Hello again! I’m extra pleased on this Sunday evening because I’ve managed to conquer my sudden but inevitable eclipse FOMO. Portland is almost in the path of totality (I’ve been learning new terminology left and right for this thing) so many of my friends are making plans to head south to see the event tomorrow.
Mr Never Cooks however has to go to work rain or shine, sun or no sun. And hey, there are plenty of things I’m happy to do solo, but finding a way to go 50 miles in the worst traffic in Oregon history while on my own seems like a surefire way to turn a cool event into a stressful mess. And I prefer to have my partner along for all stressful messes.
So, instead I’m settling for the 99.5% eclipse and putting stargazing at Machu Picchu on my bucket list. I had a friend show me pictures from his trip there and I’d say the starry night sky is enough to tide me over until the next total solar eclipse in 2024.
Speaking of bucket list trips, it would be nice to have money in the bank to actually check a few more big ticket items off. Food is a big expense in our household and it can be challenging to cut down too much on the grocery budget. How do I fix this?
Find recipe blogs that fill that need.
I mentioned in my Tuesday planning ahead post that I discovered an awesome food blog called Budget Bytes a few years ago. It’s been a while since I had checked out her recipes and I’m glad I found a reason to!
Greek Marinated Chicken
This Greek marinated chicken received some of the highest unsolicited praise from my fiancé in a long time. The recipe calls for the chicken to be marinated for 30 minutes, but given the hour-plus in the oven I’d try to start it the morning of next time (and there will be a next time). I’ll be trying regular non-Greek style yogurt too, she mentioned that it helps with a higher moisture content. Oh, and keep in mind that if you use chicken leg quarters like I did, you’ll probably want to increase your cook time a bit.
I panicked when I realized the chicken was almost done and I didn’t have anything to go with it, so this kitchen-sink style slaw was born. Shredded cabbage + avocado + yogurt + vinegar + salt/pepper + this chili lime seasoning from Trader Joe’s and I was all set! I did make that up on the fly but really how can you go wrong with that combo? And yes I did accidentally serve a Mexican-style slaw with Greek chicken but it worked and we polished it off. SO.
Chimichurri Chicken & Rice
Have you ever had one of those times where you realize that THIS is what true praise from your friends looks like? Enough to make you wonder if everything that came before was just a lie? I’m going to assume they have short memories because I’ve made some baller meals for them before, but if I can put in minimum effort for that kind of reaction sign me up.
I know, it looks like your standard run-of-the-mill one pot meal but the chimichurri elevates this thing to a whole new level in this chicken & rice dish. And it’s ridiculously easy to make. As in I TRIED to be lazy and find a pre-made version and stores don’t even bother. Plus, it’s already gluten-free and making a second pot that’s vegan only required a bean substitute.
Food restrictions pro tip
Keep your stirring spoons thoroughly segregated so you don’t have to suddenly pull out a new one when you transfer the veggie spoon into a pile of chicken (thankfully it wasn’t the other way around).
Pressure Cooker Chicken & Rice
Aaaand you all know my love of my baby. My little ray of sunshine. My beautiful Instant Pot. (If that sounds wrong I don’t want to be right.)
This pressure cooker chicken & rice dinner is so easy. So fast. So good at making me feel like I’m an awesome cook with so very little effort. Kitchen shears are also the best invention, and one of the few kitchen gadgets I bought on a whim that I’ve never regretted shelling out cash for. Cutting through chicken bones goes from a dreaded task to two minutes, easy peasy.
I ended up going with this cajun seasoning (not sponsored, I just really liked it) and it ended up tasting amazing. Plus, I upped it to 3 tablespoons of seasoning and that was perfect. I also made this on a weekend, but if I had to do it on a weeknight I would probably just make the rice in store bought chicken broth to save time.
Oh, and those are definitely carrots as a side, this girl needed a lazy veggie. 10/10 would do again.
See you all again on Tuesday!