Happy New Year! First School Lunch of 2016

lunch on 4 Jan 2016: grilled chicken, sourdough bread, kiwi, sugar snap peas, apple slices, cherry tomatoes, and Star Wars gummies

lunch on 4 Jan 2016: grilled chicken, sourdough bread, kiwi, sugar snap peas, apple slices, cherry tomatoes, and Star Wars gummies

And just like that, winter break is over, school is in session and it’s 2016. Happy New Year! As is typical for me at the start of a new year, I’m filled with optimism about organizing, cooking, eating healthy, exercising, and basically getting back on track after the long stretch of holiday gluttony that pretty much starts on Halloween and ends on New Year’s Day. Over the weekend, I went to Costco and spent most of Sunday cooking like crazy and organizing my freezer. I marinated a big pile of chicken thighs and then grilled them—I sliced up the leftovers and portioned them out into little freezer bags, because grilled chicken is a great addition to salads, noodles, sandwiches and such.

I also saved a little grilled chicken for the kids’ lunches today. They both ate every last bite, so this was a major lunchbox success. Of course, as I made these lunches, I took a moment to admire them and mentioned to my husband that I wish our lunches looked this good. Better grownup lunches: now there’s a challenge for 2016.

My Favorite Chicken Marinade, no measuring required
  • olive oil, about a tablespoon
  • plain yogurt, about a cup
  • 1 lemon, squeezed
  •  a clove of garlic, crushed
  • honey, a nice squeeze
  • a few shakes of Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning (or salt and pepper)

Combine all ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Exact proportions are not important: I never measure for this marinade and it always turns out. Throw your chicken (I typically use boneless chicken thighs) in the bag, seal it, and squish the bag a bunch to rub the marinade into the chicken. Marinate the meat for several hours or all day long. This marinade is extremely versatile. You can change the flavor profile by adding different spices such as curry, chili powder, ginger, smoked paprika, etc. It works great with just salt and pepper, but the Montreal Steak Seasoning is especially good. I have a big jar of this stuff because it’s a fantastic rub for anything you want to throw on the grill.

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