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  1. Health

Baked Chicken and Potato Dinner: healthy, flavorful and easy

Baked Chicken and Potato Dinner calls for half a cup of lemon juice, which tenderizes the meat while imparting flavor.
Baked Chicken and Potato Dinner calls for half a cup of lemon juice, which tenderizes the meat while imparting flavor.
Published Sep. 1, 2016

Autumn might be the official season of the one-pot wonder. Kids are back in school, the office watercooler gets crowded as we trickle back from vacation, and suddenly dinnertime feels like more of a time squeeze.

Busy lives need quick meals that don't require a ton of prep, crazy ingredients or lots of dishes, because the last thing I want after a long day of work, kids activities and homework-checking is a counter loaded up with dishes.

Baked dinners are a classic weeknight solution, but how to make one that is healthy, flavorful and easy? This basic chicken and potato bake is so simple, you might breeze right past the recipe.

The first trick: lots of lemon juice. Half a cup sounds like a ton, but it's what makes the chicken super flavorful in just minutes. The high acid level gets right into the chicken and tenderizes it, and yet as it bakes, the acid mellows and softens into a gorgeous gentle tang. The second trick: a super quick turn in the microwave for some baby potatoes (Note: You can cube up larger potatoes if you don't have tiny ones.)

I'm using boneless skinless chicken breast, but you can use pork chops (bone-in recommended) or even fish.

My weeknight strategy: Pop this pan into the oven, toss together a green salad and set the table while the chicken cooks. Easy, healthy and even comforting in a fall-night sort of way.

Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook "Supermarket Healthy."