- Fresh parsley or other herb of choice (optional, I used about a Tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley)
- Seasonings to taste: Garlic salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, lemon juice
*There are a few ways to make ratatouille. I didn’t want my vegetables to turn into mush, so I went with the slightly more time consuming method. I will cover the other method in the variations.
Heat a pan with a little bit of your fat of choice. Grab a clean bowl to keep nearby.
Add your eggplant to the hot pan and season lightly with your Italian seasonings, pepper, and a little bit of salt.
We will be salting and seasoning the veggies throughout, so don’t oversalt or overseason. You just want the salt and seasonings to help bring out some of the moisture and get a little flavor on your veggies.
Once the eggplant is just slightly cooked, remove from the pan and place in your bowl. Set aside.
You may need to add more oil to your pan between veggies. Use your own discretion. Add the diced zucchini to the hot pan. Season lightly. The hotter your pan, the better color and carmelization you can get on your veggies. Once your zucchini is nice and carmelized, remove and place in the bowl with the eggplant you set aside.
Re-oil your pan if necessary, add your diced peppers and lightly season. Remove and set aside with the eggplant and zucchini once they’re slightly softened.
Repeat the above steps with your carrots. Once they’re caramelized, remove. Ideally, your carrots will still have a little bite to them.
Now, add your tomatoes to the pan and repeat. These should be heated the longest to fully break them down and almost create a sauce. Once your tomatoes have thoroughly mushed, add the veggies you had set aside. Season to taste. This was when I added a splash of lemon juice to impart some acidity to the dish and tie my ratatouille to my chicken.
Dinner’s done!! Enjoy.