This rice pilaf recipe is super quick and easy. It whips up in 10 minutes on a busy weeknight, which I love, AND it’s packed with flavor.
My mom used to make a similar recipe when we were kids and I adapted it to include mushrooms. I know that not everybody loves mushrooms, but you could swap them for carrots if you wanted to. Her original recipe also included 1 Tbsp. of parsley, but I never have that, so I never use it.
Meal prep tips
If you want to prep ahead for this recipe, you can chop all of the veggies a day or two before you need to make this. Using instant Minute Rice is really what brings the cooking time down to next to nothing, so if you’re going to use regular rice, remember to adjust the liquid and cooking time according to the type of rice you buy.
I want to say that this recipe is kid-friendly, but only two of my four kids like it. If your kids aren’t fans of cooked vegetables, foods that are mixed together, or “green things” (thyme) in their food, this recipe might not be for them. But here’s the good news: My new e-book Feeding Picky Eaters is now on the Shop page. It has over 20 strategies to help you engage your picky eaters at mealtime, as well as printable templates and actionable steps that you can implement immediately.
Enjoy this one and tag me on Instagram @toobusylivin204 if you make it!
In an effort to move my entire recipe collection to this blog, here is a short and sweet post of a recipe for breadsticks that we use often in our house.
This recipe was given to me by one of the Home Economics teachers at our school, about 15 years ago. I love it because it is simple and quick to make since students would make this during a cooking class, so it’s the perfect side for a weeknight meal.
I’ve modified the recipe over the years, firstly to include cheese, and secondly to be made in a stand mixer. If you omit the cheese, you get soft breadsticks similar to those from the Olive Garden (another reason why I love these!).
This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.
Something we all tend to struggle with now and again is trying to get out of a food rut. Trying to find new ways to enjoy the foods we already love but eat way too often. Keeping the same flavors you already enjoy, but changing the way they’re presented is an excellent way to add variety to your menu.
This Asian Grilled Chicken Salad recipe from Manitoba Chicken Producers is a great base for spinning off other recipes. It serves 4-6 people, so you have the option of serving it family-style for dinner or splitting it up into containers for lunches. You could also make a smaller portion of the salad and use the remaining ingredients to make one of the three completely new meals that I’m sharing today. These three meals use all the same ingredients, along with a few extras:
Cashew Chicken Lettuce wraps
Asian Chicken Flatbread
Chicken Summer Rolls
Why is this a good idea?
If you already have the ingredients on hand, you may as well use them to their full potential. This prevents food waste and allows for flexibility and variety on your menu. Once you have already purchased some of these ingredients, for example, the hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and sweet chili sauce, you’re going to have more than enough to use in a few more meals, so you’re going to want some ideas to mix it up a bit. Also, if you make one of these recipes for dinner, you may want to use up the remaining ingredients to make a few lunches for the rest of the week.
If your life is busy like mine is, you’re going to want to save every minute you can in the kitchen, so you can have more time for relaxing and spending time with your family. There are many ways you can save time executing this dish. Here are a few:
Batch cook your chicken
If you plan on using these ingredients in the same week in different ways, grill up all your chicken at the same time. Slice it up and it’s ready to go for the salad, the summer roll, the flatbread and the lettuce wraps. If it isn’t a nice day, baking the chicken works just fine. Whichever cooking method you choose, be sure to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. This chart will help you ensure your chicken is perfectly cooked.
Chop all your veggies at the same time
This will be especially helpful if you plan on using them in more than one meal in the same week.
Double the sauce, as needed.
Depending on which of the four recipes you will be making, double up the sauce if necessary. This will save you from having to make a second batch later.
Did you know that you should only store cooked chicken for three to four days in the fridge?
This guide is helpful for storing all cuts of chicken in your fridge and freezer.
Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps
I used romaine hearts for these because I love the crunch, but you could definitely use any larger leaf lettuce that could contain the filling. If you don’t have cashews, peanuts would be an excellent substitution.
This recipe is basically a salad on a pizza, minus the cheese. You will be topping it with the ingredients that can be served warm before popping it in the oven, then dressing it with a “salad” of julienned veggies, herbs and a squeeze of lime, once it comes out of the oven.
These Chicken Summer Rolls make a great lunch or appetizer. They are a bit more time-consuming to prepare than the other recipes, so you’ve been warned! You can use any amount of the sliced veggies for these rolls and you don’t really have to measure, which I love. If you don’t have some of the listed vegetables on hand, you could also try avocado and cucumber as substitutes.
These rolls tend to stick together when stored in the fridge, so it’s a good idea to either individually wrap them in plastic wrap, or a greener option is to place a lettuce or cabbage leaf between each roll when storing them in a container.
Chicken is an excellent ingredient for deconstructing and reconstructing because it is so versatile. If you’re looking for other ways to reconstruct and make the most out of the ingredients you buy, check out this post called Greek Chicken – Three Ways or head to manitobachicken.ca for more recipes using Manitoba chicken so you can try some reconstructing on your own!
Share your creations with us by tagging @toobusylivin204 and @manitobachicken on Instagram.