Make Ahead Cilantro Lime Chicken

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“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”!

Never have these words been more true than in my first 10 weeks of life with my brand new amazing baby boy.

Food has always been a top priority of mine. Cooking it, eating it, thinking about it, learning about it, talking about it, meal planning….it took up a lot of space in my brain.

Now my brain thinks about feeding my baby. People told me before he was born that newborns breastfeed all the time…but you can’t understand that until you have a baby. Holy smokes newborns DO breastfeed ALL THE TIME! During the first few weeks all I thought about was caring for my baby, if my husband or mom didn’t make me food and remind me to eat, I wouldn’t have. I found that startling.

Now that I fly solo with little man and have emerged from that “newborn brain fog” I am trying to put more of a focus of healthy, balanced meals.

But it’s hard to find time to do that and generally I don’t have two free hands for more than 5 minutes at a time! I have been typing this with my thumb over the course of a few days and generally in the middle of the night trying to keep myself awake while feeding. The struggle to find time is so real. Some days I’m stuffing “lunch” in my mouth at 4pm…and the foods I reach for are usually not veggies and fruit at that point

I know I’m not alone in this!

My new strategy is to PLAN AHEAD. I now make breakfast ahead if time. Overnight oats, homemade granola, prep smoothie ingredients ahead, etc. Lunches I now pack in the evening like I did when I went to work, that way I can grab it quickly out of the fridge and it now includes vegetables, yay! Supper I pre-plan a week at a time and buy groceries accordingly. Depending on the day I either prep supper during a nap (if he’ll let me put him down that is) or wait for hubby to come home. We’ve hence started branching out from pasta and Parmesan to meals with quality protein and veggies again.

Slow cooker or freezer meals are also an awesome idea. I made a bunch of freezer meals during my last couple weeks of pregnancy and I was glad that I did. On crazy days I thank myself for putting in the effort. I’m going to have to keep doing that.

This recipe is one of our favourites. You can either make it fresh or freeze it and cook it later. Depending on when you pull it out to thaw you can either cook it in a skillet or slow cooker.

Ingredients

2-3 chicken breasts or equivalent amount of thighs, cubed

1 cup corn

1 can chickpeas, rinsed

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

Juice from 2 limes

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cumin

Dash black pepper

1/2 – 1 bunch fresh chopped cilantro

Directions for cooking

  1. Dice up chicken and onion. Fry in skillet with a bit of oil until cooked through.
  2. Add vegetables, lime juice and spices. Stir to combine and cook until tender.
  3. Add fresh chopped cilantro at the end before serving.

Serve this with steamed brown rice or on it’s own. ┬áTop with fresh tomatoes, salsa, avocados, sour cream or whatever you like!

Directions for freezing

1. Cut up all ingredients, except cilantro, and toss in a large freezer bag. (If you don’t mind cooked cilantro add it at this step but I prefer it added at the end) Press out air and freeze flat for up to 3 months.

2. Thaw in the fridge the night before if using the slow cooker. Heat on low 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Or add to skillet with a bit of oil and cook on medium until heated through. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

Serve this with steamed brown rice or on it’s own. Top with fresh tomatoes, salsa, avocados, sour cream or whatever you like!

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