I’ve been thinking so much lately about getting back to family meals with intention, reclaiming the kitchen, and making the evening meal a priority. Our focus has been on creating and serving meals for our little family that we all eat in one way or another. With varying schedules and somewhat unpredictable toddler palates on our hands, this can sometimes prove a difficult task.
I’ve been taking things bit by bit, one small task at a time, and it’s made the idea of creating an “institution” of family dinner so much easier. I try to find ways to continue to expand our exposure to new and exciting flavors while providing some consistency and predictability with meal time. One way I do this is by always ensuring there is at least one (usually two) things on the table that everyone likes. I know that everyone will have something to eat, and even if we have to handle parts of the meal a bit differently (like serving pasta sauce on the side instead of mixed in with the noodles), we are eating the same meal.
This Bruschetta Chicken is a great example of this idea in action. I built upon a foundation I knew was safe (chicken breast cooked in a simple blend of olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar) and added a new taste twist (the tomato-basil “bruschetta” topping).
This chicken is very versatile–you can serve it with pasta, roasted potatoes, garlic toast, etc. Or, you can add a nice salad, steamed veggies, or some fruit. For my little ones, I served the chicken cut up into pieces, and the tomato-basil topping on the side. One child tried dipping their chicken into the “salsa,” the other left it on her plate. My husband and I enjoyed the dish as a cohesive whole, and everyone was happy. We all ate (or at least tolerated) the same meal, and had dinner as a family. Mission accomplished!
How are you making family dinner work for your family? Any tips or suggestions?
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Simply cooked chicken breast topped with a bright, happy blend of garlicky tomatoes and basil. Perfect for a weeknight family dinner!
1 lb. chicken breast, pounded out to even thickness. (I cut large chicken breasts in half)
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
1 1/2 cups baby tomatoes, halved
3-4 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
salt and pepper, to taste
Place chicken in a zip-top bag or medium-sized bowl. Pour 1 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar over the chicken and mix to coat the chicken well. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is golden on the outside and cooked through inside.
While the chicken is cooking, mix tomatoes with remaining olive oil and vinegar, basil leaves, and garlic in a medium bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
When the chicken is cooked through, spoon the tomato mixture over the chicken. Serve and enjoy!
One Lovely Life