I’ve hit the jackpot: My husband is making dinner tonight. He’s a master dish washer during the week, but some Sunday nights he mans the grill and I sit back with a glass of wine and the Sunday NYT. Not to mention that it’s Mother’s Day, so theoretically my kids should be fanning me and feeding me grapes, correct? I’ll count it a gift if we make it through the day without any major sibling squabbles. This Thursday, I head to the International Association of Culinary Professionals conference in Santa Fe. If you are one to say prayers, I wouldn’t mind a quick mention. I’m nervous and excited to do a couple trainings while I’m there with people I admire, like a cookbook workshop Adeena Sussman and Raquel Pelzel. Not to mention a media training with Sanford Marcus where I’ll record my own two-minute food segment. Think good thoughts!
Quick veggie stir fry with jasmine rice. It comes together in about 5 minutes. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can make it extra easy on yourself with frozen pre-cooked rice available at most grocery stores.
InstantPot chicken tinga tacos were a hit in one of my cooking classes last week and I can’t wait to have them again. There’s a step-by-step in the highlights on my Instagram profile page. Here’s the recipe since it’s not photographed yet (the bane of my blogging existence):
Instant Pot Chicken Tinga
- ½ onion sliced thin (red, yellow or white)
- 1 cup tomato puree or canned tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon or more fresh lime juice, about half a lime juiced
- 1 bay leaf
- 6-8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2-3 dried chipotle chilies (if you can’t find, use chipotle chiles from a can
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot and stir to combine. Seal the lid and vent and set the poultry setting on high for 20 minutes (15 minutes if you substitute breasts). Once the InstantPot has finished cooking, quick release the vent by covering it with a kitchen towel and rotating it with tongs to release the steam.
- Open the lid and transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Remove the bay leaf and purée the dried chilies and liquid base with a handheld immersion blender or carefully transfer the contents to a Vitamix or blender and purée.
- Shred the chicken and return it to the base. Stir to combine and taste for seasoning. Add salt, pepper or lime juice if you prefer. Serve in tacos, bowls or salad.
Healthier sloppy joes from Skinnytaste are one of my favorite recipes. Add a can of drained and rinsed pinto beans to add fiber, and for a low-carb option serve the mixture over spaghetti squash or stuffed into a baked sweet potato or roasted portobello mushroom. Serve with carrot and celery sticks on the side or a big green salad.
Truth be told, my husband is making a salad and ordering pizza tonight. I’ll be in Santa Fe and when I asked if I could leave him dinner to put in the oven, to his credit he waved me off. I’ll leave them a batch of super simple salad dressing and release it. If you want to have a homemade pizza night, grab pre-made dough from Trader Joe’s or a cauliflower crust from your local store and top it with Rao’s, pesto and your toppings of choice.
My people are fending for themselves again. I’ll have the freezer stocked with a few TJs “emergency” dinners for those nights when you feel like you might just lay down on the floor of your kitchen and fall asleep. Because you’re that tired. Here are my go-tos:
- Trader Joe’s frozen turkey bolognese warmed up with 1 cup frozen cauliflower rice, a couple handfuls of fresh spinach and a cup of Rao’s.
- Speaking of Rao’s, cook some pasta and top it with this stuff and call it a night.
- Frozen TJ’s chicken taquitos served with guacamole and salsa verde, or try this hack for taquito enchiladas.
- Trader Joe’s orange chicken (disclaimer: it’s full of sodium and not the healthiest, but ok for a once-in-a–while emergency dinner. You could also try this orange chicken fried rice.