Sunday, December 30, 2012

Turn A Sick Day into a Prep Day

It's another chilly day here on Christmas vacation. Only 8 days left. My little one has had a bad cough for the last couple days so we are staying inside. But I was feeling a little like Old Mother Hubbard, and despitly needed a grocery store. All I had in my fruit & veggie drawers was half an onion, a wrinkled carrot and a very sad looking apple. My husband looked after the boys for a bit while I wandered the aisles of the grocery store.

Being stuck at home is not necessarily a bad thing. You can take the opportunity to prep the meals that are planned for the coming week. This is also a good habit to get into on shopping day. Wash and trim your fruits and vegetables, discard any questionable leftovers, blanch any vegetables you need for the next day or so, freeze meats into mealsized portions and mix any sauces you may require. Today, I made a batch of meatballs. Once they cool, place them in a freezer bag. They are now ready of a quick sauce for a quick dinner. I also cooked up a pound of bacon for our Sunday morning pancakes. You could also make a pasta sauce, cook up some meat for tacos or assemble an entire casserole (like mac & cheese) and freeze for future use.

Prep day can be an easy way to get ready an entire week of meals in just a couple hours. Prepping the night before is also an option. If you've put in the time prepping dinner before work, you'll be less likely  to choose take out or over processed meals. That's not to say you can't eat take out. But make a resolution to make it an exception, not a rule.

So, what's for dinner tonight?

Slow Cooker Arroz Con Pollo

I have some leftover rice in the fridge, so am using the slow cooker to make this Cuban classic.

2 T canola oil
8 - 12 chicken legs
Salt & pepper
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 lg can diced tomatoes
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 T oregano
1/4 C sherry
1 C chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 t achoite paste (or saffron, or paprika)
2 C cooked rice


In a skillet, heat the oil and brown the chicken legs, seasoned with salt and pepper. Transfer to slow cooker. Add onions and garlic (both minced) to the skillet and saute then transfer to the slow cooker. Add the diced tomatoes, half the peppers, celery, sherry, chicken broth, oregano and achoite paste. Cook on low 5 - 7 hours. Add remaining peppers and rice. Stir and cook for 1 hour.

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.


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