Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Two Winner Chicken Dinners

These two meals are fast, easy, and packed with veggies!  Both are plenty of food for two, and even gave us some lunch leftovers.  Double the recipes for a larger family.  If you cook your chicken and chop your veggies on Sunday, then Monday and Tuesday's meals will be a breeze.  A great tip to save money is always stock up on meat when they go on sale, freezer space permitting.  I always try to buy bone in/skin on chicken breasts.  It's the cheapest per pound and it stays moist and flavorful when you cook. it.  Feel free to substitute or add any veggies.  The whole point of these meals is to give you the flexibility to use up what you have.  I used what was in my fridge.

SUNDAY - Prep Day

Place the chicken in a casserole dish, drizzle with olive oil, and season both sides with an all-purpose seasoning (or use salt, pepper, and garlic powder.)  I use 3 bone in/skin on chicken breasts.  Bake at 350 degrees uncovered for about 40 minutes.  Let it rest for 30 minutes.  The skin should be crispy and golden brown.  Now comes best part!  The skin makes a great snack. 
Chop the chicken into cubes.  You will use half of this chicken each night.  Chop any veggies you would like to use for the two dinners and store in individual ziplock bags.  This will save you a TON of time.

MONDAY - Mexican Lasagna 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mix 1/2c of ricotta cheese with 1c of salsa and put aside.
Tear tortillas in half and cover the bottom of a baking dish.  This one is a 9 x9.  Spread half of the ricotta/salsa mixture and any addition ingredients you choose.  I chose chicken, black beans, red pepper, and cheddar cheese.  In the past, I have also used mushrooms, pinto beans, ground beef, fresh spinach, and corn.
Place another layer of tortillas, remaining ricotta salsa, and additional ingredients.  Finish with a tortilla top.  Bake for 20 minutes, top with shredded cheese and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.  I like the top to brown a little and be crispy.  Chips and guacamole would make a fantastic side for this dish!

TUESDAY - Italian Night

For this night I had some yellow summer squash in the fridge that needed to get eaten.  Saute the chopped squash in a pan with salt and some Italian seasoning.  Once soft, add what is left of the chicken.  Saute for about 2 minutes and then add a jar of sauce.  Lower the heat to prevent bubbling over.  Once the sauce is heating, cook ravioles according to the directions.  I LOVE Aldi's selection of frozen pastas.  They are between $1.99 and $2.99 a bag, and they keep very well in the freezer.
I had a little ricotta left over from Monday so I put a spoonful on top before serving.
Just remember, you can use ANY veggies you like for either of these dishes.  I use these dishes mostly when produce in the fridge is about to expire and I need to get rid of it quickly.  

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