The Last Minute Meal, the Easy Meal and the Planned Meal

I thought I might share with you some of our favorite meals…the thrown together but somehow tasty meal, the easy meal that takes a little bit of time and the planned/time consuming meal.   If you are like me many meals are rushed because a baby is screaming to be nursed, or a toddler is making suspicious sounds in the next room…or worse, the toddler is making no sound at all.  Maybe you got home from the park later than you thought or you became distracted doing a million other chores.  If so, we have a lot in common.

I love anything in a whole wheat wrap.  Those plus these two ingredients seem to make their way into a lot of our meals…

If  I have left over rice from a previous meal I love to throw it in a wrap with chicken, black beans, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, tomato and cilantro. (maybe bell pepper and red onion)

Simple to make and so delicious.

Another simple meal that takes a little bit more time (but not much) is this recipe.  Instead of using ground chicken I use ground turkey and instead of a pita I use wraps.  The first time I made this meal was last summer and it has since become a favorite of ours.

It’s a perfect blend of flavor…turkey, cumin, green onion, tomato, feta, cucumber and yogurt.

A more time consuming meal but totally worth the effort is this:

Risotto with Broiled chicken

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 C chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 10 0z risotto
  • 2.3 C dry white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese

Place the chicken breast in nonmetallic dish and season. Mix the lemon rind, juice, 4 Tbsp of olive oil, garlic and thyme together in a bowl.

Spoon over chicken and rub in.  Marinate 4-6 hours.

Preheat broiler over high heat.  Put the chicken on the broiler and cook for 10 minutes, or until the skin is crips and starting to brown.  Turn over and brown the underside.  Reduce the heat and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Bring the stock to a boil in a pan, reduce heat and simmer over low heat while cooking the risotto.  Heat the remaining oil with 1 Tbsp of butter in deep pan over med heat until the butter has melted.  Add the onion until golden.  Reduce heat, add the rice and mix to coat with oil and butter, until the grains are translucent.   Add the wine and cook for 1 minute until the liquid is reduced.  Gradually add the hot stock one ladle at a time until liquid is absorbed into the risotto.  Increase heat to med and cook for 20 minutes. (until rice is creamy)

Once risotto is cooked add the remaining butter and parmesan cheese.  Cut the chicken into thick slices and put on top of risotto.

I have so many recipes I want to try and have found that Pinterest is a good source for delicious looking meals.  In this stage of life I set my standards pretty low.  I cook every day but I only tackle hard recipes once or twice a week. How about you?  Do you spend a lot of time planning and making your meals?  Do you have your favorites that you make week after week?

6 Responses to The Last Minute Meal, the Easy Meal and the Planned Meal

  1. Danelle says:

    yum, yum and YUM! my oh my how I love feta, whole wheat wraps, brown rice, and risotto! We share a very similar palette. (except for your love of curry, I just can’t do it. lol) Thanks for sharing some great recipes! <3

  2. LeAnna says:

    These sound good! I’m a huge fan of risotto, it’s worth the time for sure! Stir fry seems to make its way into every week around here. It’s so easy to throw together whatever vegetables are in the fridge and serve over rice. We also make a lot of baked burritos. Again, using whatever is available. Sometimes it’s beans and rice, sometimes meat and cheese…sometimes quinoa and salsa… 😉 My Hubby is such a meat guy, and it can be frustrating to put together quick meals that aren’t exclusively chicken. I like to keep sirloin steaks on hand because they can be sliced thin and cooked up quick. I reeeeally need to get better at menu planning at least a few meals a week. It makes life so much easier, but I never do it!

  3. meal planning is awesome. I sit down every Friday and figure out our “menu” for the week. It helps me to use our leftovers, and usually allows me a break from cooking at least 1 or 2 nights a week, I can double a recipe at the beginning of the week and save half for the next week. Wraps, chicken and salad, chili and stews in winter, lots of bbq in the summer, rice, we’re sorta all over the map. At first hubby didn’t love that none of our dinners tasted the same, but now he loves it:)

  4. Betty says:

    Hmm, some kind of taco/burrito is on our plates once a week (at least), homemade pizza/calzones, and unfailingly, a boring night of chicken, rice and veggies. BUT I am going to try your risotto recipe to spice up our boring night! And what a great idea with the feta, turkey and wraps I know Matt would love it. Whenever I cook a different, awesome meal he ALWAYS ask “Is this from Grace?” So, on two counts now I’ll be able to say yes 🙂 Thanks for posting these!

  5. i’m loving the wraps! definitely a favorite of mine, too. i’m also such a sucker for risotto. i agree, pinterest is so awesome for recipes and meal planning. i usually go through my food pins before i make our weekly menu to include one new meal. there have been some bummers, but also lots of yummers! : )

  6. Looks great! Will have to try the meat-ball-ish one. Pat would enjoy that! Thanks again for enjoying my Anna!

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