I get home from work after 5 PM, and like many of you, I don’t plan anything to make for dinner. I know, there are many websites out there that will teach you to plan your meals a week ahead, or cook all day Sunday for the whole week. Are you kidding me? I don’t enjoy cooking that much! My youngest son is a vegetarian in the midst of meat-lovers, so in addition to cooking dinner every night, we have to fix something for him. Here how we do it. Tonight, once I ransacked the refrigerator, I found these ingredients to play with.

  • one cooked chicken breast
  • one cup of cooked carrots and snow peas (leftover from the Tuna Cakes night)
  • 2 sticks of zucchini
  • 1/4 of an onion
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • one can each chicken broth and tomato sauce
  • one package of ramen noodles (not shown)


I steamed the raw veggies in a small bowl, covered with a plate, with 2 tablespoons of water in the microwave for 5 minutes. I like to use a plate instead of plastic wrap because of the rumors of possible chemicals leaching into the food from the plastic during microwaving. But be careful, both plate and bowl get very hot. In a saucepan, add the broth and tomato sauce, all of the cooked veggies, and salsa (the salsa was very mild and did not add much of a Mexican taste to the meal). I added a good tablespoon of Italian seasoning and a 1/2 teaspoon of bay leaf, crushed. I thought the stew looked too thin, so I added ramen noodles that I broke into small bits (I threw away the seasoning packets that come with the noodles because they have MSG in them). Cook for about 5 minutes until the ramen noodles are cooked. I chopped the chicken breast into small cubes. Divide into bowls (or if you don’t have to worry about feeding a vegetarian, then add to the stew). For my son’s dish, I added a chopped veggie sausage. Spoon stew into bowls and enjoy. This made plenty for the 3 of us, with some leftover for me to bring to work.