I’m ready to wrap up my workday and my mind is already on to the “second shift”–at least that’s what it was called in all those multiple women’s studies classes I took in college. Actually, I thought that term was so far fetched but now, the second shift is part of the everyday routine.
Ok, and where does my mind wonder off to after thinking about picking up both kids at their respective preschool and daycare providers? Dinner! What’s for dinner? What could I make that’s not too much work, that is healthy, that my husband would find scrumptious, that wasn’t too slimy for my 4-year-old son and would be interesting to my almost 2-year-old little girl? And what will be the meal that is the cherry on top of my day–’cause for me, good food equals zen. Tall order!
And this doesn’t factor in that I have about a half an hour alone with Zachary and Sophie before Nicholas, my husband gets home. The same amount of time I have to get dinner on the table at a reasonable time.
“Outta the trash, Sophie.” “Nope, no candy today, Zachary.” “Only a few Goldfish for now. Save your appetite for dinner.” “No, Sophie we can’t go outside now. Mommy’s gotta cut up some veggies.” You get the point.
I wish my husband worked closer to home so that we could share parenting duties right after work on the weekdays. But for now, that isn’t the case.
So tonight, I have a go-to recipe that is quick, pretty low-cal, is pretty yummy to everyone and gets a laugh from the kids when I prepare it. I guess for the purpose of this blog I’m going to have to come up with names for these dishes that I have been practicing at for at least the six years that I’ve been married. This one is called: Chicken Scallopini served with white rice and steamed dill zucchini.
2 big chicken breasts
1 cup of white rice
2 green zucchinis
Seasoned salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Use tongs to transfer chicken into a gallon-sized zipper bag and seal shut. (Here’s the funny part for the kids.) Use the flat side of a meat pounder to pound chicken to about 1/4″ thickness while making funny faces at the kids and saying: “It’s ok, mommy is definitely not mad or going crazy, she’s just making flat chicken tonight. Bock, bock, bock! (flap your arms multiple times then continue pounding, while secretly releasing the aggression you might have toward your boss or cube neighbor).
Next, transfer the chicken using tongs to a foil-lined baking sheet and spray both sides with Pam. Season both sides with seasoned salt, pepper and lightly with garlic powder. Place on the middle rack of the oven. Cook about 12-15 minutes, turning once if the top isn’t browning.
Now prepare your rice according to the package’s directions (2 cups of liquid to 1 cup of rice), using chicken broth in place of water. Use a pot with a steamer on top, which will be used for the zucchini when the rice is cooking. Cut the zucchini in half length-wise and then again. Then cut small pieces and place into the steamer after rice has come to a boil in the chicken broth, turn down the heat to low, and cover with a lid. Cook 20 minutes.
By the time the chicken is out of the oven and cooling, the rice and zucchini will be ready. Cut up half of one chicken in tiny pieces for the kids, and plate the other half for yourself. Dad gets the other piece of chicken. Mix a little margarine or butter into the veggies and salt and pepper and sprinkle with dried dill. Serve those on the side with the rice and voila! Dinner is served. Deep sigh of satisfaction.