It’s back to school again, and for most of us, that means it’s back to busy schedules. Instead of long summer evenings that can be spent preparing a nice dinner, we often have only a few moments to get a meal on the table for our hungry selves and family members.
Many of you sent in recipes for the Montana Meals August Challenge of the Month that you mentioned were fast weeknight favorites. This is the best type of recipe in my opinion, and perfect for this time of year; recipes that you can keep on hand to prepare quickly when it’s tempting to just order take-out or throw a frozen pizza in the oven instead.
Here a few of those recipes. As you’ll see, many of them feature chicken. Chicken is definitely an easy, satisfying, and versatile ingredient. It’s a go-to for a weeknight dinner, at my house included. Multiple versions of one recipe in particular, Crock-pot Salsa Chicken, was sent in by several different people. Here’s the simplest version, with suggestions for additions or variations included.
Crock-Pot Salsa Chicken
- 4-6 Chicken Breasts
- 1-2 c. Chunky Salsa (regular, spicy, mango, peach, avocado, whatever you like!)
- Place chicken breasts in crockpot, pouring salsa between layers and on top. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove breasts from crockpot and shred using two fork method. Use for taco filling in corn or whole grain tortillas with toppings of choice (tomatoes, romaine lettuce, onion, cheese, guacamole, cilantro, etc.).
Suggestions for additions/variations:
- Taco seasoning (1-2 tsp per chicken breast)
- Add 1 can of black beans & 1 can of corn
- Add a couple dollops greek yogurt or sour cream when shredding the chicken to keep it from getting dry
- Serve on a bed of lettuce or brown rice
- Add extra veggies (ie, onion, carrot, bell pepper, zucchini, or whatever you have on hand)
Thai Green Curry Chicken
- 1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. green curry paste
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 2 Tbsp. Thai fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- Vegetables- mix and match: frozen peas, small can bamboo shoots, canned garbanzo beans, peeled and cubed sweet potato, fresh spinach
- Thai basil
- Lime wedges
- Cooked jasmine rice
In a large saucepan, simmer coconut milk with curry paste over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add chicken, fish sauce, brown sugar, stock, and hearty vegetables (add peas and spinach at very end of cooking time). Simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sweet potato cubes are tender. Garnish with chopped fresh Thai basil, a squeeze of lime, and serve with jasmine rice.
Quick Kale Salad
- Steam about two cups kale until wilted (you can roughly chop)
- Transfer to a bowl and top with lowfat cottage cheese, chopped pistachios, or any of you’re favorite salad toppers
- Salt and pepper as desired
- Piece of fruit on the side for a fast, easy, meal
Hopefully these recipes will come in handy as you adjust to a new fall schedule and maybe some of these will become your own family’s new weeknight favorites as well! Thank you so much for all the recipes sent in during our August Challenge. We’re going to work on an MUS Wellness Cookbook composed of your submissions!