Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On the Grill! Fajitas, Kabobs and Salmon

I am officially off for summer! Woohoo! Near the end of the school year I always feel a little beat-up, as do most teachers I am sure. If you aren't a teacher, you might know the feeling when your kids go to school in the Fall and you can take a deep breath because you are ready to have a break from them even though you love them... that's the feeling teachers get at the end of the school year. 160 kids, ages 16-18, and usually their parents, needing something from you to the point that the 6 minute passing time doesn't allow you to pee, therefore you don't drink water even though you are pregnant and need to, gets old. It was a rough school year for me emotionally as well... losing a baby, being pregnant pretty much the entire time, I am exhausted mentally trying to keep that out of my mind as I teach and be the positive, supporting and motivating seniors who have checked out. Just as I was losing it in my final days I had a former student come and bring me a cake and a hug... she is someone who was super quiet, but so nice, and who I honestly had no idea I had impacted. 

Followed the next day by a current student, again, who I had no idea even cared for me, dropping off a note expressing his gratitude toward my teaching style and personality. That's what makes the year. It makes every shitty day feel a whole lot better. It reminds me that teaching is so much more than content. I don't know if it's the hormones or what, but a note, a hug, things that might not mean a lot to them, meant so much to me. 

PS- Jelly is perfect with cake and ice cream. Don't judge until you try it. 

I am now a stay-at-home-mom until August, I don't get paid or thanked, but man am I excited for some little things this brings, aside from time with my child. I am excited to not grocery shop with everyone and their aunt, uncle, grandma, and 85 children on Sundays. I am also excited to go to the gym or workout in the morning so I can have a less stressed evening where I cook a dinner that is not leftovers or prepped on Sundays. Don't get me wrong, meal prep for me is essential to keeping healthy and my life moving smoothly during the week, but gosh is it nice to not have to do it for 10 weeks and get my Sunday afternoon back. This week is all about the grill... it gets hot in the kitchen, Charlie wants to play outside, and it is so nice to not make my kitchen a mess. This week I went with some favorites that are easy and family friendly- well maybe for our family since Charlie eats peppers, asparagus, fish, etc. :) If I put pineapple and rice with anything she will eat it so that's a win!


These were actually made the last week of school. We did the chicken on the grill with the rest of the chicken for the week, seasoning it with cumin, garlic powder, salt, paprika, chili powder, and pepper. The same things I would put in taco seasoning- you could of course buy taco seasoning or fajita mix, but this is healthier and just as easy. I make a batch and keep it in a jar in my cupboard... recipe found here- Taco Seasoning.

- 3-4 Chicken Breasts (about 3 lbs)
- 2-3 Tbsp Taco Seasoning (see homemade recipe here or wing it)
- 4 Bell Peppers, any color
- 1 Sweet Onion

Fajita toppings!
- cheese
- salsa
- lettuce
- tortillas
- black beans
- rice
- lime juice

As mentioned above, the chicken was sprinkled with seasoning (about 1 Tbsp.) and grilled. Then cut into thin strips.
When we were ready to have fajitas I sliced the peppers and onion into thin strips and put them in a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. I sprinkled them with seasoning and added the chicken. Cooking 7-10 minutes total until everything was warm, cooked and flavors were together. :) Enjoy!

Sweet and Salty Marinated Salmon

The great thing about fish is it doesn't need to marinate for very long! I put this together when I got home and 2 hours later we were ready for the grill. The sugar makes a delicious almost crust on the salmon... we ate it with grilled asparagus and rice. I used the lemon pepper and garlic powder on the asparagus as well.

- 2-ish lbs (1-2 filets) Skin-on, Wild-caught Salmon (look for it at Costco!)
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Aminos (or soy sauce)
- 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar (or coconut sugar or honey or plain sugar)
- 1/3 Cup Water
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Garlic Salt
- 2 tsp Lemon Pepper

1. Rub the salmon filets with garlic salt and lemon pepper. Add the remaining ingredients to a zip lock bag or bowl and add salmon tossing to coat. Let it marinate 1-2 hours in the fridge.
2. When you are ready, preheat the grill and cook the salmon, preferably on foil or a fish screen, skin side down, until it is sightly firm to the touch in the thickest part.

Chicken Kabobs

Charlie was a big help making these. She was not a fan of touching the chicken, which I don't blame her, so she did purely vegetable ones.

- 2 lbs Chicken Breasts, cut into 1" pieces
- 4 Bell Pepper, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 Sweet Onion, quartered and pulled apart
- 1 Pineapple, cut into large, 1"+ pieces

Add everything to skewers and grill! I sprinkled mine with Penzey's Salt Free Murals of Flavor- but anything involved garlic, salt, pepper, etc. would be delicious!

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