Some days you just have to open up the fridge and wing it, am I right?
Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this sometimes.
The reality is, I do my best to meal plan and to go to the grocery store with a list and a plan in mind. And most of the time, I do. But some weeks, I’m just not feeling inspired. Either I can’t think of anything really great to make, or I just don’t have the time to do serious planning so I just grab staples and run.
Which was pretty much the case this past weekend. I was totally strapped for time, so I just ran to the store and grabbed all of our vital staples (aka apples, bananas, milk and bread) and got the heck out of dodge.
The only problem is that it leaves me in a bit of a bind when I get home from the gym at 7pm ready to eat my arm off, and I have to somehow come up with something to throw together for dinner. Some days, that ends up being cereal or a PB&J. But other days, I actually manage to throw together something worth recreating.
And that is exactly what happened on Tuesday night. After staring in my fridge for about 15 minutes (and opening/closing the door a dozen times because it kept setting off the alarm), I managed to throw something delicious and SUPER simple together!
Lemon, roasted red pepper and artichoke quinoa!
Honestly, the longest part of this whole entire dish is waiting for the quinoa to finish cooking. It was so fresh and light that it would make a perfect meal throughout the entire summer. Or you could just take out the chicken and it would make an awesome side dish!
Lemon, Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Quinoa
- 1 chicken breast, cut into cubes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Tapenade (or 1 roasted red pepper diced, 3 artichoke hearts diced, and 1 tsp olive oil)
- 2 large handfuls kale, washed and chopped
- 2 tsp lemon juice (add more or less to taste)
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook quinoa according to directions on package.
2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center.
3. Add garlic and let cook for approximately 30 seconds. Add in kale and stir until fully wilted, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add in roasted red pepper and artichoke tapenade and cook for another minute.
4. Remove from heat. Add in lemon juice, and add more to taste (please note, I really like lemon, so I chose to have a strong lemony flavor – add less if you’re not a lemon fan). Mix in with quinoa, and add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve and enjoy!
This recipe was seriously so simple and so quick to make, it was almost silly. As I said, it would be so easy to change this into a side dish by taking out the chicken.
For any of my veggie friends out there, you could also easily swap out the chicken for beans – white beans would be especially good!
Overall, I’d have to consider this totally random meal a complete success! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I gobbled up the leftovers last night for dinner and it was just as good cold!
So tell me: Are you a meal planner or do you usually wing it? What are your go-to throw together ingredients?