What’s for dinner…?


Healthy, inexpensive, and easy to make.

For tonight’s dinner, I wanted to accomplish a few tasks:

  • Clean out the fridge
  • Make something easy
  • Eat healthy (for the most part).
  • Reward myself for doing this.

So, the menu is as such (to correspond with the bullets above):

  • Roasted beets
  • Steamed broccoli, rice, and cream of mushroom soup chicken
  • Skew portions towards vegetables and less on the protein/carb side
  • Make a key lime pie (mostly) from scratch.

The result? A cleaner, less wasteful way of emptying the fridge out, something that was filling and also suitable to bring leftovers for lunches tomorrow, and something healthy and colorful to add to the visual appeal.

The key lime pie was a hit because it annihilated about 7 limes that I have been trying to use for a while now, lol.

The big thing about this is to plan your time efficiently.

Time Line:

  1. Key Lime Pie:The thing that takes the longest is the pie. The custard filling is easy enough, and if you use a store-bought crust like I did (I didn’t want to have half a box of graham crackers tempting me at midnight), you’re looking at a cook time of 20 minutes and then a chill time of 2 hours. So make this the first thing you take out. I used this recipe for the filling.
  2. Soup Chicken: Get a can of cream of mushroom soup and about 6 frozen chicken tenders. Grab a packet of onion soup mix (the same stuff you can use to make onion dip) and mix all of that with any leftover chicken broth or water in a glass casserole dish. Pop it into the oven at 350F and cook it down for a while (think about 45 minutes). Don’t cover it, you want the liquid to reduce down to a creamy sauce.
  3. Beets: I sliced the beets into disks after cleaning them, and then used a fluted 1″ cookie cutter round to make pretty flowers. I’m going to make these a room-temperature dish, so cut your rounds, spread out on a cookie sheet with a few cranks of salt and a flourish of olive oil, and pop into the lower rack in the oven with the chicken. These only take about 15 minutes.
  4. Broccoli Rice: Finally, if you have a rice cooker, combine 2 cups rice with 3 cups of chicken broth in the cooker. Chop up a couple stalks of broccoli (about 3/4-1 cup total) and throw it in the cooker with the rice. Cook and keep warm until the rest of dinner is ready. This should finish in less that 20 minutes, which gives you enough time to get everything together and let the chicken cool a bit once it’s done.
  5. Arrangement: I am a fan of just scooping out some rice and make a mountain with a crater on the plate (think: exploded volcano) and then put a piece of chicken on top, spooning the soup mixture over the mountain. Garnish with a handful of your pretty beet flowers, and you’re in business.

Grocery/Ingredient List:

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (or 5-7 limes)
  • 4 egg yolks (save the whites for an omelet the next day!)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • graham cracker pie crust
  • 4-5 beets
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • chicken broth (optional)
  • broccoli or some sturdy green
  • 6 chicken tenders/1-3 chicken breasts (frozen is okay)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 packet Lipton onion soup mix (generic is just as good)

This should make 4-5 servings, enough for dinner and lunches tomorrow.

Enjoy!

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