Friday, July 22, 2005

Shortcuts I Live By...

Sometimes I take for granted the things I've learned from my mom, from my friends, from my extensive watching of Food Network. So I thought I'd share a few of these tips (at the suggestion of my brilliant, beautiful friend, Kara).

  • Are you scared of chicken unless it's a boneless, skinless breast? (I am. I admit it). So here's my shortcut (learned from Kara): buy organic chicken already roasted. I can buy mine at the Natural Foods Market I work for, Georgetown Market, Kara buys whole rotisserie organic birds at her Whole Foods in downtown San Fran. I'm pretty sure, if you do some research, you'll find some in your area. This pre-cooked chicken can be shredded off the bone and kept in a neat storage container and used for chix salad sandwiches, chicken and pasta, chicken soft tacos, chicken enchiladas, etc. etc. without having to cook the chicken.
  • Keep cut up veggies in your fridge. It reduces waste (because I feel guilty if I let them go bad) and it makes them easier to use. Plus they're always there if there's nothing else in the house to snack on.
  • If you have to buy frozen meals to fall back on for those crazy nights, buy all natural, organic ones. They're more expensive, so you'll buy less of them.
  • Learn how to cook fish and chicken in a packet of foil or parchment paper. It's an incredibly easy technique that is so impressive and is relatively foolproof. My fave chix dish is so simple, it's just boneless skinless breast, white wine (good enough to drink), olive oil, salt and pepper, mushrooms, leeks or onions, fresh herbs and lemon. I like to add thin slices of Yukon Gold potatoes, too. You just combine everything in a foil or parchment packet and cook it on 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. Try it, I promise, once you get the hang of it, you'll be improvising all over the place.

Okay, that's enough for now. More tips to come!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

two quick and easy stand-by recipies using shredded roast chicken:

salad with chicken (makes a nice lunch or light dinner):

torn lettuce leaves, red leaf or mixed baby greens
shredded chicken
golden raisins
chopped fresh fruit (whatever is in season- nectarines, granny smith apple, plums, pear)
chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or pistachios)
toss everything together in a large mixing bowl with vinaigrette.

serve with toasted whole grain bread topped with chopped tomatoes, basil, olive oil and kosher salt

whole wheat spaghetti with chicken & broccoli:

whole wheat spaghetti (trader joe's makes a good one- it's more nutty than semolina pasta)
frozen broccoli florets, steamed
shredded chicken
olive oil
salt, pepper
shredded parmesan

toss everything in the hot pan used to cook the pasta. reserve a few tablespoons of the pasta water to toss with everything. the chesse and butter will thicken the water and make a nice sauce.

10:29 AM  

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