Midday Fix: One grocery bag, five meals

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Carol Mackey



Dinnerware and Linens from Crate and Barrel


Monday - Chicken Orzo

1/2 cup each; diced yellow squash and zucchini
1 can of artichokes; drained and quartered
1/3 cup roasted red pepper; squeezed dry and chopped
2 Tbs. kalamata olives
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary; chopped
1 Tbs. garlic
1 whole boneless chicken breast, poached and diced or shredded
8 oz. orzo
olive oil
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to directions, toss with oil and set aside. In a large pot, add about 4 Tablespoons. olive oil, add yellow squash and zucchini and sauté until cooked through,  then add chicken, artichokes, olives, roasted red pepper, and garlic and rosemary.  Next add pasta, balsamic vinegar and more olive oil as necessary.  Taste for seasoning.  Sprinkle parmesan on top once plated.  Serves 4-6.

Poached Chicken Breasts:

1 small onion, chopped-optional
1 carrot, chopped-optional
1 stalk celery, chopped-optional
3 pounds chicken breasts; boneless

Put everything into a large pot and cover with cold water, bring to just a boil.  Cover and remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes (if breasts are exceptionally large cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.  If you do not have vegetables just use cold water.

Tuesday - Beef Barbacoa Beef Bowls

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbls. fresh lime juice
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. oregano
3-4 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce plus 2 Tbls. sauce
1/2 onion
2 bay leaves
4 cups beef stock
3-4 lb. beef chuck roast; seasoned with salt and pepper

Sear meat in a pan with about 1/4 cup olive oil until browned, set aside. In a blender or food processor combine vinegar, lime juice, garlic, cumin, oregano and chipotles. Pour the pureed sauce over the meat, place in slow cooker with beef stock and bay leaves. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove meat and shred; put back just enough sauce to cover meat. Top with your favorite taco toppings. You can serve it in a sautéed corn tortilla or skip the tortilla and serve in a bowl with all the toppings; with white rice, black beans, Chihuahua or jack cheese, salsa, diced avocado, sour cream and a little cilantro.

Wednesday - Sautéed Salmon with White Beans, Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Orzo

3/4  cup white beans
1/2 cup orzo
4 large tomatoes, sliced thick
2 Portobello mushrooms
olive oil for sautéeing
2 Tbs. fresh rosemary; chopped
6 cloves of garlic
5 Tbs. Olive oil
1 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar
4 6-oz. salmon fillets

Place white beans in large pot and cover with water (chicken stock); cook until tender about 45 minutes.  Drain and set aside.   Cook orzo until soft, about 10 minutes.  Mix together and set aside. Heat 4 Tablespoons olive oil in sauté pan over medium high heat, season fish with salt and pepper, sauté about 2 minutes per side (until golden) and finish in 400 degree oven.  (rule of thumb for fish 7-10 minutes per inch). Sauté portabello mushrooms and tomatoes in olive oil until cooked add garlic and rosemary.  Season with salt and pepper, Add beans and orzo; add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to coat mixture.   Cook until hot.

To Serve:  Divide bean mixture up onto 4 plates, top with fish.

Thursday - White Chicken Chili

5 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
2 tsp. garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. chili pepper flakes (optional)
1-2 ears of corn; kernels cut off (or 1 cup frozen)
1/4 cup flour plus 1 Tbs.
1 Tbs. chili powder
1/2 Tbs. cumin
1/2 Tbs. oregano
2 cups mi1k
1/2 lb. dried white beans, cooked in chicken stock
3 cups chicken stock
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, poached and shredded
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies, undrained
1/4 cup cilantro
shredded jack or queso cheese
sour cream
Tabasco (optional)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat add onions, corn and cook until tender; add the garlic at the end.  Stir in chili pepper flakes, flour, chili powder, cumin and oregano and let cook a minute.  Stir in the milk and let thicken. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro (beans, chicken stock, chicken and chilies); stir to combine; simmer 15 minutes.  Before serving stir in chopped cilantro. To serve ladle into bowl and top with shredded jack cheese and top with a dollop of sour cream.  Pass the Tabasco for added heat!

Serves 8.

Friday - Red Lentil and Beef Soup
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups beef stock
1 lb. cup dried red lentils
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup each:  celery, carrot and onion
1 1/2  tsps. garlic
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. thyme
12 ounces diced tomatoes; drained
remaining beef leftover from barbacoa

Add olive oil to large pot and sauté carrot, celery and onion until tender add rosemary and thyme.  Add stocks to pot, add lentils and tomatoes, cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until lentil are tender Using a slotted spoon, puree one-third on the lentils in a food processor, return to pot. Add beef and check for salt and pepper, or if you need to add a bit more stock.  Serves 8.


Pantry Essentials (you should have in your kitchen):

Olive Oil



Balsamic Vinegar

Parmesan Cheese





Various Spices

Dried White Beans

Dried Red Lentils

Pasta (Orzo)

Chicken Stock

Beef Stock

Sour Cream

Can of Diced Tomatoes


Grocery List:




Apple Cider Vinegar


Can of Artichokes

Yellow Squash *

Zucchini *

Tomatoes *


Kalamata Olives

Rosemary *

Thyme *

Parsley *

Oregano *

Cilantro *

Roasted Red Peppers


Chipotle Chilies in Adobo

Shredded Jack or Queso Cheese


*--If not in your garden


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