I am not the most organized person. I love to proscrastinate. I love a clean and uncluttered house, and I go through phases....last week we replaced the carpeting in our hallway and in the girls' room (anyone that had seen it previously will know how monumental that was). Since then, I have been a crazy clean freak- laundry every day [and put away immediately], making every bed in the house, (I know I should be teaching my kids to do their own chores...) fully cleaning up the kitchen several times a day, and generally putting everything in it's place countless times a day. (as an aside...I hope I can keep up with this, because, really, it's not that difficult if I just devote maybe an hour a day...instead of procrastinating, avoiding, etc....anyone out there struggle with this???)
I shared that to tell you this...I never procrastinate on dinner, meals, etc.
I just happen to love to prepare (and eat) food, and I love to take care of [and serve] my husband and kids in this way. I realize that I have the luxury of being a full-time caretaker for my family and this allows me extra time. After many years of practice, though, it really does not take me much time to prepare a full meal (maybe 30-40 minutes).
Before you think this is some amazing feat, realize this: I plan and prepare meals in the way I run my life....somewhat haphazard, definitely disorganized, and only because I love it! My meal planning goes something like this...
1. I buy what looks great at the butcher shop/market stand
2. I buy what's on sale :)
3. I feel inspired to try something new or I'm hungry for something specific.....then...
4. I forget to get all of the ingredients (because I never make a list...drives my mom crazy) so I use what I have at home...
5. I forget to thaw something for dinner [in the morning] and have to make something on the fly.
6. I try to incorporate healthy eating habits while deciding what to make.
(I'll write tomorrow about what goes into this thought process...but, I don't feel like health should be an "idol"...I eat healthy things because I like them...I don't deny myself things, because I feel like God has blessed us with: food, the beauty of creation, family, and sex (sorry! :) as a foretaste of what heaven will be like...not in that order, and I know we won't have all those things in heaven...but it's the "pleasure", people!)
Well, I've written this to try to inspire you...meal planning and preparation is not rocket science, you can be disorganized(!), and as long as you're intentional, you and your family can enjoy a healthy dinner together a few times a week!
After all that...here's the chicken piccata....(a great meal to throw together in a short amount of time, with a short list of ingredients)
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I prefer the thin perdue...)
1/3 cup capers, drained
4T olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
lemon juice and rind of two lemons
1. Dredge chicken in flour, salt, and pepper.
2. Saute chicken in oil and butter [in saute pan] over medium-high heat until browned, turning after 3 minutes or so.
3. Remove chicken to plate (may not be fully cooked). In the saute pan, pour white wine, lemon juice, rind, and capers, making sure to scrape up browned bits from pan.
4. Place chicken breasts back into pan and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. The sauce should thicken and reduce slightly due to the flour and heat, respectively.
Roasted green beans
1 qt fresh green beans
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
10 button mushrooms, washed and sliced
2 slices bacon, chopped (raw)
mix all ingredients and roast [on a cookie sheet] in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or until veggies and bacon are browned.