Smooth Sailing

I ran into my friend Sharon at the new City Hall Farmers Market today and I mentioned to her – and my mother, who’d come with me – that this whole “eating on $20” thing wasn’t as difficult as expected. My mother chalks it up to the fact that I keep a somewhat well-stocked pantry now.

Sharon said that she wasn’t surprised I wasn’t encountering any difficulty; the real challenge, she said, would be eating off only the stockpiled pantry goods. That’s certainly a challenge for another week, to be sure. We’ll call it Hurricane Survival Week. Or Zombie Apocalypse Survival Week. Whichever I can find better art for.

This is what I made last night for dinner. As with my first meal, it made such a large quantity that I could — in theory, at least — eat on it for the rest of the week. As usual, I didn’t follow a recipe. I made this up based on what I had on hand. I hate recipes.

But if you want to try this for yourself, it makes an impressive cold salad/entree that’s tasty and moderately healthy at the same time. Sub in chicken breasts for my beloved chicken thighs if you want to go that extra healthy mile. (Boring.)

I marinated two little chicken thighs in a mixture of olive oil, rice wine vinegar, Sri Racha (a/k/a rooster sauce), orange zest, orange juice from half an orange, a few dashes orange bitters and salt and fresh black pepper to taste. I baked them in my little copper skillet (because all my baking dishes are way too large) at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then let the chicken cool while I cooked up some orzo, wilted some spinach in the heat of the steam from the boiling pot and threw some frozen soybeans in at the end of the orzo’s cooking time to defrost them.

I strained the whole mess, shredded the now-cool chicken and threw it all together. I poured some more rice wine vinegar and rooster sauce on top (not to much) and mixed it all up with a little more kosher salt. I diced the other half of the orange and threw it in for color and flavor. Added a few sunflower seeds for crunch and DONE.

Seriously. Easy as sin. Day three done. Day four and promises of kippers lay ahead!

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