This is an easy menu to shop and prepare. Lots of opportunities for pre-prep early in the week, which is nice because somehow by Wednesday, chaos seems to engulf our home.
Monday: Chinese Chicken Salad
Tuesday: Tortilla Soup
Wednesday: Baked chicken, Peas, Fruit, and Side Salad
Thursday: Tortilla Soup – The encore presentation!
Master Shopping List
5.0 lbs. Boneless skinless chicken breast
3 Anaheim peppers
2 Bell peppers
1 Large onion
1 Bunch, cilantro
Romaine Lettuce, 1 large or 3 small heads
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
1 bunch green onions
3 T Lime Juice
6 Mandarins or other sweet orange
Fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner:
Canola oil or olive oil spray
Canola or Olive Oil
2 t Ground cumin
8 C Chicken broth, one low sodium
1 28 oz. Can or shelf stable container of diced tomatoes
1 4 oz. Can mild chiles
2 Packs Ramen Noodles (noodles only – throw seasoning packet away)
½ C Slivered almonds
1/8 C Sesame seeds
Sweet chili sauce – you may have some left over from a couple of weeks ago…
¼ C Butter or vegetable spread
Cheddar cheese (optional)
1 Bag frozen corn
1 Bag frozen peas
10-12 Corn Tortillas (or you can use flour if you prefer)
Chinese Chicken Salad
For 2 Adults and 2 Kids (with a little left over for a couple of lunches)
1.75 lbs. of Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (enough for a couple of lunches too)
3/4 C Island Teriyaki Sauce
6 Mandarin Oranges or other sweet orange
2 Green onions (green part only)
¼ – 1/3 C Butter or Earth Balance
2 packs of Ramen Noodles – Noodles only – discard the seasoning packet
¾ C Sliced Almonds
¼ C Sesame Seeds
Preheat oven to 400
- Wash and cut the chicken and place in a lightly sprayed roasting pan.
- Pour Island Teriyaki sauce on top and mix.
- Cook in oven for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime wash and cut romaine, oranges, green onion, and tomato
- Separately, melt the butter and add crushed Ramen Noodles.
- Once noodles begin to brown, add sliced almonds, and sesame seeds, mix, and remove from heat.
- Build the salad, beginning with a portion of greens, topping with oranges, green onion, tomato, and chicken.
- Lightly add dressing and top with crunchies.
- Serve and get excited about having another serving at lunch tomorrow!
Tortilla Soup Recipe
For 2 meals + lunches for 2 adults and 2 kids
10-12 Corn tortillas halved and thinly sliced
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1 T Canola oil
3 Anaheim or poblano peppers, diced
2 Peppers, red, yellow, or orange, diced
1 Onion, diced
2-3 t Ground cumin
2 1/2 lbs Boneless, skinless chicken breast (you can also use dark meat if you prefer)
8 C Low sodium chicken broth
1 – 14 oz Can diced tomatoes or other shelf stable container of diced tomatoes
1 – 14 oz Can diced tomatoes w chiles or buy a regular can of diced tomatoes and a 4 oz Can of chiles (I buy mild for the kids)
1 Bag of frozen corn
3 T Lime juice
1/2 C Cheddar cheese
1/4 C Cilantro, chopped
1 lime, sliced into wedges (optional but I usually include)
1 Ripe avocado (optional but yummy)
2 Very thinly sliced radishes (optional, but adds a great accent)
Salt as needed – wait until just before you serve to decide on if you should add any. depending on the broth you use, you may not. I always add a little bit and check. Little bit and check.
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Thinly slice tortillas and place in a lightly sprayed roasting pan. Lightly spray and salt the tortilla strips and put them in the oven.
3. Dice the peppers and onions, checking on the tortilla strips every 4-5 minutes stirring them around and pulling the strips apart so they can get crispy faster. The tortilla strips will take about 12-15 minutes.
Important to note: steps 2 and three can be done earlier in the day or even a day ahead of time. If you do pre-prep, be sure to store the tortilla strips in an airtight container.
4. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat and add peppers and onions, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, 3-5 minutes.
5. Add cumin and stir it in for one minute. This allows the cumin to really soak in the peppers and onions. 95% of the work is done.
6. Add the tomatoes in their juices, broth, corn, and chicken. Add the chicken breasts whole. You will shred them once cooked.
7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 min until chicken cooks through.
8. Pull each chicken breast out, one at a time. I put the chicken in the lid of the soup pot to minimize dirty dishes and clean up.
9. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken. Hold the chicken steady with one fork and shred the meat with the other. Do this for each chicken breast, returning the shredded chicken to the pot before taking another breast out.
10. Taste test the soup and check to see if it needs salt. If so, add a small bit, stir and taste. A small bit, stir and taste, until you are satisfied.
11. Add the limejuice, stir, and serve, with cilantro, lime wedge, avocado, radishes (if you added these two items), and baked tortilla strips.
12. Tortilla soup anywhere else will never taste the same…
P.S. The jackpot is that the soup will taste even better the next night or the night after, when all the flavors have mellowed further. You can even make the entire recipe one or two days ahead and save yourself a lot of time on “cooking day”.
Recipe: Baked chicken, Peas, Fruit, and Side Salad
For 2 Adults and 2 Kids (plus a couple of lunches)
1.75 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast
Canola or Olive oil spray
Sweet chili sauce
Frozen Peas (enough for a family of 4)
Salad and fixings
Preheat oven to 350
- Wash and cut chicken into 3” pieces and place in a lightly sprayed roasting or baking pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes
- Cut pineapple, cook peas in microwave for 2-3 minutes, and make a small side salad with your choice of fixings. I used sunflower seeds and thinly sliced radishes. Portion the sides on plates.
- Check chicken for doneness. If chicken springs back to the touch, like testing a cake for doneness, it is ready.
- If you are having chicken another night during the week, cook both portions of chicken the first night. It makes the second night all that much easier!