The never-ending stay-at-home fatigue is very real in my household. Dave and I have had to get creative with our weeknight meals because while my commuting time has gone away, it doesn't always mean extra time at night to spend freely. A con of working from home is certainly that the morning, afternoon and evening hours can sort-of all bleed together. Before I know it (like right now), it's almost dinner time, and I'm still at the computer. And wedding planning, of course, has also eaten up time during the evenings, although in a (mostly) enjoyable way. With that said, this recipe is definitely of the variety of a 30 minute, or less, meal. In fact, it's so easy, it's hardly a recipe: if it takes more than five minutes to assemble, and longer than 20 minutes to cook, then you're overthinking it.
Posts published in “Main Courses”
There's something to be said about having the right tools to get a job done. I think this goes for just about anything in life, even food.
When you have nice ingredients or tools, cooking is more of a joy. It could mean a splurge on a quality olive oil or an aged balsamic vinegar, a luxury like truffles or Kobe/Wagyu beef (for meat eaters - maybe not for me ;) ), or a nice quality knife or cutting block to work with as you prepare meals.
Sometimes, it doesn't have to be expensive at all: buying produce in season, for example, when it's abundant. You're already off to a good start of making something good when you're working with fresh food that's in-season. It speaks for itself. You can do so little to it and it's still delicious.
As ready as I am for the season to change as I sit here on my porch, on the cusp of my favorite time of the year — with cool wind blowing through the windows, anticipating the turning colors of the leaves that will start any time now — I'll always take time to savor the last of the wonderful summer produce that I've grown and harvested or purchased locally at markets.
And one ingredient I always miss the most as the season turns is the tomato.
I love using yogurt as a marinade for chicken. It works because the lactose in the dairy helps tenderize the meat but more importantly is a great carrier for flavorful spices—like cumin, turmeric, and other Indian-inspired flavors. I used 0%, non-fat but you can use 2% or even whole milk yogurt for extra richness. Either way, the yogurt chars a little when cooking and develops little, crusty bits which I think are especially delicious.
I always make sure to set aside some of the marinade at the beginning to use as a sauce for serving at the end. As a reminder, it's never a good idea to reuse marinade after it has been in contact with raw meat.
To make the recipe extra easy and mess-free, you can go the tried-and-true route of combining all of the ingredients for the marinade and the chicken in a large, gallon sized plastic bag. Zip the bag and massage to combine. You still might want to place the bag in a bowl, glass or aluminum baking dish, or on a baking sheet pan to catch any drips—just in case the bag has tiny holes that you otherwise aren't able to see.
I like the plastic bag option if I am going to be grilling elsewhere—like at a friend or a family member's house or for a BBQ at the park or beach—because it travels better and takes up less space if I am putting it into a cooler. If I am staying at home, though, I typically like to use my largest Pyrex glass bowl that has a nice, matching lid—there's no sense in using then tossing a plastic bag if I can avoid it.
The chicken is great by itself with a side of rice, couscous, or a vegetable but I especially love it served as a sandwich or a flatbread made with naan.
Start with a batch of yogurt-marinated chicken and add delicious toppings. Serve cut into large slices on a wooden cutting board to enjoy as a lunch or dinner with a side salad.
Vegetarian shepherds pie was a staple dinner for me all of those years that I was following a stricter ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. Especially when I was in college, I could make this recipe on a weekend and have it several times as leftovers for dinner when I got home from school late during the week. It's easy to make, very satisfying and comforting to eat.
As much as I love to cook as a way to relax, we've all been there: coming home from a long day at work or school, just wanting something quick for dinner so the kitchen clean-up can be expedited and the unwinding after that can begin.
Fortunately, it doesn't take a lot of time at all to make a big main course salad—one of my go-tos for an easy dinner on a weeknight, on a hot summer night when turning on the oven is out of the question or, frankly, on any night when the last place that anyone wants to be is in the kitchen for a long period of time.
Served on a big platter for 2-4 people, salads make a complete meal with the addition of some protein or a side of bread while still being light enough not to weigh you down for the rest of the night. Cobb salad is a favorite of mine, but takes a lot of ingredients to get it all together: blue cheese, bacon, avocado... All delicious, but if you're really looking to cut down time and want to save a couple of pennies since avocados and a good blue cheese can get pricey, turn to Greek salad.