This week has been a complete blur...sometimes I felt like I wanted to quit life, run down the street screaming and hide in a park with a bottle of rosé. Luckily, I haven't actually done that yet. I have a wonderful group of people that keep me going every week. Special shout out to my Simple Eats crew, love you gals! My favorite gal pal, Christina, I am so grateful for your friendship, laughter, and organizing skills. But mostly, I have to give props to my husband, Chris, who deals with a frustrated-workaholic -perfectionist -social butterfly type of wife on the daily (I mean can you imagine? :) We met 12 years ago at a restaurant in Milwaukee. He was a quiet, hot bartender and I was a chatty, cute manager. I think it was love at first sight but we were complete opposites and both in other relationships. Jump to 7 years later....still at same restaurant (lifers) but now both single. We got pretty drunk and made out on the side of the building. He says I don't want to watch you date anymore losers, date me instead. I say okay....and the rest is history. We have different jobs now (finally), 2 kiddos, and a house in the burbs....it's dreamy. We make a great team. I talk, he listens....he talks, I think about other stuff...(I kid). I basically wouldn't survive without him...he helps with laundry, manages the kids, runs errands, helps clean up after dinner, and tag teams bedtime with me. Also, he's easy on the eyes and likes to build things (sexy).
Our wedding day
Okay enough about that nonsense....
What do you call a chicken in a shell suit???
Most of the families I cook for have one thing in common. Their kids eat chicken. Well actually, chicken, ground beef and hot dogs. What a palate! For this week’s recipes, I decided to focus on family friendly chicken meals. You can buy a whole cooked chicken or use chicken breast and these meals are perfect because most families eat chicken.
But they can work as vegetarian meals too....just swap out the chicken for white beans, chickpeas, tofu, or tempeh....YUM! You can also swap out the dairy for coconut milk to make dairy free, any kind of nut milk will work. And you can always use any vegetables you have on hand, you don't have to use the ones that I list. I just want you to eat more veggies!
And let's talk about recipes. I want to teach people how to not be scared of making substitutions and adding their own twist. Any chicken recipe can be made vegetarian by simple swaps. That goes for making a recipe dairy free or egg free too. Just because you have a gluten free cookbook doesn't mean you can't adjust the recipe and still have it turn out. I always try to teach people you can use what you have on hand and you don't have to run to the grocery store to buy a ton of ingredients. If you don't have milk but you might have almond milk, swap it. If you ran out of eggs, it's so easy to swap with chia seeds. Take 1 T of chia to 2T of water, let it sit for one minute and then it’ll coagulate and be an “egg” you can use in any kind of baking recipe. Don't spend money on ingredients when you have half the stuff at your house. Use the recipe as a starting point and add your own flair.
This recipe is the sh*t, it's so good.
Cajun chicken pasta
I'm getting hungry!
Cajun chicken is an example of a recipe that is super good with coconut milk. It's so easy to make it lighter and dairy free - it doesn’t have to be made with heavy cream and it ends up tasting spicy and sweet.
Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuits
This is so good because of the fresh herbs
You can use store bought crust if you're not in the mood to make the biscuits
Next week - Breakfast!