There’s a new stream of thought when it comes to our sandwich generation, but this post isn’t about packing lunches. Weeknight dinners can be a downright chore, no matter how prepared you think you are, boom, there’s another Taco Tuesday breathing down your neck. Okay, I’m being dramatic. But in an age when UberEats can deliver McDonald’s to your house in 12 minutes flat (that’s fact based research) it’s wise to accept your strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses and most importantly, stop beating yourself up.
In light of that, and being a busy mom, I’m a huge fan of taking shortcuts. Beretta Farms recently hooked me up with a stash of goodies to try, so I threw on my laziest sweatpants and got to work. My motto for any meal is always Half Your Plate! and if you time things accordingly, this ‘halfway homemade’ meal is a cinch to make on a busy weekday. Prep is kept to a minimum and substitutions are suggested.
These Pac-Man Potatoes are full of fiber and the skins get oh so crispy and make for wonderful breakfast potatoes the next day. And bonus, they’re basic as anything, if you can boil water you can make these!
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add small (new) potatoes, continue to boil, uncovered for 10-15 or until fork tender. Remove from heat, drain and place on a greased cookie sheet. Smush each potato with a small mug (I use an espresso cup with excellent results). Press gently and reveal a perfect Pac-Man esque smile. Season with Canola Oil and salt and pepper, or your own smattering of spicy seasonings. Throw them in the oven for 15 minutes at 400º. Take them out, turn them over, and add your Chicken Strips in on a separate cookie sheet on the same rack. Set the timer for another 15 minutes, then it’s time to flip both the chicken and potatoes for the last time. Cook the chicken for another 10-15 minutes, remove both from the oven when slightly brown and cooked all the way through. Pair with some crudite (ha, okay, cut cucumbers) or a fresh salad.
Cooking during the week shouldn’t feel like a chore! These chicken strips saved me a few steps and got dinner on the table before bedtime. Paired with a few homemade sides to fill in the blanks and you got yourself a winning recipe, isn’t quality time the best ingredient to any good meal?
Thanks Beretta Farms for the sample pack! All photos by Libby Roach. Stay tuned for more Halfway Homemade meal ideas!