This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Alexia. Quick, healthy meals are possible with Alexia! If you don't know, I'm the self-proclaimed queen of kitchen short cuts. As busy moms, we don't have a lot of time to spend on ourselves. And I get it. We all want to take care of our families well. But finding a few extra minutes for yourself during the day is important, too. We all deserve a few minutes to bring our stress levels down and just breathe. If I manage to have a little extra time, I certainly don't want to spend it in the kitchen. While I love to cook a more elaborate meal on Sundays, my weeknights need to be quick and easy. One of my favorite dinner time savers, is to look for complete side dishes to serve alongside a protein. Meal prep doesn't need to take more than 30 minutes, in my opinion, and I certainly don't think every thing needs to be homemade. There's a time and a place for scratch cooking. And when the kids are in the middle of homework, or needing to be dropped off at sports practice, is not it. Quick, healthy meals are totally doable with Alexia! I'm sure you've seen their products in the grocery store. I know when I see their name, I'm getting quality, real ingredients that taste delicious. The team at Alexia suggested this delicious roasted chicken recipe to pair with their premium side dishes.So, of course, I found a short cut. I opted for a cooked, whole chicken, from my store's deli department, which meant most of the work was done for me. Boom. With the “main course” mostly taken care of, and my side dishes covered by Alexia, I was able to put together a delicious family meal, fast! That's what weeknight cooking is all about.
Aside from starting with a raw chicken, I followed their recipe. The thyme, lemon and leeks are the perfect way to jazz up a store-bought chicken. Literally the hardest part of this meal was cutting and cleaning the leeks. (Does anyone else yell, “There's a leek in the boat!” which is the best line ever from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2?!) There really isn't much of a recipe to follow, in this case. I just took two lemons and cut each half in to quarters. I squeezed the juice on top of the chicken and then added them to the roasting pan. I sprinkled on some thyme and tucked a few sprigs in the pan. I quickly chopped the white and light green parts of two leeks, rinsed them quickly in cold water and added them to the pan too.With the chicken in the oven to reheat, I decided to use the oven method for heating up the super yummy Mashed Butternut Squash with Butter and Brown Sugar. I just lifted the cover to vent and put it in to cook. If you haven't jumped on to the riced cauliflower craze you totally need to. This Cauliflower Risotto is a great starch alternative! Because my oven was maxed out, I made this dish in the microwave. I love that for most of the products you can either make them in the oven or microwave. Having options keeps me from messing things up. The more decisions I have to make in the kitchen, the more chance there is for me to pull a Sharon and lose all kitchen common sense.
Quick, healthy meals made easy!
What I love about the Alexia brand is that they are all about making the simple, extraordinary. This meal is totally that! There was nothing difficult about this meal and it is totally company-worthy. Plus the leeks became another side dish! (If you've never had leeks, they are like a huge green onion but the onion flavor is pretty mild).While lots of prepared foods are full of the stuff you should eat in moderation (or skip altogether), Alexia uses quality, simple ingredients that are non-GMO and gluten-free. The premium vegetables and organic dairy ingredients ensure you can get a quick healthy meal on the table for your family. This mashed butternut squash takes a vegetable favorite and mixes it with cream, a bit of brown sugar and butter. It's a delicious savory side dish, with a hint of sweetness. Eating as a family during the week can be hard, but this side dish will get your kids running to the table! It's just plain genius to substitute arborrio rice for riced cauliflower! And you can never go wrong with risotto. The creamy, salty parmesan cheese make this soul satisfying while still being healthy! This is a great trick to for getting kids to eat more vegetables! They won't even realize this is cauliflower!My favorite part about these Alexia Premium Side Dishes is that they don't need any other ingredients to prepare. Everything you need is in the package. And they take less than 10 minutes to cook! Full disclosure: this is not what my dinner table looks like on a weeknight. Why create extra dishes for yourself? I plate in the kitchen from the cooking dishes. And we may or may not have napkins on the table. Just keeping it real. I'm not super mom. But it's easy to fake it with helpful products from Alexia!
I LOVED that the packages didn't take up much space in my packed freezer which means I can easily keep these on hand for those nights when I have to throw dinner together but haven't had time to plan it. Your side dish shouldn't be an after thought, but be just as well made as the main course. I'm adding this meal to our regular rotation. It couldn't have been easier and although it's simple, it's pretty extraordinary, if I do say so myself.
Look for Alexia Premium Side Dishes at Giant Eagle, Kroger, Meijer and other fine grocers. And don't forget to visit Alexiafoods.com for more inspiration.