I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest struggles in this journey with healing foods is that I just can’t seem to get ahead of the game in the kitchen. I have too many things to accomplish in the day and having kids means that you get things done in small bursts of time. A little here, a little there. That doesn’t help much when you’re trying to work ahead on anything, let alone meal preparation.
I was taught to work hard, but also the importance of working smarter, not harder. No place is this statement more true than in the kitchen. If you’re going to survive, making meals ahead and having them ready for those days that you don’t have the time or capacity to make dinner is hugely important. Working harder means that I just keep up — barely. It means that we have dinner on the table most nights. Other nights I just make something up because the day got ahead of me, especially in the summer time. I have not learned to make meals ahead yet at this point in my career as a “household chef”, but I am tired of barely keeping up with my meals.
So as I sit down this morning and make plans for my week, I have realized that I’m ready to face working smarter. My week needs to include taking some time to work ahead. This weekend as I made our family’s Crispy Chicken Strips recipe, I realized one small thing I could do to get ahead of the game was to make the breading ahead of time and keep it in the pantry. If I can make enough for 4 recipes, then that will get me 4–6 weeks ahead. Making the breading isn’t hugely time consuming, but having it ready would make it easier for me to choose to make chicken tenders on a night when I don’t feel like making anything at all and the family needs an easy meal. If I’m adventurous enough, I might even cut up my chicken into strips and stick them back in the freezer.
If you missed my article on our Crispy Chicken Strips recipe, you can read the full article or just find the recipe below. This continues to serve my family well with our diverse food needs.
What are some ways that you get ahead of the game in your kitchen? Maybe you’re way ahead of me in this game, but maybe you’re not. Wherever you are on your journey, don’t give up making good food that heals.
CRISPY CHICKEN STRIPS
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch strips. Combine chicken and coconut milk in a shallow dish. Cover and chill 1 hour (this step can be skipped if needed).
3. Combine plantain chips and remaining ingredients in a shallow dish.
Using a fork, coat each piece of chicken in plantain mixture and place on baking sheet.
4. Bake in oven for 7 minutes, or until done.
NOTE: For extra tender chicken, soak cut up chicken in coconut milk for 2–6 hours in the refrigerator.