Hi! Thanks for stopping by!
If you haven’t already, check out yesterday’s post on Why Homemade is Better. It’s pretty informative and a good argument as to why making your food at home is the best option in so many ways.
Since yesterday we covered Homemade is Better in terms of taste, nutrition, and price, today we’ll be going over serving size and ease. And then, since you stuck around and read through all of this typing (you read it, right?), you’re getting rewarded with a few super easy and super delicious recipes to try out and love.
Why Homemade is Better Continued…
Serving Size: This can go both ways, but I love being able to go back to the salad bowl at the dinner table and taking my second helping of the incredible salad that I’ve made. I find that my salads made at home are FAR beyond any I’ve had at a restaurant, probably ever. I can’t necessarily do this at a restaurant, or even want to.
At home you have the privilege or putting down your fork half way through your plate or picking up the fork for a second helping. At home you can fill your plate or portion it correctly, which is pretty small portions if you’re going with real portion sizes. You can tempt yourself with more or less, not having to worry about telling your waiter or waitress to only bring you half of the meal, boxing up the other half. And at home, you can easily package up your leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, just as you could at a restaurant.
All this said, there are some restaurants that are definitely catering to the “healthy ones” out there. So many more places are on the sustainable, organic, whole foods bandwagon. I’m happy about this but it doesn’t stop me from making my delicious meals at home. I still go out to eat, have a good meal out, and then go home for the rest of the week to make my own creative dishes in comfort.
Ease: Homemade is easy, believe it or not. Much easier than some of you can even imagine. Think about this, you get home late from work, you’re starving, your family is cranky and hungry, and you just do not feel like slaving in the kitchen to make something to eat.
Oh! But you plugged in and turned on your crock-pot before you left the house this morning! Solution has been presented. Dinner is now done.
See! There is a solution to every problem.
Now you’ve been provided with all the tips you need to justify eating at home and start getting familiar with the kitchen. You have the tools, now take the recipes!
Here are some ideas for made-at-home meals that are quick, easy, and absolutely delicious!
These two recipes I have been LOVING recently. They’re insanely good, filled with flavor and lots of great, homemade love. Try them out and see if you can become a homemade-cook yourself.
Easy Asian Chicken Stir Fry
Adapted from P. F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps
“Secret” Stir Fry Sauce:
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
- 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp red chili paste
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon or hot mustard
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1+ tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or white pepper
Chicken & Veggies:
- 1-1.5 pounds boneless chicken breast, sliced into strips or pieces/cubes
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2-1 cup water (as needed)
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced- any shape
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
- 1 large broccoli floret, cut into pieces
- 2 cups Shiitake mushrooms
- Additional 1/2 cup water
Prepare “Secret” Sauce by combining all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Heat a large skillet on high. Pour in the olive oil and chicken, adding the water as necessary to keep chicken from sticking to pan. Heat until chicken pieces are almost completely cooked through, stirring frequently.
When chicken is almost done, but slightly still pink, remove from heat and cover. Let stand. (The chicken will steam and be very tender by doing this.)
In another medium skillet, cook onions, carrots, broccoli, and water, about 5 minutes until slightly tender. Stir frequently. Add in 4 tablespoons of “Secret” Sauce, mixing well with vegetables. Continue to cook vegetables until desired tenderness, about 10 to 20 minutes, covered.
When vegetables are finished cooking, add to the chicken and return skillet to heat. Pour the remainder of the “Secret” Sauce into the chicken and veggies. Stir well and heat for additional 5 minutes.
Wait, wait! There’s more!
Korean Marinade, Crock-pot Chicken
- 1 20-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 to 1 3-oz can tomato paste
- 3 tbsp garlic, crushed or chopped (about 2 cloves)
- 3 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice (or juice of a sweet citrus fruit, tangerine, etc.)
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (or dry white wine)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 cup water (if needed for thinning mixture slightly)
- 2 pounds chicken breast, with or without bone-in
- 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
Mix marinade together until tomato paste and honey are dissolved and everything is well incorporated.
Place half of the marinade into the crock-pot. Add the chicken and onions and pour the remaining marinade over the top.
Turn the crock-pot to the low setting and let cook “Slow and Low” for at least 7-8 hours. The longer the better and the lower the temperature, the more the flavors meld together and the chicken falls apart.
Both of these recipes are absolutely wonderful. Both are definitely keepers and I highly suggest you try them out! Why not?! They take little time, care, and attention.
Again, if you haven’t read Why Homemade is Better for the basics of why, go read it now! Promise, it’s good stuff.