Bite-sized chunks of carrot are browned in butter and then a lid is added and they are steamed with maple syrup, making these kid-friendly and a great side dish for your weeknight dinner tale. I used peeled, chopped carrots but baby carrots work great, too!
2 tablespoons butter
3 pounds carrots, peeled and ends trimmed
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup water
Chop the carrots into bite sized pieces.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the carrots and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots have begun to brown and caramelize in the butter.
Add the maple syrup and stir to coat, then add the water and quickly cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.
Cook the carrots until the water has dissolved and the carrots have softened through, about 5 minutes.
A simple green Thai curry that you can throw together faster than the delivery guy can roll up to your home.
Stop calling for takeout! This quick chicken curry recipe is packed with Thai flavors, including green curry paste, creamy coconut milk, bell peppers, eggplant, and carrots, all served over steaming long grain rice.
I love ordering Thai food for delivery. It’s my favorite style of takeout food, especially since our neighborhood here in NYC boasts some of the best Thai restaurants in the city.
But making a quick chicken curry at home is actually faster than waiting on my local takeout guy! Plus, I can make twice the amount of food and eat the leftovers for lunch for like, 3 days. As a work at home mom, having something like a quick chicken curry that I can just grab and go is so helpful.
In Thai cooking, curries are named after the color of the curry paste that is used as a base: red, yellow, and green.
I’ve always had a soft spot for green curry paste; made with cilantro, lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal (an Asian member of the ginger family), it’s the sweetest and freshest flavor of the Thai curry trio.
For this quick chicken curry, the sauce includes coconut milk (creamy), lime juice (sour), curry paste (spicy) and a dash of white sugar (sweet). Balance each of these flavors together and you’re rocking at this curry business.
I can’t talk about making a quick chicken curry without making a shout out to our go-to rice. With kids running under my feet as I cook most evenings, I’m not always in the mood to cook rice on the stovetop or by hauling out the Instant Pot (which doubles as a rice cooker).
I like that the rice can be made in just 2 minutes in the microwave and comes out tasting exactly the same as the rice I used to spend 20 minutes babysitting at the stove; it’s perfectly cooked through and seasoned.
So, I’ve joined with VeeTee Rice to give you a three-part blog series of my all-time favorite rice dishes! This quick chicken curry is the first, and I’ve got one recipe coming in August and another coming in October.
VeeTee has saved our weeknight dinner making on more than one occasion. So I’m thrilled to be able to bring you some recipes in the next few months that highlight some of our favorite VeeTee flavors!
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I’ve spoken to no less than 5 people in the last week who have never even heard of sheet pan meals. To which I whip out this incredibly easy chicken sheet pan dish, raise my arms to the heavens, and sing the praises of a dish that literally goes from cutting board to tabletop in like, 20 minutes. Tops.
All that to say if you’re not on the sheet pan meal train yet then choo-choo, mama. Because finding a simple chicken sheet pan meal – or any sheet pan meal, really- is gonna suddenly make your weeknight cooking so much easier.
The beauty of a sheet pan meal is threefold:
It has to be simple, or else it won’t cook right
The best sheet pan meals contain a veggie, a protein, and a sauce (that’s it!)
You have one pan to wash at the end of it all. And if you line your sheet pan with tin foil, you have no pans to wash at the end of it all.
Here’s me, after successfully cooking this Greek chicken sheet pan meal the other night, and discovering it only took 20 total minutes from start to finish:
It’s that easy.
Of course, you can’t just throw a bunch of ingredients on a sheet pan and hope for the best. There are a handful of rules that should be followed for maximum quality:
✅Make sure your ingredients are all cut or prepared in a way that makes them cook in the same amount of time.
Case in point: This Greek Chicken Sheet Pan Meal I’m highlighting in the recipe at the bottom of this post. I took one of those gargantuan chicken breasts and sliced it in half, so each piece was about the same size- this ensures even cooking.
Then I paired the chicken with eggplant, a veggie that roasts well but not super quickly. By chopping the eggplant into ½” slices, it ensured they were the right size to roast to a perfect texture alongside the chicken. Bigger, or thinner, or smaller slices would have cooked differently. So until you’re comfortable with cooking times of various ingredients, make sure you find recipes from people you trust and follow their recommendations.
✅ While the pan’s in the oven, make a quick side.
I like serving my sheet pan meals with something starchy on the side, like boiled potatoes, or cheesy grits. While the sheet pan is in the oven, I make the starch quickly on the stovetop.
Or I just, you know, don’t do any extra cooking and use the time to chillax with my family and start unwinding at the end of a long ass day. You totally have permission to do that as well, mama.
Kimchi Fried Rice is super easy to whip up on a weeknight for dinner, and it’s a great way to use up leftover ingredients hanging around in the fridge.
The spicy, umami flavor of kimchi tossed in fried rice elevates the dish and perks it up, while being good for your gut health at the same time!
And using VeeTee Rice is a super easy way to make fried rice, which is always best when made with slightly old, dried out rice. Since VeeTee is a parcooked, microwaveable rice, it’s cooked just enough and dry just enough to toast and caramelize the rice, making this dish a perfect “I’m in the mood for fried rice” option that you don’t have to think ahead for.
I’ll also confess that I have a major soft spot for kimchi, which is a Korean style of spicy pickle.
Koreans add kimchi to tons of different dishes, and it’s so good for you. If you’re thinking about hopping on the fermented foods bandwagon, kimchi is a great place to start.
Where we live in New York City, kimchi is really easy to find. You can even grab a jar in our local bodega/deli!
If you’re used to getting your fermented goodness from things like sauerkraut or kombucha but you haven’t given kimchi a try, I really recommend it. It’s a cool, pickle-y, spicy flavor that adds so much to any recipe. My favorite way is on the side of my scrambled eggs in the morning!
Remember the secret I just told you, about how the perfect fried rice, kimchi fried rice or otherwise, starts with slightly old and dried out rice?
It’s by losing its moisture that puts rice in its best position to be fried, so VeeTee’s pre-cooked Heat and Eat Single Flavor packages are a great pantry option to keep on hand for nights when you’re in the mood to whip up a batch of fried rice.
Thai Larb Gai is a traditional meal from Laos, an area in Thailand. On your typical Western-style Thai restaurant menu, it’s usually served as seasoned ground meat with red onions and other veggies, on a bed of lettuce and drizzled with a bright and zesty lime dressing.
I took that standard appetizer dish, layered it with rice, and turned into a perfect working lunch.
These Thai-style rice bowls make an awesome meal prep recipe for beginners, and they come together quickly. Plus, they taste even better as the week goes on!
Bonus: this meal prep recipe works as a hot or cold lunch option! This means you don’t have to have lunchtime access to a microwave or stove in order to enjoy it #LunchtimeWins
I mean, those pretty bowls on Pinterest look like they take forever to assemble!
Plus, I don’t know about you, but I’m not on any special diet or meal plan, like paleo, 21-Day Fix, Whole30, etc. And sometimes it seems like every meal prep recipe out there is geared specifically to some sort of diet or meal plan.
Don’t get me wrong; diets and special meal plans are awesome for some.
But when I go to search my Pinterest boards or Google for meal prep recipe ideas, I find myself wading through bodybuilder and paleo sites and have trouble finding what I want: a make-ahead lunch that is simple, tasty, and portable.
That’s why I’m starting a new series of recipes, for those of us who want make-ahead lunches but aren’t especially following a specific diet or meal plan. And to kick off this series, I’ve teamed up with Farm Promise pork to make these crazy easy, super delicious Thai Larb Rice Bowls.
A big part of what makes these Thai Larb Rice Bowls so good is using quality pork from Farm Promise.
Farm Promise recently reached out to me to see if I would be interested in developing recipes highlighting their new pork products, which are sold in ShopRite stores throughout the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.
Once I looked a little more into their standards and promises and discovered what a quality brand they are, the offer was an easy one to agree to.
You guys know that I’m not one to advocate for a specific brand or company unless I 1,000% believe in it. It’s simply not worth my time or yours to recommend a product I’m not excited about.
But Farm Promise is good stuff. Farm Promise farmers don’t use antibiotics in feed for their pigs. They’re raised humanely on family farms, fed a vegetarian diet, and are raised without growth promotants.
Basically, it’s farming like it should be, on local farms run by families that care about their products. And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to buy, either.
To make these Thai Larb Rice Bowls, ground pork is browned in a hot pan with brown sugar, garlic, and lemongrass paste.
After the pork browns in the pan, it’s taken off the heat and tossed with a simple lime juice, fish sauce, and basil dressing.
Divide the pork over cooked rice, and you’re good to go! If you’ve already got rice prepared, the whole dish comes together in about 10 or 12 minutes. (so easy!)
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package.
Cook onions in the oil over medium heat until they have started to soften, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic and lemongrass paste and stir, cooking until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the brown sugar and stir until melted, then immediately add the pork to the pan. Cook, breaking the pork up with a wooden spoon as it browns until the pork is cooked through completely and no pink parts remain.
While the pork is cooking, combine the lime juice, basil, fish sauce and (optional) Thai chili paste in a small bowl, stirring to mix.
After the pork is cooked through, remove the pan from heat and stir in the lime juice mixture.
Divide the rice into four meal prep containers (or bowls, if serving immediately). Top each container with an even amount of the pork mixture.
Cool to room temperature, then store, tightly covered and in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.
If you’re new to meal prepping, you’ll LOVE my Meal Prep Power Hour Worksheet. It breaks down exactly how you can plan, prep, and cook a week’s worth of lunches and dinners- in only 60 minutes!
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