Simple Pizza Chicken Bake

Once again, a Simple Recipe saves the day. Three cheers for Simple Pizza Chicken Bake! (Hip, hip…okay, let’s just get to the recipe.)

pizza-chicken-bake

Truth: I have been too busy to cook lately. Why? Well, for one thing, I’ve been quite occupied by writing about how to put simple meals on the table.

Do not miss the irony of this.

Oh my dears. We hosted people for Thanksgiving, then turned right around and traveled to Kansas. We arrived home a few days later happy and tired, and very behind on all of our work. We began to play catch up while getting ready for Christmas and finishing up our kids’ semester of school work. Our youngest has been in our big downtown Christmas play, so we’ve been running to practices and performances and hosting family who came into town to watch. We hosted Christmas parties for two groups of college students, and enjoyed a big basketball triangular in town with the team our two middle boys are involved with.

Did I mention we’re getting ready to drive to California to see family at Christmastime?

All this fun in the midst of trying to keep up with everyday life has threatened to push me into the next level of crazy-head. (No one wants to see what that looks like.) So when Matt got home from his current job site one day last week and asked how he could help with dinner, I looked up from my computer (where I was editing a post about keeping dinner simple) and said, “I’ve been too busy writing about how to put food on the table easily to actually get food on the table. I love you. I’m hungry. Malachi needs to leave for practice in 15 minutes.”

Fun times. I have no recollection of what we actually ate that night. But no one starved, and I think I’m back on track this week to at least have the brain power to throw something in the crock pot or oven at a reasonable time.

Keep this new Simple Recipe in your back pocket. It truly is a no-brainer, and maybe it’s just me, but I think we can all use no-brainer recipes this time of year and always.

Simple Pizza Chicken BakeYum

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Pizza Chicken Bake
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 14 ounces pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 ounces sliced pepperoni
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into thin strips and spread them into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Spread pizza sauce over the chicken.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Top with pepperoni.
  5. Bake, uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

simple-pizza-chicken-bake

I’m happy to report that the work I was behind on is almost caught up, and the work I’m trying to get ahead on is coming along at a nice pace. I got to a good enough point a few days ago that I told Matt, “Hey, I think I’ll be able to go to California with you for Christmas after all.” Now here’s hoping he gets all his work done so he can go too.

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

If you haven’t joined Simple Meals, we invite you to come aboard! We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Veggie-n-Egg Scramble ~ A Great Last Minute Meal Idea

I think this Veggie-n-Egg Scramble might become one of my favorite and most relied upon go-to meals.

Veggie and Egg Scramble

I used to make something like this years ago, but kind of forgot about it. Weird how that happens.

A few weeks ago, I needed a quick meal before we headed out to a soccer game. I didn’t have time to cook meat, but I did have a fridge full of veggies and a few dozen eggs. I called the boys into the kitchen and started throwing vegetables and knives at them. Hold on. That didn’t come out right. I didn’t throw knives at them. (Peppers maybe, but not knives.) I’m just saying I started handing out jobs and we all worked together to make this quick and nourishing meal.

Everyone started chopping until my big electric skillet looked like this:

Veggies for veggie scramble
All the veggies are good in this Veggie-n-Egg Scramble, but I will suggest that onions are a key player. Onions give this dish such amazing flavor! Sweet peppers are a close second. Broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, and spinach come next. The beauty is that you can use whatever veggies you like and whatever you have on hand.

Saute the veggies in olive oil or butter until tender. Scramble in some eggs with salt. Toss in a little cheese for extra amazingness. So much deliciousness. Very little work. Extra wonderful nourishment.

Veggie-n-Egg Scramble ~ A Great Last Minute Meal Idea
 
Author:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chopped veggies (onions, sweet peppers, zucchini, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, or any others you like in any combination)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • sea salt to taste
  • shredded cheese to taste
Instructions
  1. Saute vegetables in oil or butter until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, crack eggs into a bowl and whip with milk.
  3. Pour egg mixture over cooked veggies and salt as you like.
  4. Scramble the eggs with the veggies until they are cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle cheese on top to melt.
  6. Serve

I at least double this for my family of 6 big eaters. Plus we serve it with fresh fruit. Buttered toast also helps fill them up. Seriously. We really do eat and keep eating at our house.

TIP: If you happen to have leftover ham or bacon – even chicken or beef – hanging out in your fridge, those would be a wonderful addition to this dish.

This meal has become one of the easiest ways to get my family to eat a big variety of veggies in one meal. It ranks right up there with Easy Noodle Stir-Fry.

Easy Veggie and Egg Scramble

Do you ever make a meal like this at your house? What veggies would you or do you include? 

It’s meals like this that make “teaching our kids about nutrition” quite natural.

P.S. It is worth noting that this dish makes it possible to feed my family very well for about $1.00 per plate. (We won’t talk about how many plates we go through during a meal…)

Easy Chicken With Cream Cheese Sauce

I have a wonderful chicken recipe to share with you. But first, a story.

Cream Cheese Chicken

Once upon a time, I was dating my husband. I mean, my boyfriend. I mean, we weren’t married yet when we were dating but then we did get married and all of that barely has anything to do with this recipe.

But back in the days of our dating, engagement, and early marriage we drove an hour away from our college town each Sunday morning to a small church with a sweet youth group. Matt was their youth leader, teaching Bible classes and forming relationships with the teens. These dear ones became our church family, worshiping with us, throwing us a wedding shower, celebrating our marriage, being a part of our first pregnancy, and welcoming Baby #1 into the world with us.

Some of our fondest memories of those years are looking back to the Sunday afternoons in the homes of various church family members. They took turns signing up to feed us after church. Those meals!!! Talk about a church full of good cooks. The fellowship was precious and I can remember in detail many of the ladies’ specialties. We were very well taken care of, that is for sure.

Well, one of these ladies frequently made chicken that was slathered in the most delicious cream sauce. When we knew Carlene had signed up to feed us, I’d always say to Matt, “Ooooh, I hope she made that chicken this time!” Anytime she did make it and we sat there gushing over the meal, she’d always shake her head at us and say, “Oh. It’s just food.”

Right. Just food. Just the best chicken I’ve ever eaten!!!

Since that time, I’ve always regretted that I never got her recipe. I’m not even kidding you that 20 years later I still get hungry for that meal. Finally about a month ago I thought to myself, “Laura, are you or are you not the lady who invents recipes? For Pete’s sake, woman. Go to the kitchen and figure out how to make Carlene’s chicken.”

You’d think I would have considered this option before.

Well, my friends. I now present to you Not-Quite-Carlene’s Chicken with Cream Cheese Sauce. Make this.

Easy Chicken with Cream Cheese SauceYum

Easy Chicken With Cream Cheese Sauce
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ⅔ cup whole wheat flour
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup palm shortening or other oil for frying
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2 cups chicken broth
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, salt, and pepper.
  2. Dip chicken in egg, then coat in flour mixture.
  3. Fry in oil for just a few minutes on each side. (Do not over cook or the chicken will become dry.)
  4. Remove chicken from pan.
  5. Pour chicken broth into the pan, scraping up the chicken drippings.
  6. Add softened cream cheese, stirring until smooth.
  7. Place cooked chicken back into the pan, coating on both sides with sauce.
  8. Serve with rice or pasta.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Prepare and fry meat as directed. Allow it to cool, then cover and store in the refrigerator for up to two days. Prepare sauce as directed and stir in the chicken, heating through.

Freezer Instructions

Prepare and fry meat as directed. Allow it to cool. Freeze in a well-sealed freezer bag for up to three months. To serve, thaw cooked meat. Prepare sauce as directed and stir in the chicken, heating through.

Easy Chicken with Cream Cheese Sauce Recipe

I can’t think of a brilliant way to end this post. Go make this chicken! There. That oughta do it.

Easy (Make-Ahead) Baked Potato and Bacon Casserole

It’s a Potato and Bacon Casserole. Life is good.

Bacon Baked Potato Casserole

This is so easy we can hardly call it a recipe. I’m pretty sure my family will be having this every other week for the rest of our lives for the following reasons:

  1. Bacon. Of course. And also, cheese.
  2. We can slather it with Spicy Ranch Dressing, which tastes so good I believe I shall become addicted to it.
  3. I can make several of these casseroles at once and freeze them for later, making this easy meal even easier.

This “casserole” is basically baked potatoes cut up in a dish with bacon and cheese all over it. I’m sorry that I can’t make it more complicated for all of you who would rather spend many more minutes sauteing, braising, and broiling. This time, you’ll have to get your steeping and zesting fix elsewhere.

Everyone else: I lovingly suggest that you go scrub some potatoes. You’re having this for dinner tonight.

Baked Potato and Bacon CasseroleYum

Easy (Make-Ahead) Baked Potato and Bacon Casserole
 
8 medium-sized potatoes (any variety) 1 pound bacon 2 cups shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese Sour cream, chives, and/or Spicy Ranch Dressing for topping
Author:
Ingredients
  • 8 medium-sized potatoes (any variety)
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
  • Sour cream, chives, and/or Spicy Ranch Dressing for topping
Instructions
  1. Scrub and bake potatoes by putting them into a covered dish in a 350° oven for 1½ hours.
  2. In the meantime, cut bacon into bite-sized pieces and cook thoroughly on the stove-top.
  3. Cut baked potatoes into chunks, spreading them out into a 9x13" baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle cooked bacon over the potatoes.
  5. Top with shredded cheese.
  6. Bake in a 350° oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Offer sour cream, chives, and/or Spicy Ranch Dressing to complete this main course. Serve with a salad and another fruit or veggie. It is too easy. Makes 6-8 servings.

Baked Potato Bacon Casserole

To Freeze This Dish: 

Make it as directed above. Allow it to cool completely. Cover and label. Put it in the freezer.

To Reheat and Serve This Dish:

This is my favorite trick. Get the casserole out of the freezer. Cover the frozen dish with foil (somebody needs to invent a 9×13 glass cover for my pyrex dishes). Put the frozen casserole into a COLD oven. Turn the oven on to 250° allowing it to heat up along with the casserole. After one hour, turn the oven up to 350° and bake for one more hour or until the casserole is thawed, heated through, and looks like wonderful cheesy deliciousness.

Let us all add this recipe to our “Reasons to Make Extra Baked Potatoes When We’re Making Baked Potatoes Anyway” list.

7 Ways to Use Baked Potatoes

Switch out the bacon in this casserole for other cooked meats. Switch out the regular potatoes for sweet potatoes. Just whatever you do, try it with the Spicy Ranch Dressing. Ah-mazing.

Make Pizza Boats on the Grill ~ Fast and Easy!

Grilled pizza boats! Who knew!!?

Ever since I became a big girl and learned how to turn on our grill, a whole new world of summertime food opened up to me. I think I turned 38 that summer. I had always left certain tasks like that up to my husband – things like installing our window air conditioners, getting the oil changed in our car, and grilling meat.

Then one day I was like, dude it sure would be nice to get dinner cooked instead of waiting for Matt to get home and grill the meat. (The deep thoughts of a hungry 38 year old…)

So I prepared myself for a detailed lesson in propane and matches and safety and how to avoid setting the house on fire. Then Matt got home and showed me how to simultaneously turn a knob and push a button. Four seconds later, the grill was aflame.

Hmmm, thought I. I probably could have even learned that when I was as young as 37.

Don’t tease. Need I remind those of you who have been operating a grill since adolescence that some of us experienced trauma at age 17 which may or may not have involved a fire and the total destruction of a huge barn on my family’s property? Some of us have hated fire for a very, very long time. Some of us might have equated lighting a grill to lighting a barn on fire and watching it smolder for three to fourteen days. Some of us.

So now I’m 41 (and three quarters) and the grill is my best friend in the summertime. In my 3 years of grilling experience, I have not burned anything down – not our house, not someone else’s house, not even a barn.

Regarding food of many kinds: if I can grill it, I do. If I’ve never seen it grilled before, I try it. Anything to avoid turning on the oven on a hot day. Plus, grilled food is fun and special and it feels like a big deal to say, “we’re grilling chicken tonight” instead of simply saying, “we’re having chicken.” Right? Can’t you hear the difference?

So enter: Grilled Pizza Boats

Making pizza on the grill (the regular crust kind) is quite doable and very yummy. You can learn how to do that here. But that is a bit time sensitive and laborious (woe is me) so I rarely go to the trouble. Pizza Boats, however? Well this is absolutely too easy.

Make a Quick Meal of Pizza Boats - On the Grill!

How to Make a Pizza BoatYum

Slice a loaf of French or Italian bread in half the long way (you know, like a boat). Top each half with your favorite pizza goodies. Bake in a 350° oven or on the grill until the cheese is melted (about 10 minutes).

It’s as easy as that.

In fact, it’s one of the easiest meals there is. Slice the pizza boats and serve them with salad and fresh fruit.

And then I just have to say it: Be sure you turn off your grill. I refuse to be the one responsible for any other fires, large or small. I’ve met my quota.

What are your favorite foods to grill?

Don’t Forget the Tuna

This is probably the most exciting blog post you will ever read. Never mind all the insightful, scripture-filled, life-changing inspiration you might find online. I’m here to talk to you about tuna.

Don't Forget the Tuna and other deep thoughts

It’s an important topic and that’s all there is to it.

See, here’s the thing. You and I have busy schedules. Some of us love to spend time in the kitchen making nice meals for our families. Some of us don’t. Either way – we all want to be healthy and there are many days each week we need something quick to throw out on the table. For me, this need is most prevalent at lunchtime during our homeschool days. Shoot, right now it’s also very important at dinnertime when we’re running out the door to soccer games. You know what? I need simple meals three times a day, seven days a week. I just do. I’m sure you can relate.

I think this little convenience food can be overlooked as an easy meal option. So don’t forget the tuna. Remember the tuna.

Long live the tuna.

And now, the most frequently asked questions about this oft forgotten meat choice. Seriously, they are asked frequently. Like all the time. My email inbox is flooded with tuna talk. You have no idea.

How do you make your tuna salad?

I add Hain Safflower mayonnaise and homemade pickle relish. Usually I shake in a little salt. How much of each, you ask? Probably 2 Tablespoons of mayo and 2 teaspoons of relish per can of tuna.

How many cans do you go through in one meal?

Do you really want to know? This is the Coppinger family we’re talking about here. Our boys eat at least one can each. It’s alottatuna. (When I wrote that just now, I said it in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice. Try it: It’s alottatuna. See? Is it just me, or can you just totally hear him say that? I am so weird.)

Where do you get your tuna?

There has been some tuna controversy through the years. Doesn’t tuna have too much mercury? Is it hurting the dolphins? Salted or unsalted? In oil or in water?

I’ve researched it. We don’t eat it every day, but I do feel okay eating and serving it every couple of weeks. I order cases of Yellow Fin Tuna from Natural Value. My understanding is that this variety has the lowest amount of mercury.

How do you serve your tuna salad?

I usually have my boys mix up a big bowl (yay for kids who can do this kind of work so that I can sit around talking like Arnold Schwarzenegger). Then we have it with crackers and whatever fruits and veggies we have in the fridge. It’s also great served on a bed of lettuce and a tomato slice. I like scooping tuna into a big bowl of mixed greens, chopped cucumbers, and diced tomatoes.

Or, if we’re really feeling creative (brace yourself for this one), we’ll spread some tuna salad on a slice of bread. We call them sandwiches. Incredible invention.

Don’t forget this wonderful idea: Tuna Melts on Spinach

Tuna Melts on Spinach

And also the ever wonderful real-food Tuna Casserole that makes for a very easy and fast meal:

Are you a tuna lover? What’s your favorite way to eat tuna? Join in the tuna talk!

Easy Ham and Egg Breakfast Bowls – a Quick and Filling Breakfast To-Go!

Oh man (lady – whatever).  You are going to love this idea!  Unless you don’t like eggs.  But for those of you who love eggs, and for everyone who wants an easy, real food meal that will pack a punch with nutrition and keep you full until the next meal…

Please allow me to introduce you to these delightful little Ham and Egg Breakfast Bowls:

ham and egg cups1

See that?  The ham is the bowl.  Isn’t that clever?  I didn’t think of this myself, but was enlightened by my friend who was excited to tell me about her fun breakfast of the day.  She knew I’d need to know about this idea.  She knows me (and my hungry crew) well, don’t you think?

Everyone get out your muffin tins and get ready to have some fun.

How to make Ham and Egg Breakfast BowlsYum

You will need:

Muffin Tins
Thin Slices of Ham
Eggs
Shredded Cheese
Sea Salt
Garnish like Fresh Spinach, Green Chilies, Mushrooms, Peppers, Onion, Broccoli, or Salsa

Push a piece of thinly sliced ham down into each muffin cup.

ham and egg bowls 4

Crack an egg into each “ham bowl.”  Poke each egg yolk with a fork and carefully scrambled it around inside the bowl.  Sprinkle with salt, top with cheese, and garnish however you like.  Bake in a 350° oven  for 10-20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through.

You can make these ahead of time, then rewarm them for a quick, ready-made breakfast or lunch!  (That’s my favorite part, of course.)

You can also scrambled up your eggs in a dish, and then scoop some out into each ham bowl if you prefer.  My kids like the texture of these better if I do it that way.

Easy Ham and Egg Breakfast Bowls - a Quick and Filling Breakfast To-Go!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Muffin Tins
  • Thin Slices of Ham
  • Eggs
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sea Salt
  • Garnish like Fresh Spinach, Green Chilies, Mushrooms, Peppers, Onion, Broccoli, or Salsa
Instructions
  1. Push a piece of thinly sliced ham down into each muffin cup.
  2. Crack an egg into each "ham bowl."
  3. Poke each egg yolk with a fork and carefully scrambled it around inside the bowl.
  4. Sprinkle with salt, top with cheese, and garnish however you like.
  5. Bake in a 350° oven for 10-20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through.

 

Easy Ham and Egg Breakfast Bowls

Is this idea genius, or what?  You must try this! :)

Simple Spinach Tuna Melts – Don’t Knock it Until You’ve Tried It

Now that we’ve realized how easy it is to add spinach to our meals, I think we’re working it onto our table at least once each day.  The day these Spinach Tuna Melts were invented, Matt was the guy in charge of figuring out lunch.

We almost always have several cans of tuna on hand, our freezer held plenty of cheese, and I think it goes without saying that we had spinach in the fridge.  Here’s what Matt came up with:

Simple Spinach Tuna Melts

These were awesome.  I lost track of how many he had to make, as these are one or two bite tuna melts – and I’m not sure if you’ve seen our boys eat lately, but let’s just say they eat a lot of bites at each meal.  We went through a lot of spinach, and not one boy complained that there was no bread involved in this meal.

This meal is perfect for days you’re limited on time to cook, days you don’t have meat thawed, and days you want extra nourishment in the form of spinach.  (Every day is the day you want extra nourishment in the form of spinach. Join the spinach-eating bandwagon.)

How to Make Spinach Tuna MeltsYum

Open and drain a can of tuna.  Use a fork to separate the tuna pieces, then place about a tablespoon on each leaf of spinach.  Top with about a teaspoon of shredded cheddar cheese.  Place prepared spinach/tuna/cheese on a baking sheet and broil in the oven for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted.

One 5-ounce can of tuna makes 6-8 Spinach Tuna Melts.  If feeding teenage boys, open many cans of tuna and be prepared to make many pans of tuna melts.

So there you go!  A super easy meal you can make that packs a big nutritional punch.

How are you doing on eating spinach?  Have you found fun ways to work it into your meals?

Easy Cheesy Bean Dip

Need an easy and filling lunch, dinner, or snack?

No Laura, what we actually need is a complicated recipe filled with weird ingredients that our family will hate.

Okay, fine. The question above was rhetorical. Did you know that sometimes I like to be sarcastic? (also rhetorical)

Well anyway, my family loves this recipe and I think yours will too. It’s great to throw together at lunchtime and serve with organic corn chips and fresh fruit. Or, you could smear this dip in a whole wheat tortilla and wrap it up to take on the go. You could take it to serve at a party. You could make it for a game night. You could make it for a simple evening meal. You could make it for breakfast. Really? Well, sure, if you really want to. Would the breakfast police actually show up and arrest you for serving bean dip with your morning coffee? Don’t answer that. It’s rhetorical.

Easy Cheesy Bean Dip

Easy Cheesy Bean DipYum

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
4 cups refried beans
3 Tablespoons taco seasoning mix
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Mix cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl. Stir in refried beans and taco seasoning. Spread mixture into a 9×13 inch baking pan. Sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake in a 350° oven for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve with organic corn chips and salsa if you like.

What are your favorite quick meals to serve?  (I’d like you to answer that question. That one is not rhetorical.)

Black Bean Chicken Nachos – A Last Minute Meal

Where does the time go? My kids are not babies anymore, I’ve been married for almost 20 years, and just last week, I realized that it was almost lunchtime and I had forgotten to put the chicken into the crockpot. Yes, time flies after breakfast. And when you’re happily married, raising kids, and all that.

I have no advice on keeping time from moving so quickly. I can, however, give you an idea for a quick meal for when you haven’t managed to prepare anything in advance. It all starts with frozen chicken. This is because not only did you not start lunch or dinner on time, you also forgot to thaw the chicken. For all of you perpetually prepared people out there, don’t worry – thawed chicken will also work in this recipe. For the rest of us, we rejoice in the fact that frozen chicken and a cold crock pot does not prevent us from putting a great meal on the table in a short amount of time.

This recipe is a result of me realizing at 11:30 one whirlwind morning that while I had been planning to serve Chicken Tacos for lunch that day, not only was the chicken still frozen, I didn’t have any tortillas prepared or purchased. Without thinking too hard, I chucked the frozen chicken into a saucepan on the stove, dumped on salsa, and hoped for the best. I covered the pan and turned the heat on low. Within an hour, my chicken thawed, cooked in delicious salsa flavors, and was ready for lunch – which we had with chips instead of tortillas. It turned out so delicious, I decided we would make it this way again and again. This recipe turned out to be a “six out of six” which means that all six of our family members loved this.   A brainless, effortless, healthy recipe that we all liked? Score!

Black Bean Chicken Nachos

Black Bean Chicken NachosYum

Black Bean Chicken Nachos - A Last Minute Meal
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (or one can of prepared beans, if you've - you know - not remembered to soak and cook them ahead of time while you were busy not thawing your chicken...)
  • tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, and other nacho toppings of your choice
Instructions
  1. Place chicken and salsa in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes (if chicken is thawed) or 45-50 minutes (if chicken is frozen).
  3. Use a fork and knife to shred chicken and stir it back into the salsa.
  4. Stir in black beans, and continue cooking until beans are hot - about five minutes more.
  5. Serve with shredded cheese and other nacho toppings of your choice.
  6. Scoop up Black Bean Chicken nachos with tortilla chips and congratulate yourself for throwing together such a wonderful meal with such minimal effort.

Then, before you forget, get out the meat for tomorrow’s meals so it can be thawed and ready to use. Not being prepared certainly worked for this recipe, but let’s not push it.