I figure that ever since I became a mom, I’ve had to deal with the “Mom, what’s for dinner?” at least 16,500 times. And yes, that is my conservative estimate because it really only accounts for each child asking that infernal question one time per day.
So I plan (or I try) to come up with a menu of meals that will twist the tumblers and unlock my family’s Dinner Code. It’s a tricky puzzle, one that attempts to balance suppers that appeal to the 5 singularly different tastes in this household, while still:
- not entailing us eating out every single meal;
- providing some level of nutrition that I can live with;
- not bankrupting us with its fancy-pants ingredients; and
- not destroying my will to live with its time-consuming complexity.
It’s not easy.
Couple all that with a Wednesday night schedule that makes your online calendar beep and splutter at you for overlapping events, and it’s a perfect storm at dinnertime.
But every once in a while, it can be done. I know. I found the
lazy gal’s efficient gal’s way to running this particular gamut: shredded crockpot chicken.
It’s the easiest recipe on earth, requires no thought or time, and — here’s the best part — it can be altered slightly to fit into the taste profiles of even the pickiest daughter. Ahem.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 16 oz jar of salsa
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 2 cups of frozen corn
- Optional: onions, cumin, cilantro, jalapeño, chili powder, extra tomatoes, chopped green peppers, pepper, salt
- Place chicken on bottom of the crockpot, then add in the salsa, black beans and corn. Throw in any, all or none of the optional ingredients. Heat on low for 8 hours.
- Scoop out the chicken and shred it into a large serving bowl. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the rest of the beans and corn and salsa chunks. (There will be a lot of liquid left over).
- Serve on tortillas with extra salsa, cheese, lettuce and guacamole. Or serve on mini french bread rolls or hamburger buns. Or on top of tortilla chips with cheese. Or just eat it plain like a stew. Whatever your heart desires.
This recipe, so simple in its most basic form, allowed my family to dress it up the way each desired — no picking around ingredients, etc.
Now I just have to figure out what to serve for dinner tomorrow. Sigh.
What’s your best, cheapest, quickest recipe that’s a sure-fire hit to pleasing the different people in your life?