Living For The Weekend -Menu-

Is it just me or was this the longest week ever?! Could be because it was my first week back at work, attempting to make standardized test prep fun, missing my two little loves, or because I missed the gym THREE times this week and had to workout at the house. The weekends just are not long enough.

Meal prepping and family lunch on Sunday, take the majority of my Sunday to complete. This really drives me to make my meal prep on Sunday as quick and easy as possible, so I still have the afternoon to relax with my family. It is all about strategy people. Meal prep looks like complete chaos in my kitchen. There are usually two pans in my tiny oven (daydreaming of a double oven), the stove blasting with a pot on every eye, lots of produce being washed and chopped, mixing bowls, spices…organized chaos.

You cannot let the mess and chaos scare you away from meal prep. It gets quicker and like second nature the more often you do it. Good moms and dads are inherently great multitask-ers. This my friend is multitasking at its finest.

I do hope you have found a few recipes that you and your family have enjoyed! Don’t be afraid to try something new!


MENU

Chicken + Grilled Eggplant

Coq Au Chardonnay (French Stewed Chicken)

Flat Iron Tortas 

Chicken Tacos

Nicoise Salad


Grilled Chicken + Grilled Eggplant

Instead of cooking the chicken on the NuWave, we are going to grill our chicken breasts and baste them with a sauce. Anderson, our son, loves grilled chicken so this is a good way to skip cooking him a separate meat from ours.

I love to make sauces and dressings. I usually just throw a few things together until it tastes good to me and forget to write down what worked. I made this sauce over the weekend, so it is fresh on my brain PLUS we really liked it:

1 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp yellow mustard, 3 Tbsp whole grain mustard,  1-2 Tbsp Cholula (or more for extra heat), 1 Tbsp Worcestershire and around 1/3 C of water to thin out the sauce.

You can grill this eggplant or cook it in a cast iron pan if you aren’t firing up the grill for the chicken. Make sure to cut your eggplant and salt it on both sides 30 minutes prior to cooking it. This draws out the excess water in the eggplant. Cutting and cooking the eggplant is something I would wait to do the night you plan to eat it. I would make the tomato, pine nut, basil, and feta topping ahead of time or at least slice the tomatoes to save yourself some of the hassel.


Coq Au Chardonnay

Coq Au Chardonnay, a fancy name for chicken braised with wine…but boy it looks good! This is a great meal you can start and “forget” about while you cook and prepare other meals.

The original recipe calls for a whole chicken, but I am going to use 4-6 chicken breasts (depending on their size, some chicken breasts are just HUGE now) to cut down on the fat. There is bacon in this dish so the extra fat should not be missed.

Legs and thighs would be amazing in this dish if you can tolerate a higher fat diet. We have a high carb, low fat diet so I have to make some substitutions to accommodate for that.

They use olive oil to cook their bacon. I would hold off on that step for now.

While the bacon is cooking, season your chicken and prepare your vegetables. You will be using the bacon grease in the meal, so if you are tracking your food (and I sure hope you are) you will need to weigh your bacon PRIOR to cooking it.

If the chicken is starting to stick to the pan, this is where you can add some EVOO. If plenty of grease cooked out of the bacon, don’t add the EVOO. No need to add fat to fat if there is plenty of it! The post does not tell you when to add the bacon BACK to the dish. Since the bacon is already cooked, I would personally wait to add it to the dish once it is done, topping each serving with equal amounts.

**UPDATE: after cooking this dish, I would like to make a few adjustments to the original  recipe. Maybe it’s because I have not had alcohol in a while, but the wine really overpowered this dish. I would suggest either doing 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of wine OR let the wine and broth simmer and cook down, before adding the chicken and putting in the oven.


Flat Iron Tortas

Flat Iron Tortas  are super simple steak sandwiches. The great thing is you don’t need a fancy, expensive cut of meat for these. Venison cubed steak is what I prefer to use on these, but we are ALREADY out of deer meat! Meat does not last long around this house.

If you get a tough piece of meat, make sure you slice it thin and tenderize prior to cooking. The meat cooks quickly depending on how thin you slice your steak, so it can be cooked very quickly the night of. Make sure you slice your meat ahead of time so you aren’t stuck in the kitchen too long.

I do not use the avocado in this recipe. Like I said before we eat a low fat, high carb diet so avocado is a luxury since it is high in fat.

If nothing else save yourself some time and make the sauce while you are meal prepping. Don’t think just because this is an easy recipe that you shouldn’t prep for it. Life happens and the simplest recipes can become an aggravation if you are in a hurry or just in a plain bad mood. Do yourself a favor and prep.


Chicken Tacos

I am going to take my pork tacos that I cooked a few weeks ago and just trade out the meat for chicken. Boston butts aren’t on sale this week or I would definitely opt for pork tacos instead.

I love the simplicity of this recipe, how macro friendly it is, and bonus it tastes good!

This is a one pot meal which makes it even better, less to clean up. You can easily prep this meal by cutting the veggies and chicken up before cooking it or even cook it all ahead of time and reheat when you are ready to eat it.

Slice the onion and finely chop 2-3 garlic cloves. Sauteed in 1 Tbsp of EVOO for 3 minutes, then add the sliced peppers and saute until tender. Remove veggies from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until chicken is to temperature. Drain any excess water. Mix the veggies back in the pan with the chicken. Turn down the heat and add one 455 mL jar of salsa verde, letting the meat and veggies soak in the flavor.

OR if you really want to save yourself some time, throw it all in the crock pot and let it go! Layer the salsa, chicken, peppers and onions and cook on low until the chicken is done. The goal is to get the chicken tender and juicy enough to shred like the pork.

These tortillas are the best when you are trying to save yourself from going over on your carbs or you could opt for some rice. I love jasmine rice. It is sticky and really soaks in the flavor of whatever dish you are eating it with. Top with a fresh squeeze of lime, cilantro, and your favorite hot sauce!


Nicoise Salad

I remember the first time I had this salad. My sister made it for my whole family. I was in my last semester of college studying my heart out, on our yearly family vacation for the GACE. It was an amazing salad that had everything you could possibly need, was so filling, and delicious! You know if it can satisfy the taste buds of 8 adults, then it must be good.

This salad has many “toppings”, but the great thing is they can all be replaced or left out if you don’t have one on hand. The only one I tend to leave out is the green beans. They are a great addition, but Josh doesn’t particularly care for them on the salad so I leave them off.

Cook the potatoes, eggs, and green beans and make the salad dressing when you are meal prepping.

I use one pack of tuna and one hard boiled egg on my salad. Josh gets two packs of tuna and two hard boiled eggs on his salad.


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