Originally Posted by Vaquitita
then there's lunch. we've been eating lots of tj's chicken strips lately. i've considered making my own with almond meal, but haven't. ya know, i should just buy some frozen chicken breast tenderloins to make making the strips easy. because clearly i'm not going to cut up a whole chicken to do it. do you fry yours? bake them? the nice thing about the frozen ones is being able to just throw them in the oven and then walk away. standing over a frying pan while holding a 2mo baby in the other hand is not easy or very safe. i haven't been in the mood for salad for lunch, too cold. but if i ate it with hot chicken strips, then it would be ok. i jsut need something hot. i need another protein option for variety, hmm... as for dinner, i'm thinking roasting: pot roast, roast chicken, and need to experiment with roasting veggies. i know i like broccoli roasted, what else? all i can think of is starchy veg: potatoes, yams, carrots, beets. what do you roast? also, at a recent visit to my inlaws, ds discovered cauliflower. he really likes it, so i'm thinking of trying one of these cauliflower instead of potatoes/rice recipes i keep hearing of.
re: homemade chicken tenders
I've made these almond crusted, BAKED chicken nuggets a few times and they come out pretty good (sometimes better than others...play with herbs to really give flavor). I just baked a huge batch and froze them to heat up later. I use thighs...our farmer sells them deboned and I just pull the skin off (and cook separate...yum salted chicken skin chips!). I just cut the thighs into similar sized pieces and go from there.
grilled chicken leftovers reheated and added to or on the side of the salad??
salmon salad or salmon patties (maybe these could be baked?? what about in a little dish instead of a patty?)
make a big pot of chili and reheat for lunch...add chopped red onion, jalapenos, cheese, yogurt/sour cream, etc to dress it up and vary flavor from bowl to bowl
meatballs (these and these are good and reside in my freezer for reheating)
fried egg on salad is good...especially when runny and on something like arugula (runny egg = dressing)
ds1 and I deviled eggs today and I forgot how much I love them...you can add avocado for some or all of the mayo - we love the color, flavor, and fats in that!
re: cauliflower/roasted veg
I LOVE to roast or pan fry cauliflower florets!! If you buy frozen cauliflower florets, you can just put them on a greased baking sheet, drizzle with fat and sea salt and roast at 400, stirring occasionally until browned. Carrots, onions, asparagus and brussels sprouts are also good roasted...and I bet green beans would be good (lightly steam first I think or use thawed frozen).
For onions I prefer to cook practically whole rather than chopped...red onions go great with lots of butter and balsamic vinegar drizzled on them (cut off root and top enough to remove skin, cut from top to bottom NOT cutting through the internal root base...make the 'flower' sections with fourths or sixths, NOT all the way to awesome blossum thin strips!...drizzle with balsamic and stuff in some butter...pecan chunks are optional...bake until soft and sweet, basting as needed).
Tonight I cut a large head of cauliflower into similar sized florets (about grape-sized) and pan fried in plenty of butter (and a little bacon grease b/c it looked dry and we love the flavor) with garlic, sea salt and pepper. When it was soft (I don't like raw cauliflower) I sprinkled on some Parmesean and let it melt on. YUM!! I also love this with more flavors like fresh tarragon and bacon pieces...
re: quick and easy survival entrees
1) you can put a whole chicken (frozen as long as it's empty) with sea salt into the crockpot and cook all day...very tender and it releases enough water to cook.
2) chicken or pork diplomat: layer chicken or pork and separated onion slices in crockpot or baking dish, pour in some watered down mayo (or thin with stock) and top with cheese (the mayo separates so it'll be pretty greasy in the bottom but AMAZINGLY tender and delicious)
3) soup...this Tom Kha Gai soup looks easy and delicious
4) Stuffed butternut squash with sausage and apples (The Joy of Cooking)
I sauteed some sliced mushrooms in butter and added those this time, too...YUM. Here are the basics off the cuff...I don't really use recipes anyway so if you're like me, you can go from this basic outline:
- split and empty squash
- bake cut side down in pan with water until tender 45-1hr?
- break up and cook bulk breakfast sausage, set aside in big bowl
- chop up an apple or two into small bites, (optional) sautee lightly in butter, add to bowl
- sautee optional veg: onions, mushrooms, etc, add to meat
- scoop out flesh, leaving enough to keep walls sturdy, add flesh to meat
- stir just enough to mix (leaving some bit-sized chunks of squash)
- mix in sea salt, pepper, thyme, sage, etc
- taste and add butter if needed (the recipe called for adding brown sugar but I leave it out)
- stuff the squash shells
- (optional) drizzle with thin lines of molasses and/or chopped pecans
- bake about an hour until heated through
Cut into large pieces to serve and people should trim off just the skin and eat the stuffing plus the layer you left in the squash. Great with a salad on the side. This makes a lot, is really decadent and full of fall flavors. Reheats beautifully or enjoy cold. BTW, you can use tart apples or mild apples depending on preference. You can also make this a bit spicy with red pepper flakes, but then my kids won't eat it. :)
I hope this helps! Congrats again,
edited to add: don't forget baked fruit! baked peaches are sublime (you can use the frozen slices for ease, add pats of butter, bake from frozen, stir once to distribute that melted butter)...pears, apples, bananas, and even berries (though I just love those too much fresh!)