Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Meal Planning to Reduce Holiday Stress

Yes, yes, it's been a while; but I am here now. It's been busy around here with the holidays approaching and all that goes with it. Shopping, wrapping, Christmas cards, baking, cooking etc. There are 3 Christmas concerts this week. The first one was last night. The parent choir from my son's school sang; tonight is my oldest's concert which the parent choir will be singing again. Lastly, Friday morning is my little one's "concert". Should be cute.

As far as holiday prep goes, my shopping is done, baking is done, wrapping is started and Christmas cards are almost done. Not bad for December 14.

Thank goodness I had my meal plan to make it through! Knowing in advance when your holiday parties are can help determine what meals to make which nights. Do as much prep the night before or in the morning. Make it as easy as you can for yourself. Is there anything worse than looking in the fridge after a long day of being at the mall & dealing with winter traffic, and trying to decide "What's for dinner"? Chances are we'll make a poor choice: Fast Food or convenience foods. Make the dinner decision long before heading to the mall. Ordering a pizza is great, don't get me wrong. I love a good pie. But, it's when we rely on these types of meals on a regular basis that we need some help, or at least a plan.

So, the question remains...

What's for Dinner tonight?

As I mentioned earlier, tonight is my son, Danny's Holiday concert. It starts at 7:00, but the school opens at 6:15. I'm planning to be there early to get a good seat, and save a couple for grandparents - not to mention, parking becomes an issue quite quickly. So we have to have homework done, shower, dinner, concert clothes on etc long before the concert starts. So, we are having quite a simple meal...

(1) Baked chicken thighs (because they cook faster)
(2) Left over rice (I cooked extra a couple nights ago)
(3) Tossed salad, which I made this morning

Easy Baked Chicken Thighs
Serves 4

8 skinless boneless chicken thighs
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 C ground flaxseeds (optional)
2-3 tbsp favourite spice blend (I like Montreal Chicken Spice)
salt a pepper to taste
olive oil

If you want you can cut the thighs into pieces to make chicken fingers, but not necessary.

Place breadcrunbs, flaxseeds and spices onto a plate. Coat each piece of chicken with the coating and place on a baking sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up) Drizzle with olive oil to help make them crispy.

Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or so (depends on the size of the chicken), until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with a dipping sauce is desired.

This meal is healthy, easy, quick and is kid and parent approved.