Cook Chicken Once for Four Easy Meals

“I wanted to figure out why I was so busy, but I couldn’t find the time to do it.” 
― Todd Stocker

Busy families like ours can still eat great with a little planning.  With one great ingredient and some creative thinking you can go far.  By pure accident I found my new favorite chicken marinade.  I was all set in my mind on how I was going to marinade chicken and at the last second my hubby cried out, “don’t put an acid in the marinade”. Crap!  I was going to use citrus.  What now?

I had just found a new salad dressing I had never seen before, Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Avocado Yogurt Dressing, with only 40 calories per serving.  What the heck, I thought, I might as well try it.

It’s a new favorite!

At night:

Slice 4 chicken breasts horizontally into strips.
Place in plastic bag.
Pour in Cilantro Avocado dressing
Marinade over night.

The next day:
Using a grill pan and medium heat, grill the chicken. (the small pieces only take about 2-3 minutes per side)

Lunch one:
Chicken sandwiches.  I would totally play up the flavors in the dressing and top this sandwich with fresh avocado.

Dinner one:
Chicken tacos or quesadillas.

Lunch two:
Use the chicken to top your favorite salad

Breakfast:
Chicken hash topped with fried eggs

Chicken Hash
Printable Version

Ingredients

  • Chicken breast – cut horizontally into strips
  • Bolthouse Farms Cilantro Avocado Yogurt Dressing (for marinade)
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Slap Ya Mama seasoning (spicy creole seasoning)

Instructions

  • Marinate chicken overnight in dressing
  • Grill chicken in grill pan on medium heat
  • (I make extra chicken and use it in many meals, then just use the leftovers in this dish)
  • Cut potatoes into cubes
  • Heat olive oil in fry pan – medium high
  • Add potatoes
  • Cook until brown on all sides
  • Season with Salt and Slap Ya Mama
  • Add peppers and onions
  • Cook until veggies are soft and onions begin to slightly caramelize
  • Serves 4
  • Top each serving with 2 fried eggs

Costco in the Kitchen; Chicken Tenderloin Stir Fry

Do items at Costco interest you, but you just don’t know what to do with them?  Do you buy them and end up throwing them away or just walk past them and wonder?

From our recent trip to Vegas;
Chinese New Year at Bellagio
I spotted these Asian noodles in the deli section and threw them in the cart.  The first few times I just tossed a little soy sauce on them and threw them in the microwave.  This is still the 10 year old’s favorite way to eat them.
Here’s a super easy recipe just in time
for a family Chinese New Year celebration. (you can get Chinese take out cartons at Michael’s to make it even more like a party).

Chicken Tenderloin Stir-fry

Ingredients

  • 5 frozen chicken tenderloins thawed and sliced into small pieces
  • 3 cups frozen stir fry vegetable mix thawed (do not try to use these frozen because the broccoli will never cook)
  • 3 individual packs Japanese Udon noodles
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cilantro for garnish

Sauce:

  • 1 Tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1 heaping Tbs curry powder
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce (from the Asian aisle in the grocery store)
  • 1 Tbs ketchup
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs Sriricha chili sauce

Instructions

  • Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a medium sized bowl and set aside
  • Heat the sesame oil in a wok or skillet
  • Cook the chicken stirring frequently – about 4 minutes
  • Add the vegetables and cook until warm – about 4 minutes
  • Remove the chicken and veggies from the pan
  • Add just enough oil to lightly re-coat the pan
  • Add the Japanese noodles
  • Toss them in the pan until lightly brown – about 1 minute
  • Toss the sauce into the noodles in the pan until the noodles are coated and heat until the sauce is warm – about 1 minute
  • Add the chicken and veggies to the noodles and stir until coated
  • Serve

To change this recipe up

-use shrimp or beef instead of chicken
-save time by using a prepared stir-fry sauce instead of making your own
-toss sauce on chicken and veggies and serve on top of brown rice instead of the noodles

Items in this recipe from Costco:

frozen chicken tenderloins
frozen stir-fry veggies
Japanese noodles (refrigerated)

What Kale? Protein Smoothie

Summer time = Breakfast?  No worries, the kids are not even awake until lunch time.
Back to school time = Breakfast?  Our daughter has the weird “B” lunch in the middle of her fourth hour class and our son has the late lunch, 4 1/2 hours after the bus picks him up in the morning. Whatever it is it must contain some protein or they just won’t make it to lunch.

This smoothie tastes so good and with it’s beautiful purple hue they won’t even know the kale is in there.  It’s the perfect way to get them off to school

What Kale? Protein Smoothie
Printable Version

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1 c fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 1 c vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c skim milk
  • 1 thin slice lime
  • 2 c fresh baby kale
  • 1 c ice

Instructions

  • place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth
  • add more milk if necessary

Blueberry Mojito Smoothie

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in–what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” 
― Victor HugoLes Misérables

My garden is my pride and joy.  I love being able to relax in the back yard with a different scene almost daily depending on what is in bloom.  Tucked away in the blooms are edible delights that almost look too pretty to eat.  Chives in the spring and fall, strawberries in early summer, blackberries in late summer, and herbs almost year round.

Not big on rum, a server at my old favorite restaurant (so sad that it is gone) talked me into ordering a blueberry mojito.  I have to say, it was fun summer awesomeness in a glass.  It was this morning’s inspiration for our morning smoothie.

Blueberry Mojito Smoothie

Printable Version

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint leaves
  • 1 small handful kale
  • 1 slice lime
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 c ice
  • 1 squeeze agave
Instructions
  • place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

He Happy, She Happy, We Happy

The dilemma – we are grilling steaks.  We picked up beautiful bone-in ribeyes, the king of all steaks.  He wants lionized hash browns as a side.  She wants healthy sides. Ahhhhh!  How do we make everyone happy?

I took a stab at making a healthier version of this diner favorite.  It was fantastic.

Baked Lionized Hash Brown

Printable Version

Ingredients

  • 4 potatoes
  • 1/2 purple onion sliced thing
  • 1 c grated Mexican blend cheese
  • Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
  • Salt
  • Crisco

Instructions

  • heat oven to 450
  • grate the potatoes
  • in a bowl, mix potatoes, cheese, onion, and seasoning
  • grease cast iron skillet with Crisco
  • form hash brown in skillet
  • mist top with vegetable oil
  • bake for 1 hour – until crunchy on top

“One cannot think love sleep well if one has not dined well”

Viginia Woolf

This recipe calls for Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, one of my ultimate favorites. You can make your own spice mix; however, having a Tony’s on hand is an easy, remarkable add in for: potato salad, macaroni salad, grilled shrimp fish and chicken, and deviled eggs.

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