My lunch was delicious and so can you.

Last night I decided that I wanted something delicious for dinner and then lunch today. And my friends, I succeeded.

Mediterranean Veggie Bowl with Quinoa (a soul-satisfying lunch!)

(If you want chicken, either start cooking the chicken first or buy some pre-cooked chicken.)

1. SET UP QUINOA: Measure out one cup of quinoa. Rinse under water in a strainer, then add to a pot with a glug of olive oil. Cook for a couple minutes until the water evaporates and the quinoa starts toasting. Then add two cups of veggie broth, or water if you are lame. Bring to a boil, reduce to low, and cover. Set your kitchen timer for 15 minutes.

2. MAKE HOUSE SMELL TASTY: Chop an onion. Add to a pan with a glug of olive oil. Add salt & pepper. Add some dried oregano that you once bought to put on pizza but otherwise forget to use. Add some red chili pepper flakes because, like cheese (more on that in a minute), they make everything better.

3. ACTUALLY MAKE THE FOOD: Saute your onions periodically while you chop up one zucchini. (Even though zucchini is boring and gets excessive in the summertime, I had a weird craving for it last night.) Once the onions are glassy, add the zucchini. Saute periodically while you also chop up a small container of pitted kalamata olives (a small container by which I mean when you go to the deli they have two sizes, small and large — you want the small). Add the kalamata olives to the pan. Keep sauteeing while you also chop up a bunch of feta cheese. (If you are more lazy, the pre-crumbled stuff works well.) I got about a fist-sized block and used about half. Each to their own.

4. PUT THE FOOD IN TOGETHERNESS: Once the zucchinis are soft, the dish should be done. Make sure your quinoa has no more water, and then mix it all together in tastiness. Show it off to your wife when she gets home. Eat it for lunch the next day and revel in your culinary success.

Delicious Summer Chicken Curry Salad

Summer Chicken Curry Salad

Shred up the rest of that rotisserie chicken that you bought as a lazy weeknight dinner. Throw in a couple of globs of mayonnaise and stir to coat evenly. Add in a couple of teaspoons of sweet curry powder. Stir again. Add in about a half a cup to a cup each of golden raisins and chopped pecans. Mince one apple and add. Mix. Add about a tablespoon or so of honey (or to taste). Mix again. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve on bread or spinach leaves (or both).

So tasty! The sweetness was exactly what was called for on a hot summer day.

Simple Summertime Dinner

Lately in the evenings I just want something simple and fresh:

  • Fage Greek Yogurt (drizzled with local honey)
  • Fresh Herb Salad (with lemon/mustard dressing)
  • Watermelon a la Rum (what? a girl can’t have a little rum drizzled over her fruit?)

It’s not a bad life, really.

Easy Summer Dinner

Made an easy summer dinner tonight:

Cucumber Salad: One cucumber, sliced thinly. Dressed with a light vinegar (I used rice and cider), salt & pepper, dill, a dash of olive oil, and about a tablespoon of sugar. Delish.

Broiled shrimp: One pound cooked shrimp at $4.99/pound. Tossed with Old Bay Seasoning, paprika, dill, olive oil, and salt & pepper. Let it sit for a few minutes while I let the oven get to broil. Put it all in a shallow baking dish, broiled for about 10 minutes (until starting to char at the edges). This actually wound up being too much for me with everything else, but if I’d had fewer other things, it would’ve been fine. As it was, I have some for lunch tomorrow.

I also cut a few pieces of quality bread and spread them with butter. Then I cut up a quarter of a watermelon. About half went for tomorrow’s lunch. But the other half was quickly gobbled up. Watermelon is so delicious!

Yay for summer!

ps. For the curious, tomorrow’s lunch will be: Watermelon, shrimp, bread, and maybe some boiled corn on the cob.

Easy Baked Chicken Recipe

When I lived in a co-op in college, everything was bought in bulk— rice, flour, oats, sugar, etc. So whenever my cooking partner Honor and I decided to make chicken for our assigned dinner night, we obviously had to get whole chickens. Since they were bought several days in advance, they came frozen, too. Which was fine, except when Honor and I forgot to thaw the chickens overnight in the fridge.

me & honor during a post-college kitchen reunion

me & honor

The scene the next afternoon would be this:

Me: Hey, what time do you think we should start cooking tonight?

Honor: Well, dinner’s at seven, the tabbouleh’s already in the fridge, the hummus shouldn’t take too long… how long do you think the chicken will take?

*beat*

Honor: Oh no.

Me: We forgot to defrost the chicken.

What would then follow was a series of creative defrosting attempts. If we remembered early enough, we’d put the chickens in the fridge. Then, that afternoon, we’d give them a cold water bath while we prepped everything else. Still, the chicken was often not completely thawed by the time we were planning to prep it for roasting. So we went to plan B: shish-kebabs. Honor would take a pair of sturdy kitchen scissors and cut the meat up into cubes, which she then marinated in some sort of lemon-y concoction while I attended to the rest of the dinner.

Whatever Honor made always tasted delicious. So much so, that I started paying attention to what she was putting into the marinade, and then experimenting with it myself— not with shish-kebab’d pieces, but with chicken thighs and tenders. Over the years, as I was only cooking for myself, it became my go-to recipe for baking moist chicken that was full of flavor. The best part is, you can marinate a bunch in advance, and then just pull out the pieces of chicken you want, bake those, and go. I like to eat it plain, but sometimes I also chop it up and serve it with rice, pasta, or over a salad.

Easy Baked Chicken Recipe Continue reading