Prepping, and Saving Time in the Kitchen

Vegetarian Chili may not be something you have ever tried before, but it is definitely a good night off from the meat.  I use both pinto and kidney beans for this one, both which have a sweetish taste to me which I love mixed with the sweet carrots, pugnant cumin, cilantro and savory garlic. By the way, not that we are planning to have a natural disaster, but watching the daily updates of the drama unfolding back east is a great reminder that we should at least make some prepper moves in order to be somewhat ready just in case it might happen. That being said… I do a bit of prep by keeping my pantry well stocked with beans. Canned goods don’t last forever so you can’t go too far here, but I have more than I think I will need and simply put the new ones I buy behind the ones I already have on the shelf.  So the beans I used for this dish were probably purchased months ago, and by the way, this is a good way to take advantage of stocking up when they are on sale!

Adobo Chicken has become a favorite for me because it is so easy in the crock pot and my family loves it. I always double this recipe and use the extras over rice or quinoa as lunches. Another trick I use to save time is that I also double the greens from Fish and Greens and serve them again with the chicken and rice because the rice, sweet and spicy adobo sauce, chicken and rich greens all compliment each other in taste . This doubling makes this nutritious dinner even less work to get on the table.

And then we have my old buddy Fish and Greens. I’ve gotten to the point where I make this at least once a month, even thought you won’t see it on the menu that often.  Now that I have so much experience it goes really quickly, my family loves it, and I can just keep my eye on the fish counter and make it when something really good comes on sale. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to watch your family consuming forkfuls of carefully cooked and seasoned, dark green leafy vegetables like collard greens and kale, so this menu makes me extra happy! Last week I used some delicious sockeye salmon which was wild caught here in the US (my two requirements for fish!) and on sale for $9.99 per pound. That may sound like a lot, but it is usually $19.99 per pound, and of course Vegetarian Chili is my bean balance to compensate anyways.

As for the extra recipes Jasmine Ginger Tea and Raw Apple Pie, they are both super nutritious and taste good together if you so choose. The tea is delightful after a blustery day outside, and the raw apple pie sweetened with dried dates and lots of cinnamon for the apples will take you by surprise . I served it last Christmas when my family was here and they asked for it again the next time I saw them…and they are not even subject to the “off the beaten path” type of food that all of my resident taste testers are now used to.

Take the time to print out the recipes, put the shopping list in your purse or pull it up on your iphone in the store, but do take advantage of all the planning that you see here. I literally can’t remember how I used to cook, but it is so wonderful to walk around the grocery store with a plan, knowing that everything I buy has a destiny for nutritious eating at my house.

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