As a nanny for the last year and a half plus, I’ve cooked four meals a week every week for the family I work for, and I bring home portions for Jason and myself. It’s a great arrangement that lets me spend the three hours I have at home at night until bedtime NOT cooking, and I get to make things that I normally wouldn’t be able make (because Jason’s only fault is extreme pickiness. If he doesn’t happen to like the meals I make now, he eats a sandwich or salad). Well, four months ago things changed up a bit, because the family added another kid to the mix! Now I have a four year old and a four month old, and I’m still cooking organic meals for the two families. It’s actually been a really good experience, because it has forced me to become much more creative, and find meals that are still organic, light on the bad stuff and heavy on the good stuff, and, above all, FAST. I know there are lots of moms who want to make these kinds of meals, so I thought I would put some of my favorites altogether in this blog. Here goes:
Tips: I buy my groceries from Whole Foods (I push the stroller and the four year old pushes a little cart on his own), and I always get an organic rotisserie chicken, which I debone right after I get back from the grocery store, while the big kid is eating and the little kid’s bottle is warming up. I get two meals out of that chicken, and it’s been a huge time (and money) saver.
1) Organic Chicken Stir Fry
It’s fast because I use frozen organic stir fry vegetables and an organic rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods, and serve it with a side of organic quinoa from Whole Foods. To make it, start the quinoa according to the directions, and while it’s simmering for those 15 minutes, throw in the chicken you deboned right after you got back from the store, the frozen veggies, some hoisin sauce, black bean sauce, and a little bit of soy sauce into a large fry pan and saute’ them up. By the time the quinoa is done, 15 minutes later, so are your veggies and chicken! For extra protein, sometimes I fry an egg and put it with the quinoa together with the veggie mix, and make it a little more like fried rice, except without actually frying it.
2) Organic Chicken Tortilla Soup It’s fast because I buy all organic canned or frozen veggies and ingredients, plus the rotisserie chicken. You throw all of the ingredients into a crock pot, and wait five hours. Done in 15 minutes or less, and the big kids can help with this one. The little one is in a bouncy seat, looking at us the whole time. Ingredients: Organic Frozen diced onion and corn (sometimes I buy them separately, and sometimes I find a “Spanish mix” of veggies with those ingredients that I just buy instead), organic canned chipotle peppers (only if you like it spicy), pinto beans (drained), black beans (drained), diced tomato (not drained), and organic chicken broth (about two quarts). Throw it in the crockpot with some cumin, salt and pepper, chili powder and cinnamon, to taste, along with some of the chicken and some garlic. Done! I mix up the amouns depending on what my families like, so there’s no set recipe.
3) Organic Tacos We always buy lettuce, tomato and avocado, so all we need is organic cheese (shared with meal #5), organic shells, meat and a seasoning packet. Brown the meat, add the seasoning packet, and let everyone build their own tacos the way they like them.
4) Organic Chickpea and Vegetable Tagine Just make this organic by using organic quinoa and veggies, and again, by the time the quinoa is done, so is everything else. Very simple. Save time by using leftover frozen diced onions from recipe #2, and use the rotisserie chicken for an extra protein kick if you like. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chickpea-vegetable-tagine-50400000135972/
5): Organic BBQ Chicken Pizza Definitely recruit the kids for this one, and it’s not a chore at all. Just buy a frozen organic pizza crust from Whole Foods and roll it out. Add BBQ sauce, cheese, red onions and rotisserie chicken and bake it for 20 minutes. You can use the cilantro and pepperoncinis if you want, but I didn’t find them necessary. This was a huge hit! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/bbq-chicken-pizza/
6) Organic Polenta with Chicken Sausage and Peppers This one is sooooo good! Just buy the premade organic polenta from Whole Foods, cook it in the microwave, and choose organic sweet peppers (I use red, orange and yellow), and organic sausages (chicken or any other kind you like. Sometimes we buy apple chicken or mild Italian) and stir fry them. The sausages are already cooked, so you just need to brown them, and chopping up and sauteing three peppers takes very little time. Done in 15-20 minutes.
I hope you like these! They’re only a few of the recipes I’ve used in the last two months, but they’re some of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy them 🙂