Happy Hubby Meals: Chicken Curry

I’ve been freezing Matt work lunches since last fall, I started with Tamales, freezing 2-3 of them in their husks wrapped in foil. I then made Burritos. He has a microwave at his work (doesn’t just about everybody?) It’s easy for him to reheat them.

However, his favorite meals have been soups, stews or rice based meals in bowls. I froze a few in the plastic lidded tupperware items I had around, but I hated it. This leads me to my confession: I absolutely loathe plastic dining ware, of every sort. It gets easily stained, smelly and lost. I’m sure when we have kids we’ll have to do SOME plastic, I just don’t like it. I don’t like drinking out of plastic, I’m convinced that it taints the taste of the water.

Wow, when did I become this deserving little prude, can I say developed world problems or what. Good grief. Geez, I should be thankful for bowls and cups, no matter what the type.

Anyway, all this to say that I was hesitant to freeze lunches for Matt in plastic, just for him to reheat it again, it kind of grossed me out.  So after some sticker shock at the local walmart I finally gave in and invested in some glass pyrex 4 cup containers with lids (the lids are plastic, I know, but they are removed before microwaving). I’ve been slowly collecting them on sale, $7.99 is the going rate usually but I’ve purchased most of mine from $5-6, by watching for sales and looking for coupons.

I’ve been perfecting “Happy Hubby Meals” at Matt affectionately calls them, and I’ll start sharing the successes here (there have been many unsuccessful ones as well that I’ll keep to myself)

My latest one was a spin on a recipe I got from the Betty Crocker site, Chicken Curry. 4 chicken breasts made 6 good meals, I had some snap peas and cashews that I topped each meal with.

Chicken Curry (slow cooker version)

4 Chicken breasts

2 cups water

1 jar Trader Joe’s Mango Chutney

2 TB cornstarch

1 TB yellow curry powder

2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground black pepper

1 TB Sriracha Sauce or Rooster Sauce (optional if you like spicy)

2 cans drained, rinsed garbanzo beans

2 onions chopped and sautéed until translucent

2 cups basmati rice, uncooked

2 cups snap peas, sharp ends chopped off

3/4 cup chopped cashews

Lay chicken breasts in slow cooker. In small bowl mix water, mango chutney, cornstarch, curry powder, salt, pepper and sriracha until blended, pour on top of chicken. layer onions on top. Cover and allow to cook on high for 3 hours, add drained rinsed garbanzo beans for last hour of cooking. Fork chicken apart gently. Do a quick taste test, add more spice or salt if desired.

Cook 2 cups of white basmati rice in rice cooker or on stove according to manufactures directions.

Divide rice into 6 bowls, top with chicken curry mixture, spoon chicken garbanzo mixture and sauce on top of rice. Top with cashews, dried red pepper flake (for more spice) and snap peas. Allow everything to cool a little before lidding up and freezing.

The cornstarch gave a great consistency to the curry that covered the rice well.

Often I freeze leftovers, but this meal fit so perfectly into the pyrex, I just froze the whole lot. I received a text from Matt today

“Curry lunch was awesome!!!!! I win!”

I consider that a success.

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Spicy Turkey Lasagna

Everyone makes lasagna differently. I would never consider myself an expert lasagna maker, but I think I’ve perfected this recipe to fit the taste buds at our house, we like flavor and spice, we don’t like cheese or grease. I have a hard time making the same thing twice, but this recipe is becoming a quick favorite around here, freezes well for hubby meals too!

This lasagna has ground turkey, tomato sauce, crimini mushrooms, eggplant, a small amount of mozzarella mixed with soy cheese and some parmesan shredded on top, but not in and lasagna noodles (preferably Italian noodles, not American style).

I grew up disliking this classic American comfort food, I think it was a consistency thing, and I still loathe ricotta cheese.

I find ricotta bland yet heavy and having rather a weird consistency, that I find unpleasant in a lasagna.

I will be happy to change this blatant opinion when I discover a good ricotta lasagna . . . I’m waiting patiently.

Also, I don’t boil the noodles beforehand.

Why, you may ask.

Because Alton Brown told me not too. I LOVE Good Eats, perfect balance of Food Science and entertainment. (Fast forward the clip to 6:40 to hear his reasoning)

I also have not been taking the time to purchase proper ground beef. So, I find a better choice is ground turkey, less yucky rancid meat flavor, less fat and significantly less $$$ BUT, if you have a good source of organic, grass fed ground beef that doesn’t, BY ALL MEANS, please use it, it’ll be epic, I’m sure.

Spicy Turkey, Eggplant, Crimini Mushroom Lasagna

2 lb extra lean ground turkey

1 onion, chopped

1 can (6oz) tomato paste

12 Crimini Mushrooms, washed and chopped

2 TB Valentina Hot Sauce

1 TB Red Pepper Flake

1 TB oregano,

1 TB basil

2 TB fresh garlic, chopped

2 cans tomato sauce

12 lasagna noodles

1 eggplant chopped into 1/2 inch chunks

1 cup shredded Soy cheese/mozzarella mixture

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Heat ground turkey and chopped onion in large skillet on medium heat, covered, stirring every minute or so until turkey is no longer pink and onions are translucent. Add tomato paste, stir. Add oregano, basil, garlic, hot sauce and red pepper flake, stir; cook on medium low covered so flavors meld, add ONE can of tomato sauce. Add mushrooms, stir covered 10 minutes.

Prepare lasagna dish. Spray with non-stick coating, place 4 uncooked lasagna noodles in base of dish top with 4 cups of lasagna mixture.

Bring remaining lasagna mixture back to medium heat, add 1/2 can tomato sauce, add eggplant, stir till incorporated, cover and allow to cook 10 minutes or until eggplant is softened.

Top first layer in lasagna dish with additional noodles, pour eggplant filling on top, spread evenly. Layer eggplant mixture with 4 lasagna noodles, spread remaining 1/2 can of tomato sauce on noodles, top with shredded soy cheese/mozzarella cheese and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of that.

Bake for 80 minutes at 350, allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.