Friday, April 3, 2009

Single Serving - Express Workday Dinners

1 Pan & Twenty Minutes – Take That Rachel Ray!

Sunday’s Shopping List, Pantry List & Prep Work

Grocery List
1 Lemon or Lemon Juice
1 Bag Mixed Salad Greens
Miscellaneous Salad Toppings (Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries, Toasted Nuts, Mandarin oranges)
2 Medium Onions
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Head of Garlic
1 Bag Frozen Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables
5-8 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts depending on size – Look for the ‘Value Packs’ in the refrigerated butcher's case
Corn Tortillas (Can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months)
1 Quart Low Sodium Chicken Broth

Pantry Items Needed
Gluten Free Soy Sauce
Tomato Sauce
Peanut Butter
Brown rice
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese - optional
Chili Powder
Crushed red pepper flakes

Prep Work
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Trim excess fat and skin from chicken. Arrange breasts in 9x13 inch baking pan, placing the smallest pieces in the center of the pan. Drizzle both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Bake 20-30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 ºF*. Remove chicken from the oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Place chicken (with any residual juices) in a zip lock bag and refrigerate.

*The carry over cooking that will happen after chicken is removed from the oven and will rise the internal temperature to the optimal 165ºF.

Monday – Whoops, I was going to start that diet today.

Chicken Salad with a Spicy Lemon Dressing

Chop a chicken breast into bite size pieces. Combine salad greens, chicken, goat cheese, mandarin orange, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Toss salad dressing and enjoy!
Salad Dressing: Whisk together, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tsp lemon juice, 1/2 Tsp crushed red pepper flakes and 1/8 Tsp salt.

Have a case of the Mondays? Need more comfort and less diet in your dinner? Give your salad the Pittsburgh'er twist. Top salad with french fries, shredded cheese and a healthy dose of ranch dressing.

Tuesday – Cravin’ some carbs after last night’s dinner

Braised Kale in a Tomato Sauce with Chicken Over Brown Rice
1 Bunch Kale*
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ Onion Finely Sliced
1 Garlic Clove, Crushed or finely minced
¼ Cup Chicken Broth (water can be substituted)
1 Cup Tomato Sauce
1 Chicken Breast – Chopped into Bite Size Pieces
1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
Brown rice**

Rinse Kale and remove the tough vein that runs through the center of the leaf. Tear leaves into bit size pieces (the leaves will wilt down considerably once cooked). Pre-heat large skillet, add olive oil. Sauté onions and garlic until onions soften. Add kale and chicken broth, season with salt and pepper. Once the kale begins to wilt add tomato sauce. Reduce heat and cover for 4 minutes. Add chicken, heat thoroughly. Serve over brown rice and top with Parmesans cheese.

*Kale not your thing, baby spinach works great too! If using spinach: Add the tomato sauce and chicken to sautéd onions and garlic, heat thoroughly. Remove from heat and stir in spinach, allowing it a minute or two to wilt before serving.

**Brown rice can take up to 40 minutes to cook but ‘minute rice’ brown rice is available in most stores. If rehydrating already cooked rice or having to wait 40 minutes doesn't do it for you, stop by the Chinese restaurant on your way home. Even in Manhattan a large container is only $1.50 and will last several days.

Wednesday – Wondering what to do with the left-over rice

Minute Chicken Stir Fry with Peanut [Butter] Sauce
½ bag Frozen Mixed Stir Fry Vegetables
½ Cup Water or Chicken Broth
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1-2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
½ Onion chopped*
1 Tsp Gluten Free Soy Sauce
2 Tbs Peanut Butter
¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes or Sriracha hot sauce
¼ Tsp Ground Ginger or 1/2 Tsp grated fresh Ginger Root
1 Chicken Breast Sliced into Strips

Pre-heat large skillet, add olive oil. Sauté onions and garlic until the onions soften. Add frozen vegetable and chicken broth. With a fork, whisk in peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook over low heat until the vegetables are thaw and the peanut butter is well incorporated (approx 5 minutes). Add chicken, heat thoroughly. Serve over left-over brown rice.

*Your veggie mix may already include onions

Thursday – Wishing I could go back to college and those Margarita Madness happy hours

Chicken Fajitas

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove, Crushed
½ Onion
1 Green Bell Pepper
¼ Tsp Chili Powder
¼ Tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 Tsp Cumin
¼ Cup Chicken Broth
1 Chicken Breast – Sliced into Strips
2-3 Corn Tortillas

Slice onions and peppers into ½ inch strips. In a large pan, sauté onion, pepper, garlic, spices and a pinch of salt. When onions and peppers have soften, add chicken and chicken broth. Once heated thoroughly and onions and peppers are cooked, divide and serve with flour tortillas. Top fajitas with appropriate condiments from the refrigerator (lemon juice, lime juice, cheese, salsa, guacamole, parsley, cilantro, black bean dip, sour cream, plain Greek-style yogurt).

Friday - Finally it's Friday

Happy Hour Special
2 Martinis
6 Olives

Order from bartender, "Martini - straight up." Repeat. Enjoy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love Fri night dinner! I am an excellent martini maker and couldn't agree more...a nice gin martini...heavy on the olives! Thx for the laughs and good recipes!

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