There is always one night during the week where dinner ends up being left overs or some quick combination of grilled chicken and a green veggie.
While beginning to prep dinner yesterday evening, I opened the refrigerator and noticed we had no green veggies – and no back ups in the freezer. So off to Trader Joe’s I went with the intention of grabbing a bag of frozen green beans and broccoli to get home as fast as possible. The moment I walked in, I decided while I’m here, I might as well walk through the fresh produce section. I was then inspired to make a ‘quick meal’ without it turning out bland.
I knew I had an onion at home so I grabbed the brightest red pepper from the bunch and a pack of zucchini – I love Trader’s set of three zucchinis – they are always the perfect size! On my way to the frozen section to stock up on the frozen back up veggies, I passed the sauces and thought “why not” to the jar of alfredo.
Because of the last minute grocery run, I wanted to make the prep go quick. I decided to bake the chicken so I could multi-task the rest of the prep while it cooked. Six quick steps and 20 minutes later, my last minute meal idea turned out to be an almost-instant success. Check it out:
Aside from the taste, the most satisfying thing about this meal was although I had a long work day that drained my energy and made the thought of making dinner a daunting task, I ran with the spark of creativity in the moment which turned the action of making this meal into a fun and rewarding activity. Sure, I debated the alfredo sauce for a split second, but instead I let myself enjoy it.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Season chicken to taste (ground pepper, garlic powder and dried basil shown here) and place in glass casserole dish lightly greased with EVOO.
- Cook chicken for 20-25 minutes.
- ‘Noodle’ 1 large zucchini (I use the Vegetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer)
- Dice 1/2 bell pepper and 1/2 onion. Sauté in oiled pan for roughly 2-3 minutes.
- Warm Alfredo sauce in microwave or with pepper and onions.
- Once chicken is complete, portion each ingredient into salad bowls.
- Sprinkle fresh parmesan, pour a glass of vino (optional 🙂 ) and voila!
Total prep and cook time: 20 minutes
Note: 1 large zucchini and 10-12 oz. chicken will serve two.