I don’t know how you do it. You moms out there with multiple children enrolled in multiple sports that have multiple practices and multiple games every week. Amazing. My hat is off to you. Me? My kids can each pick one or two activities that each require one time slot per week. And, quite frankly, I can barely manage that commitment. My son has soccer (1 practice, 1 game per week), and my older daughter has sewing once a week and dance once a week. My youngest, as so often goes for the third child, is just around for the many minivan rides. I’d feel bad for her, but she’s often compensated with a lollipop or baked good– being the third has it perks, my friends.
Anyway, when our schedule gets hectic, which tends to happen in the spring when school activities peak and extracurricular activities are in full swing, I need easy, no fuss meals. Meals that I can make ahead, and throw on the table at the end of a long day. Meals that are well balanced, but people pleasing. This happened this past week when my youngest had her class trip, my son had soccer practice and a game, my daughter had dance and sewing and volunteered to help another child with a singing performance. All good things, but I was frazzled. Enter my Sesame Marinated Chicken Thighs, which can be seared and then baked or grilled, and my Sesame Noodles which are whole grain and heavy on vegetables. I can make the noodles while the kids are in school and while the chicken marinates. The marinade serves double duty as I also use it as a dressing for the Sesame Noodles. I like to double the marinade recipe so we can pour extra on the cooked chicken or refresh leftover noodles with it. Either way, it won’t go to waste. This is a manageable meal for unmanageable days. Even you supermoms out there who somehow manage way more than I can, should give it a try.
Sesame Marinated Chicken Thighs: (Serves 4)
What You’ll Need:
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you can use boneless, skinless breasts)
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 1/3 cup of soy sauce
- 1/4 cup of rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup of toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds
What To Do:
- Combine the olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds.
- Pour half the marinade over the chicken and marinate until ready to cook.
- If cooking on the stove: Preheat oven to 350. Spray a cast iron skillet with cooking spray, and heat it up. Once smoking, add chicken thighs, searing them on each side for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven until the center of the chicken thighs are cooked through 6-8 minutes. If you like, drizzle some extra marinade over the chicken once it’s ready to serve.
If cooking on grill: Spray grill with cooking spray then turn grill to high, until it is screaming hot– say 400 degrees. Once hot, place chicken on grill, but lower to a medium flame. Cook about 10 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked through. If you like, drizzle some extra marinade over the chicken once it’s ready to serve.
Sesame Noodles: (Serves 4 with leftover for lunch!)
What You’ll Need:
- 1 pound of long, thin pasta (spaghetti, capellini, soba noodles, long rice noodles)
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 orange pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
- Sesame marinade from above
What To Do:
- Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and run under cold water.
- Toss the cooled pasta with the sliced vegetables and enough marinade to coat the noodles well.
- Finish with extra toasted sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature or cold.