Okay people, I feel the need to keep it real here. Yes, I love to make 100% homemade meals, and I love DIY projects around the house. Those things just make me happy. But... no one can do that all the time. Especially with two small children, one of whom no longer takes naps. So today I share with you a quick, healthy, semi-homemade dinner thanks to Trader Joe's.
This week I noticed a lot of blog traffic coming from another blog called The Yummy Mummy. I know! There's another Yummy Mummy?! Who Knew? The author is is a great writer and her blog is a very entertaining read.
This paragraph really struck me:
"So, I started writing about it here. David thought up the name "The Yummy Mummy". It was cute back then. Get it... it's about the food, not how hot I am. And that was part of the joke. With two small kids I was the opposite of a "Yummy Mummy", one of those high heel-wearing, brunching with the girls, perfect hair, totally clean mommies with lots of hired help and the ability to whip up a perfect scone while making it all look breathless and easy (I'll leave all that perfection to this Yummy Mummy). I was the complete opposite. I was constantly leaking milk out of my breasts, rarely showered, left the house on numerous occasions without brushing my teeth, and had roots like a strip of asphalt across the top of my head. I was lucky to even get food on the table, much less have it taste good, or look appetizing in the eye of my instamatic camera."
She's leaving "all that perfection" to moi?! Oh dear. I am very blessed to have a supportive husband, family, and friends. Living is sunny Santa Barbara doesn't hurt either. However, I do not spend my days getting manis/pedis and lunching with the girls. After 3.5 years of being a mom, I have only in the last month hired a regular babysitter (2 hours a week) so I can have that small amount of time to get errands done without 2 screeching children, and occasionally (gasp) do something for myself. I have started making getting to the gym for an hour a few days a week a priority, and realized that trading those breastmilk stained shirts for cute $5 Old Navy camis and slapping on some lip gloss takes less than a minute and makes me feel better. You know what they say, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."
Back to the food.
The convenience foods in grocery stores these days are great for busy days, and you can find them made with good quality healthy ingredients. I am talking about Trader Joe's, Gelson's, even Costco. NOT another large grocery store whose name I will keep to myself where a friend recently bought the fresh tomato soup only to find "tomatoes" nowhere on the list of ingredients (it is made with "tomato flavor").
I like the Greek Style Chicken with orzo, spinach, and feta from Trader Joe's. Last night I added some halved cherry tomatoes and used the mixture to stuff bell peppers. Of course if you had a few extra minutes you could mix up your own orzo, olives, chicken, spinach, and tomatoes and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Makes 4 Stuffed Peppers
4 bell peppers, any colors, tops cut off
Trader Joe's Greek Style Chicken with Orzo, or your own homemade mixture of orzo, kalamata olives, feta cheese, frozen thawed spinach, and cooked chicken
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place peppers cut side up in a large pot filled with 1/2 inch of water. Cover and steam over medium-high heat until peppers are tender crisp, about 5 minutes.
Fill peppers with orzo mixture. Place in a baking dish and cook about 20 minutes until hot.