Saturday, August 1, 2015

Quick and Nutritious Dinner Plan

 Since I keep getting requests for recipes, here goes. This is kinda tough because I don't actually use recipes for much of my cooking. Since I learned to cook at a very young age, I've got almost two decades of experience and can toss most things together without having to think too hard. And some of the great things about cooking for yourself are that the food is generally more nutritious, cheeper, and anyone can do it. Ok, maybe if you were born without arms it's going to be tough. But cooking is not like some things you may wish to do. If you want to be something like a star football player, that may just not be possible, no matter how dedicated you are. But, if you devote some time to it, I really believe anyone can learn to be a good cook.

 I do live in a tiny house, but I do not just eat raw veggies or cook only one pot meals. Here's something I tossed together a little while ago because I happened to have all the ingredients around, and I liked it a lot and it's relatively easy and quick to prepare. Here's my meal prep plan to get this on the table.


For each person, cook about 1/2 c. dry quinoa in 1 c. water or broth. I like to use chicken or turkey broth that I've made and about a 1/4 t. of salt for more flavorful quinoa. All the grains should be soft in 20 minutes for most varieties of quinoa, so I'd start this cooking first.


I'd use 1 chicken breast per person. (More or less if you know how hungry people are.) Slice into strips that are about 1/2 inch thick and fry in a little butter or oil. I like to sprinkle with some kind of seasoned salt (for this one I used lemon pepper seasoning) to add a bit of flavor here as well. Flip the chicken strips and season the other side as well. Turn the stove off and let the chicken sit for a minute while you prepare the kale. Check on your quinoa, it should be getting soft.


A few kale leaves per person should suffice, depending on how much you like it, and how large the leaves are. I like kale a lot, so I tend to go heavy on this. Slice the leaves into thin strips. Melt a small amount of butter or oil and add some freshly diced garlic. Toss in the kale and stir fry for a minute or so. Kale cooks quite rapidly.

Now your quinoa should have completely absorbed all the liquid and be soft. Make a bed of quinoa in the center of each plate. Place several chicken strips on top of this and top it off with the kale. This is an attractive and nutritious dinner. And should only take a half hour or less to prepare.

If you are shopping for this meal you should need per person:

1/2 c. quinoa
1 cup broth (though you can use just water or add bullion if you have it)
1/4 t. salt
1 chicken breast
1 T. butter or oil
A sprinkling of seasoned salt
1 garlic clove
A partial bunch of kale

You may have most of this around your house already and only need to go buy some quinoa, chicken, and kale. Not too complicated.


If only cooking for one or two, buy a larger package of chicken breasts as it will tend to be less expensive, and freeze extra breasts in ziplock bags. They'll be handy to thaw and use in the future if you have any freezer space in your house.

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