Easy Weeknight Dinners is the topic this week at Ultimate Recipe Swap and I find that often I cook a chicken, rice, pasta, prep veggies and then spend the week assembling different combinations.
Feeding a family of six on a budget can be a challenge. We rarely eat out so coming up with interesting things for dinner, that everyone will eat, can be sort of boring if you let it.
I plan out all of my meals because it helps my budget, helps maintain my sanity and I crave the predictablily of the evening meal. Our days are filled with enough impromptu, glitches, and oppsies. My kids are young and I curb our evening activities so that we can eat together each night. I treasure this time with my kids because I know it is fleeting.
I have 10 go-to chicken dinners. I usually use my crockpot to cook the chicken one day for meals the following days. If I am baking all day I like to roast the chicken.
1.) Chicken and White Bean soup. I use the Frontera grill chili starter base and have added peppers, onions, celery, carrots, more beans and rice or whatever else I have in my refridgerator.
3.) Chicken quesadillas. I heat a pan, toss in a tortilla then add cheese and warmed chicken. I use plain chicken for some and seasoned chicken for others. I serve it open face so everyone can decorate with sourcream, salsa and lettuce.
4.) Chicken stock. When ever I cook a chicken in the crockpot I always save the stock and freeze it in ziploc bags or mason jars.
5.) Leftover Chicken noodle soup. I use the homemade chicken stock and and simmer veggies and the chicken and then add noodles and simmer until they are done. I use leftover baked chicken–I find that crockpot chicken reheated in this slower cooked soup falls apart and that is not appealing to me.
6.) Sunday dinner. I put the chicken in the oven, prep the potatoes for mashing and prep the veggies. Serve with a salad.
7.) Stir fry with Rice: We love having this dinner with Grandpa Pop Pop. I cut the chicken as thin as possible–you can freeze the chicken for a while to make it easier to cut, find as many veggies as possible and cook them in my wok. I do not add sauce to the stir fry but have some teriyaki (I love the Soy Vay sauces) and peanut sauces on the table with some roasted cashews. I set the wok in the middle of the table and enjoy.
8.) Grilled BBQ Chicken. We have this at least once a week in the summer.
9.) Homemade chicken nuggets. I find boneless, skinless chicken breast or do it myself and cut them into 1 inch squares or for tenders you can make them strips. I coat them in salad dressing and dredge them in bread crumbs. I make homemade bread crumbs by saving the bits and ends of bread in the freezer and when I need crumbs or want to make a batch I just zoom it in the food processer. I always have storebought just in case as well.
10.) Chicken Salad. I use leftover chicken of any kind including boiled chicken. Basic salad I add mayo, celery, onion, two touch of hot sauce. For variation I add cranberries and yougurt or ginger salad dressing with they mayo and sesame seeds. The kids only eat the basic salad but I love to play with different combinations.