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Chicken

Weekly Meal Plan 7/30

August 1, 2018

Oh man, July. I’m gonna miss you. You were sweet and slow and delicious.

Our new au pair comes Friday (which is why I have missed a few weeks of meal planning! I hope to be more consistent when she comes and we head into fall!) so you’ll see some meals reflecting her arrival.

Happy Eating! xoxo

Katie

 

Monday

Beef Mac, double recipe. This recipe comes really close to the way I make it, but sub whatever veggies you want to use. I also love to use Rao’s Marinara – it’s amazing.

Tuesday

Smothered Chicken

Wednesday

Oricchiette With Sausage, Tomato and Broccoli

Thursday 

Easy Chicken Parm

Friday 

Our new au pair comes! I’ve heard so much about Bandeja Paisa in my research, so I’m going to try to make a version of this. I also really hope she helps us learn how to make Empanadas.

Saturday 

Mixing it up! Pizza is usually Friday but we have a day at the pool scheduled so pizza when we get home is easy breezy.

Sunday 

Ribs

These are my favorite ribs, and they are so easy! Sometimes they can be intimidating but I found this recipe in a magazine and I have never looked back, they are exactly what I want when I sit down to a rib dinner. These, coleslaw and corn are on the menu for a taste of an American summer dinner. (Though the ribs recipe I use is in a whole post about a southern dinner and the baked cheesy grits and collard greens from Christy (aka Instabrunk) are amazing too.)

 

Weekly Meal Plan 7/16

July 18, 2018

We have finally stopped traveling and settled down into structured days that include a slower pace, time to breath and watch summer thunderstorms and visit farmers markets. There are a little more veggies, a little less sugar, and more time to sit at the table for dinner (my favorite). I know not every season gives us this luxury now, so we’re savoring away. And if these meals look like I am on a health kick its because I am! A month of ‘being on vacation’ provides a lot of motivation for one of those kicks, am I right??

Housekeeping note: I’m posting these meal plans after I make them and shop for them, usually mid-week. My thought is people can look back on them when they are doing their meal planning over the weekend. If there would be a better time to have a new one at your finger tips, feel free to let me know in the comments. 🙂

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Monday 

Maple Mustard Salmon with Lemony Couscous & Steamed Zucchini

Tuesday

Pesto Chicken Kebabs – these look so delicious and are a great way to use up all the basil thats exploding! I’ll add red onions and summer squash to mine.

(Side Note: Please check out this blog Flavor the Moments appetizer index – I want to make everything!)

Wednesday

Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Avocado Salsa

Thursday

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Friday

Pizza or Pool – this Fig, Carmelized Onion and Blue Cheese Pizza looks amazing if we are up for homemade (I usually go meatless on Fridays so I would leave off the bacon).

Saturday

One day I will post my husband’s award-winning steak! (The awards given by friends and family.) Until then, this steak recipe looks so good – I might just have a bloody mary with my husband’s steak. And how good do these Cauliflower Steaks look for the side dish?

Sunday

Eggplant Parmeasan with Fresh Mozzarella 

I love this dish so much when eggplants are in season, but doing it in the halved eggplants? Beautiful and Genius.

 

 

Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Avocado Salsa

July 18, 2018

I can’t believe I have been Food Blogging for almost 7 years and I haven’t ever posted one of our favorite dinners.

This Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken Breast with Avocado Salsa is one of those dishes that might seem boring because of the simplicity of it, then surprises and delights with its bold spicy heat from the Cayenne rub (just 3 ingredients!), the cool creaminess from the avocado, then the crunch from the onion, all tied together with lime juice and salt. It’s our perennial answer to what to do with the frozen chicken breasts in the freezer that actually gets us excited for dinner. And it is beyond easy to make.

I love that it’s low carb, that it is SO satisfying from the good fats in the avocado, and we usually have the ingredients on hand, if we have timed the avocado ripeness just right. My kids love avocados and any meal where they get to count it as their vegetable.

And while the little kids don’t love the spice, you can coat their chicken breasts in a ranch seasoning packed instead of the spice rub or just cook it with salt and pepper and then dip theirs in ranch. (I usually serve some pasta or rice on the side too.)

(This is such a workhorse meal for us that I didn’t even have time to get great pics of it, but couldn’t keep that from sharing with you all.)

You might even find yourself making the salsa on its own to have deconstructed guacamole whenever the feeling hits you.

And it would also make a great appetizer if you skewered chicken thighs, put the rub on and grilled them, and then dipped them into a smoother guacamole or this chunky version here.

Hope this makes it on to your weekly rotation! If my husband had his way, this would be dinner 3 nights a week.

Now I’m off to take a gaggle of kids to the pool, which is on repeat these lovely warm days.

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Avocado Salsa (printer version here.)

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 Hass avocado, pitted and cut into chunks

Directions

  • 1. In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne; rub all over chicken.
  • 2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add chicken, and cook until browned on the outside and opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes per side.
  • 3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine onion and lime juice; set aside. Just before serving, fold avocado chunks into onion mixture; season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken topped with salsa.

 

Recipe is from MarthaStewart.com

Weekly Meal Plan 4/30

May 2, 2018

As you may know if you follow me on Instagram, Monday April 30th was my son’s birthday, and the birthday boy requested spaghetti and meatballs, so that was our meal on Monday. Sorry to duplicate. But Tuesday’s dinner was so good, every loved it. Plus I cooked extra pasta and spaghetti squash on Monday so I just warmed it up. Pro Tip.

Monday: Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs

Tuesday: Paleo Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken and Sausage

This was a big hit with everyone! And I loved that it came together really easily in the crock pot. I think next time I will double up on the balsamic vinegar and add a bit more garlic, but otherwise it was really flavorful and had that comfort food factor. Also, cheese on top doesn’t hurt but if you’re aiming for health it’s a winner as is.

Wednesday: Roast Chicken with Creme Fraiche and Herbs

I love this recipe SO much – Mimi Thorisson does it with a whole chicken but I use thighs and it is quick and delicious and easy. Serve with couscous or mashed potatoes to soak up all that delicious liquid on the bottom of the pan with the melted creme fraiche and herbs.

Thursday: Bacon wrapped Pork Tenderloin – 

This is a super old post with old photos, but it sort of adds to the fact that this is a retro dinner, one that my mom used to make when I was growing up. It’s a long post but a SHORT recipe – pork tenderloin, onions, peppers, and tomatoes all sliced and stacked with semi-cooked bacon wrapped around it with a toothpick. Season with salt and pepper and roast. It’s one of those ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ kind of dish, where the combination of these ingredients is surprisingly flavorful and very satisfying. And that lemon butter zucchini side dish is strait out of my childhood and SO good. 

Friday: It’s pizza, but we are making our own and doing a Brussels Sprout + Pancetta version for the grown ups with a sauce that is just jarred alfredo sauce and probably store bought pizza dough (I love to make my own but with twins I concede to let the pizza dough makers do it). Here is a comparable recipe.

Saturday: I made three Baked Ziti so we could have some for busy sports days and this Saturday is pretty typical of our spring sports season. So glad it’s waiting there for us! The Pioneer Woman’s Baked Ziti is very close to how I make it (hope to blog my recipe soon!).

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken

April 26, 2018

Do you like Peanut Butter? Chicken Satay?

Then you are in for a treat my friends.

Its hard to put into words how I felt after racing home on a chilly spring afternoon of sports to find this ready in the crock pot. Tears of joy? Maybe. Especially because this was SO easy to make and took all of 5 MINUTES at around noon time.

If you have ever tried to make Chicken Satay, you know it has SO many ingredients. My husband loves it but I usually chicken out (see what I did there?) when I start to make it because of ingredient fatigue. (Visit Ina Garten’s recipe to see what I mean).

This however has all the flavor of a great satay sauce with a handful of Thai ingredients.

Did you know that Thai cooking tries to balance 5 different flavors? There is usually something sweet, sour, salty, spicy and bitter in every dish. (I usually leave out the spicy part since I am making this for kids – I left out the red pepper flakes and just added sriracha to mine). This helps me to keep a stocked pantry to cook Thai food, since I know most recipes will call for coconut milk, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime, brown sugar or honey, ginger and garlic to get these flavors balanced. And I usually keep ginger in my freezer and limes in my fridge so I always have them on hand. If this hurts your brain then just ignore this paragraph and follow the super easy crockpot recipe below and you will just have to lift the lid to have good food in six hours.

This is also a great recipe when you have a package of chicken breasts and want to magically turn it into something delicious.  Add some cilantro, rice and dry peanuts to your shopping list for garnish and you are done.

Also, this recipe for Carrots with Ginger and Honey by Martha Stewart is the perfect side to this and also only takes five minutes. You’ve already got the ginger and honey out anyway.

Happy Eating! xoxo Katie

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken (printer version here):

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup coconut milk about a half a can
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce low-sodium
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ginger peeled and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Optional garnishes: chopped peanuts cilantro or green onions

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To a 6 qt slow cooker, add the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, ginger, garlic, and stir until combined.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into one inch chunks and add to the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  4. Add the lime juice and cornstarch/water mixture to the slow cooker and stir carefully.
  5. Cook for an additional 20 minutes until sauce is thickened.
  6. Garnish with desired toppings like chopped peanuts, cilantro or green onions (or all three!).

Recipe adapted from Dinner Then Dessert

 

Carrots with Ginger and Honey (printer version here):

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 bunches (about 2 pounds) baby carrots
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 two-inch pieces fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 3 tablespoons honey

DIRECTIONS:

1. Trim stems of carrots to 1/2 inch. Peel carrots, and wash stem area.

2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt water, add carrots, and reduce heat. Simmer until carrots are almost tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove carrots from heat, and drain. (Carrots can be prepared earlier in the day to this point.)

3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger, and sauté, stirring, until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add carrots and honey, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until carrots are glazed. Serve immediately.

Recipe from marthastewart.com

 

 

Kid-Friendly Chicken Stir Fry

April 11, 2018

If you’ve spent a nano-second reading this blog, you know that I’m passionate about good food, and love learning and coming up with original recipes.

And you also know that I have twin babies.

So we’ve simplified a lot of things this year and our dinners are no exception. The benefit for you is we’ve come up with quite a rotation of kid-friendly, quick and easy dinners. I am a BIG believer that home cooked meals made with fresh seasonal ingredients whenever possible feeds our bodies and our souls. And also that real life requires a repertoire of dinners that come together fast. Where the two meet is what’s for dinner.

Since a lot of our weekday meals are ones I consider our everyday food, with no fancy recipes, just simple real ingredients, with kid-friendliness and shortcuts galore, I often think, ‘oh they can find this recipe somewhere else’ and don’t think it is worthy of a whole post. But since SO many people asked for just this kind of help on my Instagram, I’m going to be posting these dinners (dare we call it a series?) here over the next few months.

I realized in order to make my weekly menus as easy as possible for you, I should have a separate blog post I can link to for each meal. I’ll also be tagging them as ‘Everyday Dinners’ on the side bar so you can see them at a glance.  I have a lot of great meals captured with my big girl camera waiting in the wings and will be sharing a new one every week, so check back here often. You can also enter your email address on the side and when I start to email out my meal plans you’ll have them in your inbox.

This stir fry is one of my oldest dinners – I think I learned how to make it when I was a nanny in grad school. Their kids loved it, and so when I had my own I tried it and low and behold my kids loved it too. Something about the salty sweet teriyaki chicken and the way the sauce gets over all the veggies and caramelizes on them. (My new stove does a great job with high, even heat, I love it!)

And of course, the healthy factor is off the charts. My kids eat these veggies! Probably because they are doused in salt and sweetness. I always feel like I am serving a rainbow of colors when I prep for this meal just like all the nutritionists tell us too. And this dinner makes you feel so good after you eat it.

I do have a few kids who don’t love chicken, and if they are having a hard time plowing through their meat, I have let them dip it into…wait for it…strawberry jam. This came about becaus I love to add sriracha or red pepper jelly on the side of my stir fry and my kids were like, can I have some? I grabbed the strawberry jelly instead and said try this its not as hot. They loved it an now we just serve it with this dinner. Too weird for you? Sorry not sorry because it gets my pickiest eaters to eat all this health. If it helps one other family then I am happy. Solidarity, mommas.

Another bonus: the ease factor. I almost always have all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry. And once the first step of stirring together the marinade and pouring it over the chicken is done, I always feel like dinner is practically made. I store it in the fridge for a half hour or so, and then pour it into a pipping hot pan. The rest of it comes together easily in the same pan, and I add the veggies and stir while I am doing homework with the kids or cleaning the kitchen (who doesn’t love a clean kitchen before you eat dinner?).

I usually make chicken flavored rice or rice pilaf for my kids. My husband and I usually have ours with cauliflower rice. So if you are doing a paleo/Whole 30/gluten free diet this ones a winner winner.

So play around with it and see what veggies your family likes. My youngest eater loves the mini corn so I try to add that often too. And if you’re lucky, there will be some left over because it makes the best leftovers the next day. If you have a big crew to feed, this meal is so easy to stretch with extra veggies and soy sauce and rice.

I hope this becomes one of your go-to meals too!

Happy Eating, xoxo Katie

 

Chicken Stir Fry (printer version here):

Serves 6-8

 

Ingredients:

 

For the marinade:

⅓ cup teriyaki

⅓ cup soy sauce

⅓ cup olive oil

 

3-4 chicken breasts, cubed (can also use 1.5 pounds of steak or pork)

5 cups of your favorite stir fry veggies:

Sliced Carrots (if using baby carrots allow for extra cooking time or steam first)

Red peppers

Yellow peppers

Broccoli

Snap peas

Water chestnuts

Baby corn

 

Directions:

 

Combine all teriyaki, soy sauce and oil together in a measuring cup and stir to combine.

Cube chicken, and place in a non-reactive bowl such as glass or plastic.

Pour marinade over meat and refrigerate from 30 minutes or up to two hours.

 

Heat large skillet or wok to high heat. Add chicken and stir, cooking for 5-8 minutes or until the meat is just cooked through. Add vegetables, starting with the firmest first. Carrots, then broccoli, then peppers, then snap peas.

 

Continue to stir, add more soy sauce or oil if the veggies look dry at all. Cook until veggies are tender, about 7-10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook chicken or it will become tough.

 

Serve with rice or cauliflower rice.