Cook Once, Eat for the Week: Spicy Teriyaki Chicken

Spicy Teriyaki Chicken
2 large chicken breasts, each quartered & pounded to ½ thickness
1/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
¼ cup tamari
2 Tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Optional:  toasted sesame seeds & drizzle of sesame oil for garnish
Marinate chicken overnight (or I prep chicken, add to marinate & freeze it until I need it) in tamari, pineapple juice, honey, ginger, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.  The easiest way to do this is in a large freezer safe zip-top bag.

This week I am slightly obsessed with Mason Jar Salads and container meals.  They are just so easy to grab for lunch or on our way out to practice or other after school activities.  This teriyaki chicken is just versatile enough to toss in with a variety of produce all week long. 

Mason Jar Salads are nothing new, they are all over Pinterest.  The key is how you layer the ingredients in the jars.
1. Dressings, oils & vinegars go in the bottom
2. Most recipes say veggies go in next
3. Then proteins
4. Last greens
The only hard and fast rule I adhere to is keeping greens and dressings on opposite ends.

Juice this week:
Super fuel that Jenny Levison shares on the Today Show

1 cup fresh watermelon juice
1/2 cup fresh pineapple juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup coconut water
3 tbsp. fresh ginger juice
Sprig of mint

Mini roast beef & pepper jack hoagies
Ham rolls with string cheese
PB&J and ham & cheddar sandwich triangles
Lunchbox veggie pack from Bountiful Baskets: sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes & baby carrots
Nectarine, pear, bag of mixed grapes or small apple
Annie’s variety snack pack
Clif Kid’s ZBar
Horizon strawberry milk
Honest Kid’s apple juice

I overstuff my kiddo’s lunchbox.
1. He eats breakfast at 630-645, lunch at 1030 and school doesn’t release until after 230. That’s a long time without food, especially for a kid.
2. When I taught I always needed a couple of snacks to get me to dinner.
3. He usually has some sort of after school activity/practice
4. The bigger variety of drinks I send, the more likely he is to meet his daily liquid intake needs. I don’t always send juice, but it’s the first week:)
5. I need some packaged and shelf stable products that can be reused if he doesn’t eat them or wants them for his class snack


Cook Once, Eat for the Week: Mediterranean Inspired Chicken

There are weeks that are just too busy to keep up with. Especially lunchtime when Kiddo is back at school. Meals need to be quick to the table, tasty, and easily morphed into another meal. I LOVE grilling a bunch of meat or cooking something in the slow cooker and then eating on it for multiple meals. Hello! lunches all week. This week’s eats starts with some yummy chicken and leads to endless possibilities.

Shopping List for This Week’s Eats:
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• 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts or mix of breasts and thighs
• plain yogurt
• tomatoes, to dice
• cucumber, to chop
• red bell pepper, to chop
• Greek olives
• feta crumbles
• pita bread &/or flatbread
• salad greens

Mediterranean Inspired Chicken
Oh, so yummy! I LOVE this sautéed cubed chicken! I usually double the recipe and play with the leftovers the rest of the week. This recipe is adapted from an old Betty Crocker one.

• 1 medium onion, sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 # skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cubed into 1-2 inch chunks
• 1 ½ t lemon pepper
• ½ t dried oregano
• ½ t dried mint
• ¼ t ground allspice (scant)

1. Combine lemon pepper, oregano, mint, and allspice; mix to coat chicken with seasoning. I drop the seasonings in a big sealable bag, add chicken cubes and give it a good shake; smoosh around to coat.
2. In sauté pan over medium high, heat olive oil, and sear the meat cubes. Be sure not to crowd the pan, so you have a nice golden crust on the chicken. This may mean searing the chicken in batches.
Return any removed chicken to the pan. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and chicken is cooked through.


Pair with pita bread for a gyro style taco, layer over pita chips for Greek nachos, add into pasta, or pile on top of fresh greens for a quick Greek Salad.

On gyro day, try this…reheat chicken in sauté pan with a splash of chicken stock and a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice. With the heat off, stir in 1/2 cup plain yogurt to create a saucy chicken for your flatbread or pita!
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20140427-225242.jpgTry keeping these sides on hand this week:

Fresh Veggie Crudités

Mixed fresh berries or a fruit salad

Pita Chips with… Giada’s Avocado Hummus Dip or …

Cucumber Yogurt Dip

Mix 1 handful of minced mint, 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, and 1/2 finely diced seedless cucumber into 1 container of Greek yogurt.

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A bonus recipe with the ingredients on hand from the shopping list.

Flatbread Pizzas
prepared pizza or pesto sauce
mozzarella, feta, or goat cheese
your choice of herbs, veggies &/or meats

Bake at 450 until hot & bubbly



Cook Once, Eats for the Week: Tex Spiced Chicken


This is a lovely spice rub I have used for all kinds of chicken….whole to cubed. I have put it in quesadillas, stuffed tacos with it, grilled it on a salad, made killer nachos, and used it to prep chicken for countless casseroles and rice dishes. My favorite is in this version of Chicken Georgia.

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Tex Spice Rub
1 roasting chicken, 4-5 thighs or 4 breasts
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Chicken Georgia via Texas
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon butter
1 green bell pepper
1/2 container of cremini mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
4-6 slices of Monterrey jack or mozzarella cheese

To make:
Rub chicken with Tex Spice Rub and heat grill.
In sauté pan melt butter with onions over medium heat, adding bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, agave, and spices once onions begin to soften. Continue cooking until onions and peppers caramelize, stirring now and then while you grill the chicken.
To serve, top hot chicken with sauté mixture and slice of jack or mozzarella cheese.
Serve With: Tex-Mex potatoes, Cilantro Lime Rice, Sour Cream Corn or Grilled Zucchini

Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce
This is my version of a PIn I found from Joyful Momma’s Kitchen. It has quickly become a favorite
10 corn tortillas
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (rotisserie or tex roasted)
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (you could even do pepper jack)
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
2 (4 oz) can diced green chillies
Splash of pickled jalapeño juice
Optional: pickled jalapeños to layer on top of cheese upon removing from oven
To Make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×8 pan.
In a bowl, mix chicken, 1 can green chilies, and 1 cup of Jack cheese. Spoon tablespoonfuls of chicken mixture into tortillas, roll up, and place in pan. In a sauté pan over medium heat, make a roux with melted butter and flour. Cook at least one-two minutes. Add broth, jalapeño juice (for a kick), 1 cup of Jack cheese, and second can of green chilies. Whisk until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to low, and stir in sour cream. Do not boil. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese. Bake covered 30 minutes until bubbly. Remove foil and broil 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese. Do not walk away.

Be super lazy (or genius) and layer sauce, tortillas, and chicken mixture to create a sour cream enchilada lasagna!

I do use Lexi’s tips- her blog is awesome.

You can make this ahead and keep it in the fridge up to 24 hours. Just put it in the oven and increase the time a bit. You will want to make sure they are heated through.
**This sauce does not freeze well. The enchiladas themselves freeze really well. I freeze a few pans of them double wrapped in foil and then I just make the sauce the day of. Thaw them first, add the sauce, cook according to original instructions.”

Tex-Mex Potatoes
4-6 small red skinned or Yukon gold potatoes
1/3 onion, diced
1/3 each, red & green bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, pepper and chili powder to taste
To make:
Cube and boil potatoes until just fork tender. Drain. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a pan over medium high heat. Sauté onion, peppers, and garlic until softened. Add potatoes. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook several minutes to combine flavors.

Cilantro Lime Rice

makes approximately 4-6 servings
1 cup of white or brown rice, rinsed
juice of 1 medium lime
1 1/2-2 cups of low sodium chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon of salt
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon of unflavored oil

To make:
In a small saucepan, add rice, water/stock, oil and salt with half of the lime juice. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When water skims the top of the rice, reduce to low, cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to rest an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a for, mix in cilantro and remaining lime juice and serve.

Watermelon Lush
watermelon lush

1 cup ginger ale
2 cups watermelon, cubed
2 cups ice
1/2 lime, juiced
1 handful mint
pick your poison, mine would be a shot of tequila
simple syrup, to taste

Tostitos Corn Chips
Something to try next time you’re shopping…pick up some of these… organic, no artificial preservatives, and gluten free.

Up with the chickens

Splitting the Difference Attempt 1 – a Visit to the Local Farmer’s Market

This week I learned 9:00 is not early enough to get anything other than beets and greens.

No one in my family likes beets or greens.


Devise Plan B for week one.

End up at Target buying what organic produce I can find while I’m buying pull ups.


My raspberries are moldy when I pull them out of the fridge Monday morning.

I say some more unladylike words. (What? My mom hates it when I say crap anyway.)

Splitting the Difference Attempt 2 – Back to the Farmer’s Market


I got up early on Saturday morning and headed back to the local farmer’s market.


For $21, I picked up: blueberries, green beans, lettuce, cherries, a cantaloupe, and fresh eggs.
I was so proud.

I also went to Sprouts for $60 more in produce and meat: Trout fillets, tri-tip beef, free range chicken tenders, pork sirloin roast, organic yogurt, 1/2 # walnuts, 2 heads of garlic, 2# carrots, 1 bunch celery, 4 bell peppers, 2# lemons, 2# of peaches, 2 sweet potatoes, 2# sweet onions, 12 oz raspberries, 3 HASS avocados, 1/2 # vine tomatoes, and 1# black plums.


I learned Sprouts gives bring your own bag credit, the infant carrier takes up a whole cart, and Wednesdays they honor this week and last week’s ads.
They helped me to my car.

All of the veggies were gone by Wednesday.

It turns out we are a two dozen egg household now.

It was all gone by Friday night.


Pa pa let me raid his garden when we went to visit. We cleared out the last batch of root veggies. I even tried some of his beets 🙂 maybe Baby Girl will like them?