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Another weeknight dinner
Mar 8th, 2006

Ian and Jay have shifted to an earlier bedtime these days; it's not unusual to have them both in bed with the lights out by 8:00 or 8:30. And since they seem to now be able to amuse themselves without killing each other for at least a short time in the morning (thus letting me sleep, ah glorious, glorious sleep), I don't mind so much that they're getting up earlier as a result. But... it does make it something of a sprint to the finish to get dinner on the table in time in the evenings. Considering I get home around 6:30 (on a good day) and Ian really needs to be upstairs having storytime by 8:00 or he becomes even more of a pink-cheeked demon monster than usual, you can see how it might be difficult to squeeze in dinner preparation, setting the table, looking through the many wonders of Jay's school backpack, separating the tired boys who are trying to kill eachother, getting ready for bed, etc. Oh, and actually eating said dinner. Not to mention saying hello to Jim, who usually hightails it to the least boy-populated area of the house when I get home lest he lose the last few bits of sanity he has left from being a stay at home dad.

Anyway, that was a long-winded (as usual) way of saying here's another quick weeknight dinner recipe. I'm lousy with 'em these days! Instant brown rice is a new thing to me - I wasn't even aware of its existence, and I'm frankly sort of shocked I actually bought it. But it claims to just be whole grain brown rice that has been partially precooked, so while the texture might be affected theoretically the nutritional content shouldn't be. Still not sure how I feel about that one to be honest. Anyway, the instantness of the rice is what makes this recipe so quick, so I suppose it served its function.

I served the creamy, comforting rice with baked chicken breasts, carrot sticks, and plain white rice for the boys. Good god I'm tired of baked chicken breasts. My next child palate-expanding mission may be to somehow trick or coerce the children into eating chicken cooked in some sort (any sort) of sauce. Wish me luck.


Minted Peas & Rice with Feta
Makes 4 Servings

1 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup instant brown rice
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (6 oz)
3/4 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup sliced fresh mint
Freshly ground pepper to taste


Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add rice and bring to a simmer; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in peas and return to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the peas are hot and the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in scallions, feta, mint and pepper. Cover and let stand until the liquid is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes.

Can toss leftovers with cooked shrimp for lunch.

-Eating Well, Feb/March 2006
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© 2006, Kimberly Cooperrider | kymmco@excite.com