February 18, 2011

Dinner at Breakfast

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Cook up dinner before the day gets away . . .

No, that wasn’t a typo. I didn’t mean “breakfast for dinner”. I’m not talking flapjacks at five. I’m talking about making dinner at breakfast.

Cooking is all about preparation. Just think about the chefs on The Food Network. Their dishes always look simple and pulled together. They breeze through the kitchen tossing pre-cut onions, garlic, and spices into a pan creating what looks like a gourmet meal in minutes. Preparation is the key!

I find it awful to cook at the end of the day. The thought of one more task, one more dish, and one more chore just deflates me. Sure, I love a good meal at the end of a crazy day, I just want it to be easy. Can the two go hand-in-hand? Yes!

I’ve started to plan for dinner at breakfast. While my daughter is noshing on her cereal and I’m sipping on coffee, I pull out the veggies and herbs and start getting ready for dinner. I realize how nuts this sounds, but I can’t tell you how much energy and time it saves towards the end of the day. You’re hanging in the kitchen anyway, so why not?

Below are my three favorite morning “prepared meals”! I broke them down into two categories, “AM prep” and “PM prep”! Stop the “take out” cycle and get ready for some yummy “morning” meals?!! Bon Appetit!

Chicken Fajitas with Zesty Salsa

Ingredients:
• 1 medium clove of garlic
• 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
• 1 tsp chili powder
• 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1/8 tsp pepper
• 2 cups cherry tomatoes
• store bought salsa (your favorite brand)
• 1 medium onion
• 1 medium red pepper
• 1 medium yellow pepper
• 1 lb. uncooked chicken breasts (boneless with no skin)
• whole wheat tortillas

AM PREP:
1. Cut chicken into thin strips. Put into a tupperware container.
2. Slice garlic then combine with the red pepper flakes, chili powder, lime juice, salt & pepper to the container. Toss to coat. Place the container into the fridge until dinner! Hint: they are marinating while you are moving on with your day!
3. Cut peppers & onion into thin slices. Place into a separate container. Set in the fridge until evening.
4. Cut cherry tomatoes into halves. Mix store bought salsa with the cherry tomatoes. Store in fridge until evening.
5. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in the fridge.

PM PREP:
1. Coat a nonstick pan with 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Add chicken and saute on medium until completed cooked (about 6 minutes).
2. Add pre-cut onions and peppers to the same pan. Cook until tender (about 4 minutes).
3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and pop the foil wrapped tortillas into the oven for 8 minutes.
4. Place chicken & peppers, salsa, and tortillas out and let everyone make their own fajitas! I love to add sour cream to mine!

Cheeseburgers with Grilled Onions and Roasted Potato Wedges

Ingredients:
• 1 pound uncooked lean ground beef
• 1 medium garlic clove
• 1/4 tsp. table salt
• 1/8 tsp. black pepper
• 1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
• small red onion cut into thick slices
• 1/2 tsp. olive oil
• 1/8 tsp. dried oregano
• burger buns
• 1 small tomato cut into thick slices
• 2 med. baking potatoes

AM PREP:
1. Combine beef, garlic (diced), salt & pepper into a bowl. Mix together well.
2. Form patties for the burgers. Place pre-made burgers on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge.
3. Cut onion into thick slices. Place onion slices in a non-stick pan coated with 1/2 tsp. olive oil. Cook 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and sprinkle with oregano. Place onion slices on a tupperware container and place in fridge.
4. Clean potatoes and slice into thin “wedges”. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and lightly coat with olive oil. Place into a tupperware container and place in fridge.
5. Slice tomatoes and put on a plate covered with plastic wrap and place in fridge.

PM PREP:
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Put potatoes on a cookie sheet and roast for 45 minutes or until “crisp”. Hint: Broil potatoes on high for the last 3 minutes for super crunchy wedges!
2. Coat a nonstick pan with 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Add burgers. Cook each side for 4 minutes.
3. Make burgers by placing patties on the bun, top with cheddar cheese, onions, tomatoes and enjoy!!!!

Super Simple BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:
• 1 ready-to-bake pizza crust (your choice)
• 1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce
• fresh cilantro
• 1 lb. uncooked chicken tender slices
• 1 bag of 2 % shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 bunch of fresh scallions
• 1 jar of your favorite pizza sauce

AM PREP:
1. Cut chicken slices into bite size chunks.
2. Cook chicken for 5 minutes in a pan coated with 1/2 tsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper while cooking.
3. Place cooked chicken in a tupperware container and pour BBQ (the entire jar) over the chicken. Store in fridge.
4. Cut scallions and 1/4 cup cilantro and put into tupperware container and store in fridge.

PM PREP:
1. Pre-heat oven to the necessary temp. on the package.
2. Lightly coat the pizza crust with the pizza sauce.
3. Generously top with cheese.
4. Finally, top with pre-cooked chicken and BBQ sauce.
5. Cook according to directions.
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the scallions and cilantro.

Let us know if you have any Smarty “Morning” Dinner ideas!!!!!

3 Responses

  1. Ashley Hoy says:

    What a GREAT idea, Krista! I'd NEVER think to prep dinner at breakfast, what a time saver! Dinner has become such a chore and I plan to use these yummy recipes and prep instructions to make my life easier! Thanks you Smarty girl.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A wise, older mom told me once that if you don't know what you are having for dinner by lunch, then you are not having dinner. I do a lot of my cooking during nap time! It helps so much to be prepared.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Love this post! Keep the ideas coming!

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