You will find this very hard to believe, but on occasion, I have been accused of going to a great deal of trouble over things like cooking dinner.
Well excuuuuuuuse me.
Maybe a day spent in the kitchen makes me happy
(But you know what’s not happy? Spinach. My friend Amelia’s mom thinks it’s downright depressing. You start out with so much…
… yet you end up with so little.)
Sorry, guys, Debbie Downer temporarily took over the blog. Beat it, Debbie. As I was saying, I love cooking all day. But some days you have other things to do, such as taking your biweekly bath and writing blogs.
Or perhaps you are going to visit your friend Ashley who you’ve known since the sixth grade and who just moved into a super cute new house, and you want to bring dinner over but don’t want her to think that living in California has made you complicated.
And maybe Ashley has a gorgeous one-year-old daughter named Aubrey, and we all know that mamas don’t need you invading their kitchens and making a mess.
So instead of turning Ashley’s kitchen upside-down, you prep everything at home. That way you can show up at Ashley’s looking like some kind of culinary fairy godmother. Bippity boppity booya.
Wasn’t that easy? That prep didn’t take you but about twenty minutes, so you had plenty of time for that biweekly bath you were dead-set on taking, whether you needed it or not. And when you get to Ashley’s house, you have time to squeeze Aubrey’s faccia bella (“beautiful face” in Italian – Mike’s grandmother Eleanora always said it).
At Ashley’s house, all you have to do is spoon some cream of mushroom soup over the chicken breasts (who do you think you are — Paula Deen?), pop them into the oven, plop the zucchini into a buttery saute pan, and imbibe a delightfully frosty beer.
It is SO. EASY. But the rice recipe is complicated. I debated whether or not you could even follow it. If you’re up to the challenge, here it is:
Hey, I never said I was watching your sodium intake. You’re on your own with that.
So anyway, when you don’t have all afternoon to spend in the kitchen, this is a good way to go. There are a lot of ingredients, but the steps go fast. And I totally made up this recipe, which means you can do any variations you like and it will turn out GREAT.
MEDITERRANEAN STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
1 chicken breast per person, pounded thin
1/2 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 bag baby spinach
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
1/2 small can chopped black olives
1/2 C crumbled feta cheese
salt & pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (reduced fat, low sodium – any kind will work)
Preheat oven to 400. Saute onion in olive oil until onions are tender. Add spinach, cook down to a sufficiently depressing level. Stir in garlic until heated and fragrant. Remove mixture to mixing bowl. Add roasted red pepper, olives, feta, S&P, and red pepper flakes and combine until thoroughly mixed. Salt & pepper your chicken breasts. Divide mixture evenly among chicken breasts, roll up, and place in baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon cream of mushroom soup on top. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then remove cover and bake about 15 more minutes, or until chicken is firm and sauce is bubbling.
SAUTEED ZUCCHINI AND ONIONS
1-2 zucchini per person (depending on the size of your zucchini and the size of your eaters)
1/2 onion per two people
salt & pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese to taste
Slice onions and zucchini. Melt butter in saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, cook for a couple of minutes. Add zucchini, cook and stir until onions begin to caramelize and zucchini reaches desired doneness. Season with S&P. Remove from heat and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.