Wednesday, March 20, 2013

When you need to decide what's for dinner ten minutes before dinner.

I didn't know what I was making for dinner when I got up this morning because we are having another eat from our pantry challenge (due to too much Spicy Ginger).  I defrosted two chicken breasts in the hope that I would have some inspiration while working.

So, not only did I have inspiration (in the form of my frantic Google search at 4:14 p.m.), I scored a big hit tonight with food straight from my pantry/freezer by modifying a bunch of pasta recipes I found online and adding in some other stuff I had in the cabinet.

Hot dog, y'all!

Here's the skinny in case you ever find yourself in a dinner emergency (and you probably won't because you are probably way more organized than me):

Delicious hot/cold pasta salad/main course

2 chicken breasts
1 bag of farafalle pasta (or bow-tie - really is that the same thing? or whatever kind of pasta you have in the cabinet)
half a bag of frozen peas, cooked (about two cups?)
a good amount of black olives (half a can?  or a whole can if you really like olives)
one medium size cucumber, diced
feta cheese to taste
about 1/4 cup of Italian dressing
olive oil
gomashio (I only just found out about gomashio when my sister made me some.  I'm pretty addicted to it now.)

Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces.  Coat the pieces liberally with mayonnaise and Italian dressing.  Cover and let it sit in fridge for at least an hour (or more time if you think ahead). 

Cook your bow tie pasta according to the package directions.  While you are doing that, drain the chicken pieces (but not completely - leave some of that mayo/dressing juiciness on them) and sear them/brown them on fairly high heat so that they cook quickly and brown up nicely.

When the chicken is fully cooked add it to the cooked (and drained) pasta.  Add a splash of olive oil (or more if you like olive oil), and about 1/4 cup of Italian dressing.  Add your cooked peas, about a half a can of olives and your diced cucumber to the pasta/chicken mix.  Mix it all up.

After serving sprinkle with feta cheese (or Parmesan if you prefer that, but feta is just delish) and gomashio.

Best.  Pasta.  Salad/Dish.  Ever.  I loved it.  The kids loved it (minus the feta and gomashio).  Hubby liked it. 

What's on the menu tomorrow?  I think peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Happy eating, y'all.  I'll be back soon - I think I'm on episode 6 of 13.

P.S. - It was eaten too fast for photos. 
P.S.S. - I also made these yummy morsels again, too.  Oh my.  Super delish.


Shannon said...

Right now I am hating trying to figure out what is for dinner. Found left over sloppy joes meat in the freezer, at least I hope it is sloppy joe meat, maybe it is taco? No label. It's desert night and we are out of eggs, so is the closest store. SIGH! Digging around found half a chocolate sheet cake, I think left over from Dave's b-day in Jan. It's going to be a meh kinda dinner tonight.

Monica said...

that's exactly what i thought last night, but i'm telling you this pasta stuff was over-the-top yummy. and it was all stuff i had. best. part. :o) hope you ate something good. :D

jamiew said...

"gomashio yourself"

i heart you for bringing this new word into my world. officially my fav dlc today.

Monica said...

@jamiew - yeah. it's pretty much been the brunt of a lot of jokes. (all in my head, of course. ed is "beyond" these jokes - or they are beyond him. and they are too inappropriate for most of my kids. so, thank you? for appreciating the humor and tastiness in this?)

Anonymous said...

Never heard of gomashio, and I even spent 3 weeks in Japan! That dinner sounds delicious. Maybe I'll give the recipe to Cap'n Firepants to try.

Monica said...

@whatimeant2say - gomashio is delish. my sister made it for me, but you can purchase it from spice places. it tastes kind of like sesame oil (of course) in a great texture. my other sister - who has spent quite a bit of time in japan also visiting my nephew who lives there - had never heard of it either.