A couple of weeks ago, we went on a little picnic to the Duke Gardens.
Which are amazingly beautiful. When we came in April for Blue Devil Weekend, we had a Sunday afternoon lunch with Bart’s assigned Fuqua buddy and her boyfriend, which was delightful. The weather was perfect, Ani slept in her stroller almost the entire time, and the food was amazing.
This time, there were no sleeping babies, but the weather, the food and the company were all equally stellar.
(You wanted to see pictures of my children before we got to the food, right? I thought as much. Too bad. I’m showing them anyway).
Right. On to the food.
And then I didn’t have any blue cheese (because I’d looked at the blue cheese at the grocery store and thought, “more expensive than I’m willing to pay”) but I did have queso fresco.
And when I was pulling out my vegetables, I noticed half a red onion in the fridge, which seemed like it was begging to be included.
And I thought, “maybe some smoky flavor would help these out since I’m not grilling.” On went the chipotle chile powder (leftover from when I made these hummus tacos).
And then I realized, “You know this could really use a dressing” because if there is one thing that I’ve learned about Bart in eight years of marriage, it is that he loves sauce in every kind of food you can imagine.
I prepped everything, packed it up, and we went on our merry picnicking way. I hoped it’d all turn out well because if not, we were going to feel preeeeetty jealous of all the people in our group who brought Wendy’s or pizza.
But, behold, we were not at all jealous. We had second helpings of ours, instead, because it was so ridiculously good.
(By the way, obviously when we took these on a picnic, they’d sat in their containers for about an hour by the time we ate them. The next time I made them, they weren’t QUITE as good when we ate them right out of the oven, but the next day, they were JUST as good. So, if you can, roast the vegetables about an hour before you serve them so they have time to sit afterward. If not, no worries; just a tip)
Vegetables and Chicken:
1-2 chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
1 red pepper, seeds removed and sliced thinly
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
2 zucchini, halved and sliced
1/2 yellow squash, halved and sliced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (depending on how spicy you like things)
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
Rice and Toppings:
3 cups cooked jasmine rice (I used brown)
2 tomatoes, diced (or 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved)
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, then spread the chicken and vegetables across the sheet and drizzle with olive oil (I usually use my hands to mix it all around so things are evenly coated). Sprinkle with garlic salt, chile powder, dried basil, and add a bit of salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
Roast for 25-40 minutes, or until your vegetables are browning in spots, and the chicken is cooked through. Let sit for 10-15 minutes (or an hour, if you can swing it), then dice chicken and salt and pepper everything to taste.
Serve the vegetables and chicken over the rice, then top with fresh tomatoes, guacamole, crumbled queso fresco, and ranch dressing.