Fall is in the air. It’s official. Whether we are ready or not, there is a crispness in the morning air that tells us Mother Nature isn’t waiting much longer to change seasons on us. As much as I adore summer, with the warm weather and the longer days, all the barbecues, fireworks, camping, & swimming, fall is my jam. Bring on the hoodies, the boots, the FLANNEL, the fires, the football. Oh, and the pumpkin… Not to mention the color explosion all around us that reminds us there can be beauty even in endings.
Fall also welcomes in a new season of food, am I right? I mean, I don’t know many people who are craving a triple berry salad come November when snow flakes start to flutter around. Just saying…
In the past, this seasonal transition meant something much different for me when it came to food. Before, fall meant baking with copious amounts of AP flour, butter, & brown sugar. Before, fall meant carb-heavy casserole dishes were likely to frequent our dinner table.
Fast forward to present day, post-Celiac diagnosis, and THIS incredibly aromatic and downright delicious dish is what my fall food represents… I couldn’t be more excited about it. For real. THIS.
You can actually SEE the flavor… This Oven-Roasted Peruvian Chicken & Vegetables was one of the first “new” dishes I ventured to try. It’s bursting with freshness in a way that is surprising for a roasted dish. The lemon, the sweet potatoes and onions, the bell peppers- it all comes together with perfection. It is filling yet still light and feels comforting in the way a fall food should feel.
When I first started treading these unknown waters, I found ways to just eat all of our old meals without the gluten. Safety net, security blanket, whatever you want to call it- I stayed in my comfort zone for a bit. On the recommendation of a friend, I bought Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain – Meals Made Simple. Once it arrived, I began to get really excited about all the new food possibilities that lay ahead.
I really wanted to include my family. They had been super supportive and understanding, so I asked them to flag the recipes they thought looked good so we could start cooking our way on through the book. This was my 8-year-old daughter’s choice, and she has requested it on more than one occasion since the first time we made it. I feel like that says a lot in and of itself.
Fresh. Fragrant. Filling. Fantastic in every way.
Oven-Roasted Peruvian Chicken & Vegetables
Oven-Roasted Peruvian Chicken & Vegetables (adapted from Danielle Walker, Against All Grain- Meals Made Simple)
Peruvian Spice Rub:
2 tsp melted ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
Juice of 1/2 lemon (approximately 1 tbsp)
1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
4-5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
4 lg sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
2 sweet onions, diced
1 orange & 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, peeled & diced
1 1/2 lemons, sliced
melted ghee, for drizzling
pink Himalayan sea salt and black pepper,for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, mix all ingredients for the spice rub until a thick paste forms. Set aside.
- Arrange all of the diced vegetables in a 9×13 glass baking dish. Drizzle with melted ghee and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then toss to coat the vegetables.
- Rub each chicken breast with the Peruvian spice blend. (Don’t be shy- use every last drop of that heavenly concoction.)
- Place the chicken breasts in a single layer atop the vegetables, then top with lemon slices.
- Roast for 35-45 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to blacken ever so slightly on the edges and the chicken is cooked through.
Because sometimes weeknights call for dinners that feel a little bit exotic and a lot like home…
Making this dish? Don’t forget to snap a pic of your creation and tag @ifitbakesyouhappy on Facebook– I can’t wait to see what you’re cooking!
PS: HIGHLY recommend Danielle Walker, especially if you are new on this journey, too. Everything I have tried out of her cookbook so far has been great, and I will definitely be sharing more from her in the future.