Posts Tagged quick

Pizza night!

 

Did I mention this week was all about the quick and easy?  I love pizza night because Dylan loves to help make it, and it’s a super-easy way to get him to eat veggies.  I told him what we had in the fridge and said that the only rule for what to put on this pizza is there had to be two vegetables on it.  He picked broccoli, mushrooms, and scallions.  (Also pepperoni and cheese.  Here’s a hint to avoid having to pat down the grease off your pizza – use turkey pepperoni.  It tastes exactly the same as the pork stuff.)

Dylan menu: pizza, milk, peach yogurt

Aeryn menu: cheerios, peach yogurt, formula

 

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Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Mu Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

The theme for this week is “quick and easy” since we’re easing into a new routine.  And apparently also “hoisin sauce” for no particular reason at all. This recipe comes from Real Simple by way of FreshDirect, and is, appropriately enough, really really simple.

  • 3/4 lb chicken, sliced thin
  • 2 large carrots, in matchsticks
  • 2 red bell peppers, in matchsticks
  • 1/4 green cabbage (about 2-3 cups), shredded
  • 1-2 cups button mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • 2-3 tbsp hoisin sauce, more for drizzling
Heat some vegetable oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet, add mushrooms.  Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until mushrooms have given up their water and are starting to brown.  Add chicken, cabbage, carrots, and peppers, cook about 7 minutes or until veggies have wilted and chicken is just cooked through.  Add hoisin sauce, toss to coat, and continue to cook until you like the way it looks.  (If you want your vegetables on the crisp side, just another minute is enough.  If you want it to be softer and more Chinese-takeout-esque, you can let it cook for quite a while.)
Serve wrapped in lettuce leaves, drizzled with a little extra hoisin.  Delish, and also low-carb if you’re into that sort of thing.  (Also gluten free, unless hoisin has gluten in it, but there’s probably a GF version out there.)
Dylan’s menu: mu shu chicken over rice, milk to drink
Aeryn’s menu: mashed potato/sweet potato, cheerios, formula

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Chicken & Rice with Kale and Arugula

This one’s a quickie – just a link, no picture.  Last night’s dinner was from Martha Stewart – One-Pot Chicken & Rice With Kale and Arugula.  The original recipe called for chard, I had kale and arugula in the fridge to use up.  Otherwise I made this exactly as written and it was quite tasty!  Dylan ignored the kale on his plate but did eat the chicken and rice (and some of the carrots).

No lunch box post today because Dylan decided to have the school lunch (“Trayless Tuesdays” mean hamburger day).

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Miso-hoisin spaghetti with eggplant and green beans

This is a variation on this recipe I found on Serious Eats a few weeks ago and fell head over heels in love with.  The sauce can be used for a dish like this, over pasta, or for a terrific chicken/pork/shrimp marinade.  And since the ingredients are all things that last basically forever in your fridge (miso, hoisin, and chili-garlic sauce), this can be whipped up at the last minute when you realize that it’s the end of the week and your pantry is down to half an eggplant, some green beans, and half a box of spaghetti.

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Chicken Cheese Sliders / I’m baaaaaaaaack

This blog, as I’m sure you all guessed, has been on summer vacation.  Which was absolutely my plan all along.  And since it was such a cunning and brilliant plan, I now have an incredibly convenient excuse to be all “back to school / back to blogging!”

Yep, back to school.  Dylan started Pre-K at PS230 this week.  I am now officially the mom of a school-aged child.

Which means that in addition to posts about dinner-my-non-picky-but-incredibly-stubborn preschooler will eat, you will also be getting almost-daily school lunch posts as well.  Don’t worry, those will be short.

So, dinner tonight.  Not the most exciting meal, but hugely successful from a feeding-kids POV and pretty tasty to boot.  And doable on a weeknight!  Huzzah!

Chicken-Cheese Sliders

1 whole skinless bone-in chicken breast

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

1 can chopped green chiles (4 oz)

1 small onion OR a few scallions, chopped (Yes, I ran out of onions.  Who DOES that???)

some garlic, minced/pressed

slider buns or regular sandwich/burger rolls.  If you are in NYC, FreshDirect has these awesome little brioche slider buns which are perfect for this.  They come in bags of 12 but you can freeze them and then slice & bake directly from the freezer.

cheese (cheddar or American)

arugula (this was for the adult sandwiches only, if your kids will eat spinach by all means use that instead!)

In a chef’s pan or skillet with a lid, combine the chicken, chiles, bbq sauce, alliums (that’s onions & garlic), and about 1/4 cup of water.  Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.  Put in fridge.  When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull it off the bones and shred it with your hands.  Mix it back into the sauce.

Preheat your oven to 400.  I probably should have told you that first. Sorry.

On a sheet pan, assemble sandwiches, but leave them open faced.  Basically you want the chicken and cheese on a bottom bun and an empty top bun next to it.  Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is toasty.  Add arugula.  Put top bun on sandwich.  Eat!  You could also add some spicy mustard if you wanted to.  Or extra bbq sauce.

Dylan eating sliders

Mmmmmmmm, cheesy!

Dylan’s menu: 2 sliders, edamame, milk, 1/2 apple

Aeryn

Cheerios!

Aeryn’s menu: homemade baby food (potatoes, green beans, zucchini, carrots), cheerios, formula

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Pasta with tuna and green beans

From Martha Stewart, a nice modern twist on the flavors of a traditional tuna noodle casserole.  No pics tonight – too tired and forgot!

The major changes to this recipe were in the proportions.  Since the original serves one, we more or less tripled it.  (Also for some reason in Martha’s world tuna cans are 3 oz instead of 5.  Weird.)

  • 8 oz (1/2 box) whole wheat fusilli/rotini/etc
  • 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 2 cans water-packed low-sodium tuna, drained
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Boil pasta in salted water.  1 minute before the end of cooking, add the green beans.  Drain.

Meanwhile, combine everything else in a bowl.  When the pasta and green beans are done, mix them in.  Season to taste!  Wasn’t that easy?

Dylan gobbled this up, which was nice to see because we’ve been so exhausted lately that he’s been eating a lot of junk food – granola bars instead of actual meals, etc.   So serving him a balanced meal that he actually enjoyed eating was a nice change of pace.

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Crackers!

Not actually dinner, but superfun to make, and so easy!  This is the recipe I used, modified slightly as I did not have any semolina flower.

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp zatar
Whole Wheat Crackers

craaaaaaaaaaaaaackers!

Add dry ingredients to the bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix together.  Add water and olive oil, knead w/ mixer for 7 minutes or until smooth.  At this point the recipe says to separate the dough into 12 little balls…I did this, but in retrospect I’m not 100% sure why I did this.  What you want is just enough dough to roll out to cracker-thinness onto your sheet pan.  In my case, this was about 2 little balls of dough, or 1/6th of the total recipe.  Let the dough rest for about an hour at room temperature before you roll it out.  (And if you refrigerate it to roll out, say, tomorrow, let it come back to room temp before you do because it will roll out thinner and your crackers will be crispier.)

Preheat your oven to 400 and roll out the dough directly onto a sheet pan dusted with flour.  Just when you think it’s thin enough, sprinkle with kosher (or coarse sea) salt and roll out eeeeeeeeeven thinner.  Score with a knife to divide into crackers and prick each cracker with a fork a couple of times.  The recipe doesn’t say how long to bake these, but mine took about 7 minutes to get crispy and starting to brown.

In the future, I think more zatar would be in order – it was hard to taste in the finished product here.  Perhaps next time I’ll swap it out completely for a metric ton of black pepper.  Mmmmmmmm….

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Shrimp Caesar Salad

This has been, to be blunt, a very low-cooking week.  It’s my last week of maternity leave and I just didn’t feel like exerting myself.  Monday we had the greek-chicken-and-chickpea stew again, Tuesday I defrosted some chili from the freezer, Wednesday and Thursday were leftovers, and tonight we had shrimp caesar salads.  This consists of pan-seared shrimp on top of a FreshDirect caesar salad, and is just about the bare minimum of effort one can put in and still legitimately claim to have made dinner.  The marinade for the shrimp is as follows:

  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • fresh rosemary if you have it (I did)
  • lots of garlic

Puree everything into a thin paste.  Toss with shrimp, let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes (much longer than that and you’ll wind up with ceviche).

Heat a little oil in a medium skillet (stainless or nonstick, doesn’t matter) until just barely smoking.  Cook the shrimp until lightly browned on both sides – do not overcook or they will become rubbery.

Put shrimp on salad.  Eat!

(Tomorrow we’re having chicken with a Trader Joe’s simmer sauce.  Do not expect a recipe for this.)

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Savory Oatmeal

Special lunch post!  Had to write this down so I know how to make it again because it was pretty crazy delicious.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • dash of Penzey’s Fox Point seasoning
  • dash of Penzey’s dried shallots
  • small handful of pine nuts
  • egg
  • cheddar cheese
  • butter, salt, pepper

Cook the oatmeal in the water with shallots and Fox Point.  Toast pine nuts in dry skillet, add to oatmeal.  Add butter to skillet, fry the egg.  Put the oatmeal in a bowl with the egg on top.  Grate cheese over everything.  Season with salt & pepper (you won’t need much salt, if any, because there’s already some in the Fox Point seasoning).

NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM.

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Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts

Lest you think I’m some kind of health nut, I made this recipe 4 or 5 times before I realized there wasn’t supposed to be pancetta in it.  Oops.  The original recipe from Gourmet is here – below is the way I always make it.

  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti or fettucini (I like the nuttiness of whole wheat in this dish, but regular pasta works fine too)
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, sliced (use the food processor or a mandoline for this)
  • large handful of pine nuts (about 1/2 cup?)
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp cubed pancetta (I like the kind you can buy pre-cubed, but you can also cut the sliced kind into faux-lardons)
  • olive oil, salt, pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Heat the olive oil in a large chef’s pan.  Add pancetta, and cook until crispy.  Add onion, pine nuts, and sprouts, saute over med-high heat until starting to brown.   Season to taste.  Add pasta, toss together and add enough of the cooking liquid to moisten everything.

Serve with LOTS of parmesan cheese.

iPhoto issues continue, but Dylan liked this even better than the lasagna.  Maybe because I let him have a “grown-up fork” for twirling.

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