Foodie for Thought: Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

Chicken breast with green salad
Honey Balsamic Chicken. Photo credit: vikif/iStock/Thinkstock

What’s for dinner? If you find yourself asking this question often, trust me, you are not alone! We are all so busy that sometimes that simple question can send us into a tailspin. Don’t panic! I’ve got a healthy, delicious dinner plan that will make tomorrow’s dinner a breeze.

My Honey Balsamic Chicken is a favorite; my husband is always asking me to make it. I love balsamic vinegar and it lends tremendous flavor to whatever you pair it with. I add honey to accentuate the sweetness of the balsamic, and because it gives the chicken a wonderful caramelized flavor. I like to slice the garlic so that it releases its glorious garlicky flavor, but doesn’t burn in the pan. (If you’re sensitive to garlic like I am, you can avoid eating the slices after it’s cooked.)

This chicken pairs perfectly with my healthy and delicious Quinoa Pilaf. Quinoa is considered a superfood because it’s high in protein, essential amino acids and is gluten free. If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you are missing out!

If you have leftovers, combine them in your favorite food storage container for lunch the next day. If you have only quinoa left, try roasting a vegetable like broccoli, carrots or butternut squash and mix it with the quinoa for a fast and healthy lunch, or for a side dish with another meal.


1 lb. boneless chicken tenderloins or breasts
1 large re-sealable plastic food storage bag
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley
(or 1 teaspoon dry parsley)
olive or coconut oil for sautéing

Place your chicken in your re-sealable plastic food storage bag, then add all your ingredients on top; honey, balsamic, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley.

Seal the bag and toss until chicken is coated with your marinade. Let chicken marinate for at least 1 hour, or overnight. The longer it sits, the more flavor the chicken will absorb. What I like to do is prepare the chicken in the marinade before I leave for work in the morning, which leaves plenty of time for the flavors to develop.

To sauté in a skillet:

Preheat your skillet over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil. When the pan is hot, arrange the chicken in the pan (discard marinade.) You want to hear that “sizzle” when you drop in your chicken, so you know you will have a nice caramelized sear. Cook about 6-8 minutes a side, until the juice runs clear. (You can also place the marinated chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment in a preheated 375° oven for about 15-20 minutes.)

I like to serve with the quinoa pilaf and lightly salted green beans.


1 cup pre-rinsed quinoa
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 small onion, or half of a large one, finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Heat a medium size saucepan on the stove over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. When heated, add your diced onion, salt and pepper, and sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add your uncooked quinoa to the onion mixture, and sauté for another 5 minutes. Your nose will know when the quinoa is toasted as it gives off a wonderful nutty aroma when cooked.

Add the broth, bring to a simmer, then turn your heat down to low, cover, and let cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I like to drizzle a touch of olive oil when it’s finished to add a little more flavor and to finish the dish.

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