Lemon Pesto Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Cauliflower Rice

Hello Lovely,

While I wouldn’t consider myself “domesticated”, I have to admit I was super excited to make my first dinner for my boyfriend from scratch. I found the recipe on Publix Apron a month ago and saved it just for this occasion. I have previously made him blueberry muffins and brownies but they were Betty Crocker. I’m currently in North Carolina with him for 2 weeks on Easter Break. We went grocery shopping together for the first time and it was surprisingly relaxing.

I thought we would’ve bucked heads because I picked up a bunch of healthy stuff. Earlier that day we went to the Durham Farmer’s Market where I picked up mint, parsley, arugula and a rosemary plant. So when we went for the rest of the groceries I picked up things like cauliflower rice, quinoa and other veggies. And there were ZERO complaints! Once I got what I needed I was super excited about making Sunday Dinner the next day. Where I’m from we’re big on “Sunday Dinner” so I thought this would be perfect for it.

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I was so excited when I was marinating the chicken that I mixed up the recipe. I didn’t do anything the original recipe said to do. Apparently I was supposed to shred the chicken, that didn’t happen. Secondly the marinade was for the sweet potatoes and I put it on the chicken. I was supposed to use cooked, pre-shredded chicken and I used chicken thighs. I was supposed to use tomato pesto, I bought regular pesto. And the chicken was supposed to bake at 425 F, but I’m obsessed with the tenderness I get from slow cookers. I also left out the peas and decided not to have a yoghurt sauce because the chicken was already coated. I HAVE NO REGRETS! So the recipe I’m sharing today is what I did. If you want to see the original recipe, check it out here.

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Harissa Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint,

  • finely chopped and divided

  • 1 lemon, for juice

  • 1 1/2 pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

  • 2 tablespoons Pesto

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 2 tablespoons ground red pepper

  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin, divided

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 1/2 cups sweet potato chunks (or 2 sweet potatoes cut into chunks)

  • 1 (12-oz) bag frozen riced cauliflower

Steps

  1. Chop mint. Squeeze lemon for juice (2 tablespoons). Combine pesto, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, paprika, 1 tablespoon red pepper, 1 tablespoon mint, 2 teaspoons cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss chicken in the mixture then cover and refrigerate overnight.

  2. The next day place the chicken in a slow cooker and cook on high for 1.5 hours. Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the sweet potato chunks in a bowl. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon red pepper, and Italian seasoning. Toss until evenly coated then place in a baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes or until tender.

  3. Remove potatoes from oven; cook riced cauliflower following package instructions. Serve chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and riced cauliflower.

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The verdict? My boyfriend loved it. He had never had riced cauliflower before but he enjoyed it and he had never had sweet potato in chunks the way I did it, but it blew his mind. He loved how tender the chicken was so I’m super relieved that my first dinner for him went well. Drop a comment under this post if you would try this yourself or if there’s something about it you just don’t like and don’t forget to hit the like button.