Before I start, I want to let everyone know that on Monday, Octoberber 23, I’m going to start a Whole30 month so I can get a fresh start before the holidays.
Let me know if you are interested in joining a support group or have questions about what it is and I can set up a page for us all to help each other out!
Now, onto the good stuff… So, the last few weeks have been kind of crazy. And I don’t always have time to prep on Sundays like I wish I could. So over the last few weeks I’ve had to go to some of my on-the-fly, quick meals when I get home from work. So instead of boring you with a bunch of jibber jabber and nonsense about oh my gosh my life is so crazy. I thought I would just go ahead and put out a few recipes that I like when it’s crunch time and I’m getting home from work late and we are all starving.
This is probably the easiest chicken dish that I have found and used so far and takes minimal ingredients and really no time to whip it right up.
Maple Dijon Chicken
I like to use chicken thighs but you can use both thighs and breasts for this recipe.
1 lb of chicken
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
What I would recommend is to mix up the sauce in a casserole dish or baking dish first and taste it before you put the chicken in to make sure that it is of your liking.
Bake for about 40 minutes at 450 degrees. At this point the ‘real’ recipe calls for adding cornstarch and topping the chicken with fresh Rosemary to make the sauce more like a gravy.
I have found that I/we like it just the same with the gravy as is when it comes out of the oven. The fresh Rosemary is okay but not necessary.
While the chicken is cooking, I am dicing and boiling red potatoes to make a quick batch of fresh mashed potatoes and some kind of green veggie. I usually boil about 2-3 potatoes per person, depending on the size of the potatoes.
**Quick tip on Boiling potatoes: The smaller you Dice them the quicker they cook when you were boiling them. So, now that we think about it that way, homemade mashed potatoes really aren’t as hard as you think they are and they are way better than potato flakes in an envelope 🙂
To really make your mashed potatoes Deelish, just mix in a couple dollops of sour cream, about 2 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper no need for milk or cream the sour cream makes them just right. And if you are really spunky and prepped breakfasts for the week, cook some extra bacon and throw it in the freezer for days like today and add some chopped bacon to the potatoes!
To complete that meal, add a green veggie like asparagus.
My Quick Asparagus
A quick asparagus recipe is to snap the bottoms off, throw the tops in a pan with about 2 swirls of olive oil, one clove of fresh crushed garlic, salt and pepper and about a tbsp of lemon juice. Cook them to your preferred done-ness. I like them ‘al dente’.
Bacon Ranch Chicken – not the healthiest** of my recipes, but… sometimes it’s ok to splurge
I really don’t even know the real name for this recipe. I came across it awhile ago and kind of forgot about it until one night I needed to come up with something.
This one is as simple as taking a package of thin sliced chicken breast, smothering them with ranch dressing like the liquid kind not the powder (don’t get crazy, just enough to cover each piece of chicken with a thin coat), covering each piece of chicken with a slice of bacon and then topping it with cheddar cheese.
Stick it in the oven at 425 for about 35 to 40 minutes. And if you want to add mushrooms under the bacon that makes it even yummier. Again, this is good with some kind of potato dish and a green veggie.
**To make a ‘healthier’ version, you can use turkey bacon and then use the ranch powder mixed with a little water, and don’t pile on the cheese**
Side Dish Slumps??
If you get in a side dish slump, risotto is something fancy or at least sounds fancy that I like to go to. It has become so common in my house I laugh when my husband says can we have risotto? Because what man really knows what risotto is? Risotto really does sound fancy, but if you actually try to make it, is so simple. And you can fancy it up anyway you want to.
My go-to Risotto
you will need:
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced Mushrooms
1 cup Aborio Rice
3 cups Chicken stock
1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan
Add approximately 1/4 cup finely chopped onions to the olive oil
When the onions are almost clear, add about 1/2 of a clam shell of baby portabella mushrooms sliced. You can but the pre-sliced ones or slice them yourself. If you don’t like onions or mushrooms, just leave them out.
Once the onions are clear, add:
1 cup of Aborio rice and make sure it gets coated with olive oil
Cook for about 2 minutes
Once the rice has cooked for a couple minutes, add 1 cup of chicken stock. I like to use low sodium chicken stock.
It is very important to stir your risotto constantly during this time while it is on medium heat.
When it looks like the rice has absorbed all of the stock, add another cup of stock and do the same process again stir until the rice has absorbed that stock.
Then finally add one more cup of stock and this will be your last cup you add to the rice.
Once it has become a nice thick consistency you can add salt and pepper to taste. I like to add some freshly grated Parmesan to mine to give it a little extra Tang.
This goes great with any kind of chicken or pork dish.
Diced Red Potatoes
Here is another super simple side dish. This one is so easy and delicious and people will never really know how simple it is, unless you tell them of course.
Dice red potatoes into 1/4 inch cubes. I like to follow my rule of 2 medium size red potatoes per person and then maybe one or two extra for good measure and for leftovers the next day. Along with salt and pepper I add a couple shakes of Italian seasoning and then some garlic powder as well.
Dice up one small onion add both the potatoes and onion to the pan and saute until the potatoes are almost crispy. Or you can cook them to whatever consistency that you like.
Near the very end I like to add a little dollop of butter into the pan to add just a little extra flavor to the potatoes.
These go really good with bratwursts, kielbasa, and even breakfast dishes.
For what it’s worth, on the weeks that I don’t prep I try to make enough at dinner time so I have some leftovers for my lunches the next day and this seems to be a good plan for when I slack earlier in the week. So if I make spaghetti one night I know that I need to boil some extra noodles and scoop out some sauce for my lunch the next day.
Sorry this isn’t super creative, but I actually did this as a talk to text in my car one day on the way home from work so I could finally get it done.
I hope you all are well and are living a Deelish Life!!