Mr. Prevention always insists on a vacation after a vacation – a few days to ease back into the swing of things. While I agree that this is “ideal” from a life perspective…we came back to snow. It made me wish more than ever that I was still sitting on a lawn chair in Scottsdale, sipping on a virgin piña colada. Life…it could’ve waited another day or two.
Wah, wah, wah…I know! So, back to the grind.
More so than resuming parenting and preparing for the busy week ahead, adjusting from PST back to EST (3 hours) has proved challenging. I’m wide awake at 10:30pm and at noon, I feel like I should just be getting up for the day. Except, toddlers have a much different idea of rise times. *yawn*
We spent our kid-free staycation day doing really unfun things like grocery shopping and going to urgent care (my sinuses!!!). We didn’t even have the energy to make it out to dinner or a movie – I’m sure we’ll come to regret this in no time, but it was nice to just bum around the house and get caught up on mail, laundry, and…cooking!
Hello, vegetables. Hello, meal plan that doesn’t include perusing Yelp reviews for my dinner selection.
The damage on the scale was to the tune of 1 pound and that was a relief and somewhat undeserved (I mean, I did exercise on vacation!). But there’s no doubt about it – we’re wanting to get back to a healthier diet and our bodies are willing us to do the same. I’m pretty excited about this week’s menu. Especially the falafel, much to my husband’s dismay.
This recipe, however, was a huge hit. A little high in sodium with thanks to that wonderful Cajun seasoning, this dish is quick and easy to prepare, packed with vegetables, and reheats beautifully as leftovers. Who says okra has to be fried to be good? Negative!
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
- 3 Tbsp Cajun or Creole seasoning, divided
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 bell peppers*, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1¼ cups sliced okra (fresh or frozen)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and chicken broth and cook according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, place cubed chicken in a medium bowl, season with 2 tablespoons of the Cajun or Creole seasoning; toss to coat.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the add chicken and cook 4-5 minutes or until chicken is seared on all sides and cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate and keep warm.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and heat for 1 minute. Add the bell peppers and onion; sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of Cajun or Creole seasoning; cook 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Once onion is tender, add the okra and cook 2-3 minutes more, stirring often. Add the garlic, stir, and cook 30-60 seconds or until fragrant.
- Stir in the fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken and mix well. Stir in the quinoa until well-mixed and allow to heat through. Serve hot.
Weekly Menu: April 10th – 14th
- Sunday: turkey Italian sausage and fennel pizzas on sandwich thins, roasted broccoli and artichokes
- Monday: Homemade Falafel with Tahini Sauce
- Tuesday: carnitas (from the freezer) made into baked “chimichangas”, Mexican Rice
- Wednesday: Foil Packet Asian Chicken and Vegetables
- Thursday: One Pan Orichette with Sausauge and Kale