Lazy Weeknight Meals
I do most of my heavy-duty cooking on the weekends, and I rely heavily on my slow-cooker during the week. But there are some times when I haven’t planned ahead and still need to come up with something for dinner. Frozen pizza is out for obvious reasons. For those nights, I rely on my stock of what I call Lazy Weeknight Meals. These are meals that use only pantry staples (I have no time for shopping) and take less than 45 minutes start to finish (because that’s how much time I usually have after work before my husband and kids get home).
I get sick a lot less often than I did before I went paleo, but I’m not immune to every bug the girls bring home from daycare. I’m sick today with what feels like the plague: I can’t speak, my tonsils are the size of small watermelons, and my lungs are full of phlegm (which is a fun word to look at and Google the etymology of).
So naturally, I wanted soup. Not only is soup an amazing comfort food, but it’s a good excuse to use up some of my homemade Cornish Hen stock, which has been taking up precious freezer room for too long now. Bone broth (which is a kind of stock) is a paleo super-food, and it’s a great immune system boost. (More proof your mom was right about everything: chicken soup really is good for colds.)
I adapted this recipe from this one at PaleOMG.com, simplifying it for use as a Lazy Weeknight Meal.
4-pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or whatever kind of chicken you have)
1 bag steam-in-bag stir-fry vegetables
A few handfuls of whatever green stuff you have in your fridge (I used a mix of baby kale, spinach, and chard because I got a little fancy at Costco last weekend; any green leafy thing you like would be fine. I bet canned or frozen spinach would work too)
1 can coconut milk (I used slightly less than 1 can because I had some leftover from a different recipe)
5 good shakes each garam masala and curry powder
2 good shakes powdered ginger
2 cups broth/stock (you can use any kind you like. I used leftover bone broth from a cornish hen, but chicken or vegetable stock would also work fine.)
1 dash fish sauce (about 1 tsp)*
1 tbs soy sauce (not great), tamari (better–this is what I use), or coconut aminos (best) **
Paleo Cooking Fat (I used coconut oil)
In a big skillet, melt your coconut oil and cook your chicken until it’s mostly done (a few minutes each side). Remove from pan, cut into chunks, and return to pan.
Microwave your vegetables according to package instructions, then dump them in the pan.
Put everything else into the pan.
Simmer until flavors have melded and chicken is cooked through
Garnish with green onions if you find them at the bottom of your vegetable drawer, like I just did.
*Yeah, I know, but I consider fish sauce to be a pantry staple because it’s in every Asian dish ever and it’s really umami, whatever that means.
**Soy sauce isn’t paleo. Not only is soy probably the worst legume for your health, but modern soy sauce is made with half wheat, half soy–so it’s doubly not paleo! Tamari sauce is supposed to be wheat-free soy sauce, but check the label for wheat anyway, since it’s not regulated. It’s not paleo either, but it’s less bad for you than soy sauce and it’s regularly commercially available (I buy mine at Target). Coconut aminos is the true paleo choice. It’s essentially coconut sap. You can buy it online. My opinion is that you should use what you have, because 1 tbs of any of these isn’t going to kill you.