On Sunday evenings, Hubby and I cook a big batch of food that will last us for four nights. This means that we don’t have any leftovers to bring for lunch, because the leftovers are reserved for dinner. So for years, my lunches have consisted of a sandwich, chips, and sometimes cookies. Not exactly the most nutritious combination, especially given my sandwich and chip selections (such as peanut butter and jelly with Lay’s Classic Potato Chips). And I doubt that cookies could be considered wholesome.
Recently, I decided to start packing better food. I am tired of sandwiches, plus I think eating so much junk is catching up with me. So my new plan is that on weekends, I’ll also cook a second batch of food just for lunches. This was my first week of doing so, and I made Chickpea Potato Curry, Broccoli with Red Pepper Flakes and Toasted Garlic, and rice.
The Chickpea Potato Curry was new to me and was yummy. The prep was minimal, and once the veggies were chopped everything went into one pan for about 30 minutes of simmering. Which is pretty darn easy, and it yielded five lunches for me and two for Hubby. Not bad, right? The broccoli side dish is from the March 2007 issue of Cooking Light and is a standard rotation for us. Really simple and tasty.
I’ve already found several new recipes I want to try for lunches, and once we head into summer, I’ll probably do some salads. What do you usually eat for weekday lunches?
Fall finally arrived here in Northern California, bringing cooler weather and the first rain of the season. It seemed like the perfect time to try this recipe for Artichoke Soup.
Both Hubby and I liked the flavor, although it was a tad too intense for me. Next time, I may try draining the marinated artichokes and decreasing the salt level. Overall, it paired well with garlic bread and was quite soothing on a very rainy day!
Many thanks to Ruth for sharing this yummy recipe with me months ago. The flavors remind me of those that came out of my mother’s kitchen. The marinade would probably be delicious on chicken drumsticks or thighs too.
:: Modifications – marinated wings for eight hours instead of two (simply because the timing worked out that way) and omitted glaze entirely.
Inspired by Madeline, we made Rachael Ray’s Bacon-Bit Burgers and Oven Home Fries last weekend. The only modification we made was omitting the steak-sauce covered onions from the top of the burger. Both recipes were delicious and are definitely keepers!
This weekend we made chicken tacos with salsa verde and cilantro rice. We liked the flavors a lot, so I thought I would share the recipes here.
Chicken— We adapted the marinade from Rachel Ray’s recipe for Grilled Chicken Burritos with Mango Salsa.
2 pounds thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
9 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 4 or 5 limes)
9 cloves garlic (pressed)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika [my new favorite spice!]
Combine all marinade ingredients in a ziploc bag. Add chicken and marinate for a few hours. Cook in skillet over medium-high heat. Cool slightly and cut into small bite-sized pieces.
Salsa Verde — This version is adapted from the Roasted Tomatillo Salsa recipe in Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday. I like this cookbook a lot; we have tried five or six recipes and they all turned out well. Prior to buying this book we hadn’t cooked Mexican food before. I think it provides a good intro to Mexican cooking for total newbies.
4 medium (about 8 ounces total) tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 serrano chiles, stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
Set a large nonstick skiller over medium heat. Lay in the garlic and tomatillos, cut side down. When the tomatillos are well browned, turn everything over and brown the other side. (The tomatillos should be completely soft.) [I found it difficult to brown the tomatillos without having burned bits in the pan. I suggest shifting the tomatillos around occasionally so that they don’t burn quite as badly.]
Scrape the tomatillos and garlic into a blender or food processor and let cool to room temperature, about 3 minutes. Add the chiles, cilantro, salt, and 1/4 cup water. Blend to a coarse puree. Add a little more water if necessary to reach the desired consistency. [The photo below isn’t quite representative of what the salsa should look like because we used 2/3 cup cilantro, which was probably too much. But we love cilantro! Anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cilantro should be fine.]
Cilantro Rice — We used the recipe posted here. It was interesting, but I think I made my rice too mushy.
Next time, we will try cooking the chicken breasts on the Foreman grill and will probably leave out the cilantro rice. Hubby thinks carmelized onions would be a good substitute!