The last month or so has been a mix of long work days, weekend travel, and non existent meal plans.
As I sit at the start of this new work schedule, the opportunity to return to cooking dinners and meal planning excites me. Yet, where do I begin? I spent the weekend camping in Wisconsin, and the BOY and I decided NOT to go grocery shopping Sunday night. There might be time to go Monday evening, but the BOY is working Mondays now too. That leaves Tuesday morning (since I’m just working Tuesday afternoon). Is there enough time to get in a workout, do a load of laundry, go to the store, and make something for dinner? Well, I don’t know, but I was willing to find out.
Pre Shopping List Questions…
What days can I cook dinner? How much time do I have? Are we eating too much chicken? Do I need to set an alarm? Not as shopping related, but tell me…when was the last time your work day started at 2? Did you set an alarm?
What Really Ended Up Happening…
I worked all day Monday, but forgot my shopping list at home. Instead of going home to get it, the BOY took me out for dinner at our favorite sandwich place. We were both so surprised to have me home by 7pm that it was such a treat to eat dinner together as the sun was setting.
Turns out Tuesday morning, I did not need an alarm. The BOY and I have opposite schedules which is good in that it gives me two mornings alone in a quiet house, but bad when his alarm goes off and he starts opening and closing drawers looking for clothes. I started my day at 7:30am and since no grocery store run had been done, I was inspired by our camping trip to make ‘kitchen sink’ style eggs.
I found spinach, an apple, and feta and mixed those in with the last of the eggs (note…add eggs to grocery list). After breakfast, I went out for a bike ride. My triathlon is THIS WEEKEND! Although my training has gone well thus far, I’ve been slacking a bit here at the end. During this taper week, I really wanted to get in one last bike ride on my road bike (today) and one last swim (Thursday). Today’s ride was a HOT 11 miles. The majority of my training has been in unseasonably cold weather, so I have NO idea what to expect for this weekend.
Before going to the store, I flipped through some cookbooks and searched some blogs for some healthy dinner options. I realized that being gone from ~1-6pm on the same days as the BOY meant that I could put the crockpot in charge of dinner. I have a few crockpot specific cookbooks, and when I found these lettuce wraps, I was sold. I had most of the ingredients in the house, and knew that I could use lettuce and pick up some pita for the BOY. I stirred up the marinade, drenched the chicken, and hit start hoping that this simple recipe would be good enough to be a favorite. Then I was out of the door.
I chatted with the BOY briefly after his morning class to fill him in on the dinner situation, and when I walked in the door after work, I found dinner ready!
I set up my lettuce cups and filled them with chicken.
Then topped my lettuce wraps with creamy avocado, which paired perfectly with the soy ginger flavor of the chicken!
The BOY and I ate dinner seated at the table, a special treat (again), and celebrated his successful last semester of law school. He got his best grades EVER!
As I prepped this meal, I was hoping it would become a household favorite (mostly because of how easy it was), and was pleasantly surprised to discover how unique and tasty this dinner turned out. I definitely recommend adding some avocado and packed up my leftovers for lunch with avocado, of course.
Lessons Learned (week one of my new schedule)…
It is awesome to grocery shop on Tuesday mornings. The crockpot is perfect for healthy summer meals. You can never eat too much chicken. And I LOVE my new schedule!
Tuesday: Quick Sesame Teriyaki Lettuce (pita for the BOY) Wraps
Wednesday: Salmon (for me) and Steak (for him) on the grill (courtesy of the BOY)
Thursday: Greek Turkey Meatballs
Lunch will be leftovers!
Quick Sesame Teriyaki Lettuce Wraps
From The 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth
3/4 cup high quality, low-sugar prepared teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used chicken breasts)
1 package slaw mix (broccoli, carrots and cabbage)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)
1 small head red-leaf or Bibb lettuce
In a small bowl, whisk together the teriyaki sauce, water and ginger. Lay the chicken thighs (or breasts) in the bottom of the slow cooker and pour the sauce evenly over the top. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours, or on low for 3 to 4 hours, until the chicken is cooked through and very tender. Shred the chicken with two forks and add the slaw mix. Stir and combine, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the sesame seeds and serve over individual lettuce leaves.
Note: I forgot to buy sesame seeds, so just didn’t use them. The dinner turned out fantastic, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have the seeds hiding in your pantry!