Monday, June 17, 2013

Meal Planning Mondays: and we're back!




There are a variety of factors I love about the recipes I'm sharing today.

*crockpots: yes, yes, and YES. always easy. always eliminates kitchen time. and best of all, makes your house smell like ANTICIPATION!

*doubling: turning one meal into the next day's meal without any feelings of boring leftovers. I call it a leftMAKEover! saves time (again!). saves food that otherwise gets tossed (waste not, want not!). saves money.

*good neighbors: not a week into living here, a darling couple who live a few houses down arrived on our doorstep with their cute baby and a small burlap, ribbon tied sack filled with fresh lemons from their tree. heaven i tell you. i looked at her like well hello there little martha stewart aren't you just a total class act and how did you know i am obsessed with lemon trees? perfect ingredients for a real meal made with love. there are some days when you just say WORLD, what a nice little place you can be sometimes.

*Side dishes that make my kids like broccoli: need i say more?

*A salad dressing worth remembering: don't be fooled into thinking the salad below is any ordinary cabbage chicken chopped salad. The coconut lime peanut dressing will KNOCK YOUR THAI SOCKS OFF. Bring it to your next BBQ, dinner at the park, or potluck!



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Meal #1



Crockpot Lemon Italian Chicken

3-4 Large boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
A few swigs of olive oil
1 packet Good Seasons Italian dressing/seasoning mix
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (I used two fresh lemons)
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan (optional/garnish) 


Plug in crock pot and turn setting to Low heat.

Heat a swig of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat. When oil is heated, add half of the chicken pieces. (You don't want to over-crowd the pan, so you'll cook the chicken in two batches) Season with salt and pepper. Cook chicken for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown,on each side. 

(You're not cooking the chicken all the way, just getting a slight golden-brown crust)

Remove chicken from skillet and place in crock pot. Cook remaining chicken and add to crock pot.

Sprinkle the Italian dressing/seasoning mix evenly over the chicken. Pour the lemon juice and chicken broth over the tops. Cover with lid, and cook on low heat for 3 hours. 

Either serve chicken pieces whole or shredded, with the lemon sauce/broth. 







Cheezy Broccoli Orzo

1 c. orzo pasta
1 1/2 c. chopped broccoli florets
1/4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 Tbl. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbl. butter
1/4 - 1/2 c. chicken broth
salt and pepper

Add orzo to a large pot of salted boiling water.  Cook for three minutes, then add the chopped broccoli; cook two more minutes or until orzo is tender.  Drain very well.  Return to pot and stir in the Cheddar, Parmesan, butter and chicken broth to desired level of moistness.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serves: 3-4


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Meal #2 
(Use previous days leftover chicken, shredded)


Chopped Thai Chicken Salad

For the salad:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 3 whole carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 english cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 ounces cooked spaghetti (i omitted this)
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
  • Chopped peanuts for garnish
Add all ingredients in a large bowl, toss with dressing (below), and serve!

Coconut Peanut Lime Dressing:

1 tbsp ginger, peeled and chopped 
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3⁄4 tsp sambal oelek (a South Asian chili sauce)
2 tbsp cilantro, densely packed 
2 tbsp natural peanut butter 
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp lime juice 
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp plus 1⁄2 tsp tamari (a type of soy sauce) 
1-1⁄2 tsp sugar
4 tsp coconut milk 
3⁄4 tsp sesame oil 
1⁄2 cup sunflower oil






Happy Meal Planning!!





5 comments:

Alexis said...

Thank you!!! I am in a cooking funk and this just made me excited!
MOM

Joan said...

I don't think I've EVER had boneless, skinless chicken breast from a crock pot that wasn't totally dry. If you promise this recipe is different ;) I will give it a try. Wow, how bratty do I sound? IF you talk me into it THEN I MIGHT try it?!! hahaha.
The Thai salad looks amazing. I am always up for Oriental anything.

Rachel Haack said...

@Mama...you will love the salad, i know you.

@ joan: it is really moist thanks to the chicken broth and lemon juice it cooks in! BRAT! lol, kidding of course.;)

Katy Nicole. said...

YEEESSSS. I am in desperate need of Rae Recipes!! Can't wait to try these and so glad Mama Mondays are back!!!! I thought of you this week..I made your orzo chicken salad recipe that you posted last summer. HUGE hit every time!

Joan said...

We are both brats ;) That's why we get each other so well!