This past Sunday, a few friends were going to be joining us for dinner! It was a beautiful March afternoon, so I thought a BBQ would be perfect! I quickly decided on a menu: BBQ Sweet Mustard Chicken, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Salad and a Poached Pear Dessert I saw featured on the hit-show: Biggest Loser. As always, measurements are approximate.
I threw 4 chicken breasts into a large glass pan to marinate, after stabbing with a fork multiple times to tenderize and soak up all the goodness: 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of agave (honey would also work perfect!), 1/4 of mustard (I used Boarshead honey-mustard), and about 2 teaspoons of Spike seasoning.
We had a great hike that afternoon out Colorado Gulch, so of course, I was running a bit behind! Friends were coming over at 5:30, and it was now 5:00…I quickly peeled and quartered sweet potatoes, first trying to roast with olive oil. I soon realized they wouldn’t be soft enough to mash before friends arrived, so I boiled instead. (Health tip, if you have the time, always roast sweet potatoes for maximum nutrient-benefit. Boiling leaches nutrients from the sweet potatoes, which are naturally chalked full of great vitamins!) Once soft, I drained and beat with an electric mixer, stirring in: 3 green onions, a tablespoon of butter (olive oil is a great substitution), a 1/4 of milk, 2 tablespoons of agave, and about 1 tsp of Johnny’s Seasoning Salt.
While sweet potatoes were cooking, I started broccoli steaming with just a bit of olive oil, garlic, and Johnny’s Seasoning.
At the same time potatoes were trying to roast (before I gave up!), I had them on 450 degrees and threw in a baking sheet with sliced almonds to toast for dessert. The almonds took about 7 minutes–I stirred them twice before deciding they were toasted enough for my tastes!
While chicken went on the grill, I went ahead and started my dessert prep: boiling 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1 cup of apple juice, 1 tsp of vanilla, a cinnamon stick, and a sprinkle extra of cinnamon! Once boiling, simmer sauce with halved and cored, pears until pears are tender. Once the pears are tender, remove from the sauce and set aside. While we ate dinner, I continued to simmer the sauce, reducing it down to a thicker liquid.
After our BBQ Sweet Mustard Chicken Dinner, I put a pear half onto each plate with the cored-side up. I placed about 2 tablespoons full of a honey-greek yogurt, drizzled about 2 tablespoons of the reduced sauce, and sprinkled toasted almonds on top! The dessert turned out really well! I’ll definitely make it again–the calories are really just in the yogurt!
Now, I have pork in the crock pot with cranberry sauce and orange juice (I had to do something with my leftover juice from dessert;)), I’ll let you know how it turns out! I’ve never combined those ingredients in the crock pot before. I’ve learned, though, you really can’t go wrong with the crock pot! Best invention ever!