What’s for dinner?

What do you want to do for dinner for tonight? A question which is common to too many households. Let me tell you that if you are asking that question after a long day at work, you are just as likely to order in a pizza as you are to making anything good.

A number of years ago, I was at the end of a work week and my wife and I looked back at our meals: three nights with a frozen dinner, one dinner that ended with the word “Helper” and a delivery pizza. We decided we wanted to make a change andΒ that is when we began to menu plan in earnest. Typically on a Friday evening (if not busy) or Saturday, I will sit down and plan a menu for the week. This includes dinners for all seven days and weekend lunches. The next critical step is I then go grocery shopping and buy all I need to make every menu item for the week.

While I don’t always stick to the menu, I typically do about 90-95% of the time. I may trade a menu item from one day to another as the week goes on, but it usually all gets made. Why? Because it is sooooooo easy. I never have to spend the mental energy at the end of the day to figure it out. I know that I will have everything I need and will not need to run out to the store to complete my ingredient list. Try it for several weeks and you’ll never go back.

This recipe for Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken is so quick andΒ so delicious. I served it with Quick Blue Spinach.

I had everything in my kitchen already (except for the lime). I always keep boneless skinless chicken breasts in the freezer and the rest is just spices.

Pre-mix all the spices, so you get a nice even coverage of all the flavors on each piece.

A quick tip on getting the most juice out of your citrus. Before cutting it open, roll it with your hand, pressing hard with the base of your palm. This will break apart the tissue on the inside releasing the most juice. Only after rolling it (it should deform a bit), do you slice it and squeeze the fruit.

Fry it up and you are done.

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken

Prep Time: 5 Min | Cook Time: 20 Min | Servings: 4 servings | Difficulty: easy


  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice


In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley. Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of chicken breasts.

Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until golden brown, about 6 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons garlic powder and lime juice. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently to coat evenly with sauce.

Nutritional Info:

Amount Per Serving Calories: 220 | Total Fat: 10.7g | Cholesterol: 84mgΒ Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Spicy-Garlic-Lime-Chicken/Detail.aspx?ms=1&prop25=77640069&prop26=DailyDish&prop27=2012-02-19&prop28=DailyRecipe&prop29=FullRecipePhoto&me=1

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Chicken, Fried, kosher, Low Carb, Main Dish, Recipes, Tips

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

80 Comments on “What’s for dinner?”

  1. March 29, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    It’s really difficul to work and make decent dinners but it’s sounds like you have it worked out. Fantastic looking chicken.


  2. March 29, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Love the recipe! My family and I have been using the menu plan idea for a few months now and it works great. Like you, it doesn’t always work perfectly (swapping one for another, etc) but it helps not having to decide at the last minute. I also find I stick to buying only what we need for the dinners that week, eliminating buying “impulse items” as much as we used to. I am going to re-blog this one so my readers can see that a plan does work.


  3. March 29, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Reblogged this on onedadskitchen and commented:
    Here’s a blog about meal plans from a great blog that I follow, rantingchef.com. he also has found that the meal plan works really well, and there’s a great recipe for Garlic Lime Chicken there too!


  4. March 29, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Another great sounding recipe – must try!


  5. daneenc
    March 29, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Definitely trying this one! I have all of the ingredients (aside from a lime) that I’ll need in my kitchen already. How convenient!

    Also love the idea of pre-planning the meals. Gonna give it a try.


  6. March 29, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    First of all- yummy! Second…I cannot stress enough how this is a great idea. I am curretnly doing the weight watchers thing. It started because I obviously want to slim down- but I also had that “aha moment” when I realized I had not a one meal from my own kitchen in an entire week. I work two jobs and 6 days a week. If I don’t do my Sunday night cook off- I am going to eat fast food or canned or whatever. IF I plan ahead and do my cooking frenzy I take lunch and dinner each day and I feel better, look better, and produce less trash. πŸ˜‰
    Love your approach!


  7. March 29, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Nice mix of spices and quick and easy for a week night meal – sounds great!


  8. March 29, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    I do the same thing with menu planning but I would add that I also do my shopping directly after work on Friday. It’s usually not that busy and they have the freshest ingredients. If I wait until Sunday, it’s a crowded and frustrating experience. They’re also often out of many ingredients and I find myself running all over town to get what a planned.


  9. March 29, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    I try to plan at least three of the meals I prepare. Less time spent shopping that way. The seasoning on your chicken sounds great.


  10. March 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Loved your blog today. So true, weekday dinner meals are so much easier when they are planned in advance and it makes for much saner weeknights!


  11. March 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    Great idea… I’ll copy this for tonight’s dinner! And I even have all the ingredients!! thanks for the recipe. πŸ™‚


  12. March 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    I sometimes struggle to work and make dinner – this look lovely though. I adore breaded chicken.


  13. March 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    I think we have the same plates! ; ) This recipe sounds yummy. How do you keep the chicken breasts from drying out? I cook almost every night, but I shy away from chicken breasts because they are inevitably dry… I’m always concerned about potential under-cooking.


    • March 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      Several key things to keep the chicken breasts moist:

      1) Make your pan hot to get a good sear. If you can sear the outside (both sides) the juices will retreat to the center vs slipping out
      2) Don’t overcook the chicken. Use a meat thermometer and I usually pull them when they hit 160 or so. They will continue to cook for a few minutes after removed from the heat.
      3) Do not….do not….do not slice into them for the first 5-10 minutes after removing from the heat. If you do the juices will run and the meat will be dry. This is true of all meats that have been cooked.


      • March 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

        OK. This helps. I do sear, and I don’t slice right away, but I’m always afraid to pull them early. I’ll try that next time. Thanks!


  14. March 29, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    This looks like a tasty recipe that I will try. Congrats on the menu planning. I admire people who get their act together enough to do that. Must give that a try to…. one day. Terri


  15. March 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    The weekly menu is a joke around my house this week. My fiance is doing all the cooking and every day (about this time) he e-mails me to say that I forgot yet another ingredient for our meals. On Monday, it was Tortillas. We had left-overs on Tuesday. Yesterday, it was chicken broth. Today it’s roasted tomatoes… oi oi oi..

    Do you ever have weeks like that?


    • March 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

      My rule is that if it is more than three items I need from the store, it must be on a list. This helps reduce (but not eliminate) that issue. Sometimes I just never get it on the list to begin with (mental block maybe). Hey, I plead guydom….


  16. Arantha
    March 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    This looks delicious and easy, my kind of meal! I’ll have to try it!


  17. March 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    I love menu planning. It would be really hard to eat a real, whole food diet with out doing it. It not only helps with the “whats for dinner?” question, but it’s so awesome to have all of your prep planned too. What to thaw out, soak, sprout, ferment etc…

    Great citrus tip by the way!


  18. March 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    I really need to start following a menu! This chicken will definitely be a repeater also. Love easy ways to cook chicken! Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!


  19. March 29, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    We do the same thing, only we go to the store twice a week for fresher vegetables. We rarely eat out and have been eating much healthier because of it. Starting a garden has also changed the way we eat. This recipe looks delicious and easy!


  20. March 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    I am following a healthy eating plan, and the only way I can do it is to know in advance what I’m having, and to be prepared with all the ingredients. otherwise, as you say, it ends up being a dive for the takeaway menus. I like the look of this chicken (minus the butter and oil, regrettably!) so I’ll add it to my next weekly plan. πŸ™‚


  21. Elizabeth A. Gray
    March 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    I’m thinking this recipe could work on the grill, too?? Definetly going to make that this weekend. Completely agree with you that having a meal plan makes life so much easier..Monday is our crockpot day, as we put in a large roast, whole chicken, etc. and I will use the leftovers in Tuesday’s dinner.


  22. March 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Yum! You’re right. Life doesn’t always go as planned and we don’t always stick to our plan either, but at least there is a plan to look to and the ingredients are available in the house.


  23. March 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    I’m am a firm believer that meal planning is the key for me to eating healthy! I do the same thing, right down to Friday night meal planning, followed up by Saturday morning “hunting and gathering” at the public market, the grocery store and any specialty/boutique items I may need. Its such a nice routine.


  24. rmadere
    March 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    That looks good. I’m going to get DW too look it over and see if she wants me to make it. πŸ™‚


  25. March 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Heya, my family would love this recipe. I had one question, do you mix all your spices ahead and have a container of the spicy lime mix, or do you mix them each time you make it? It really isn’t that big of a deal either way, I just wondered if there would be a down side to making it ahead. Thanks!


    • March 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      I do mix it each time. The only downside I could see if the longer it sits (like with any spice) the more umph it loses!


  26. Stash
    March 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    And the next step after that is cooking from day to day instead of planning it out a week in advance. πŸ˜‰

    But I recognize that not everyone has the time or inclination to cook every day.

    Chicken looks good, as does the spinach.


  27. Chuck
    March 29, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I will most definitely be cooking this one soon! I, too, keep chicken breasts in the freezer. Quickly thawed and easily cooked up, they can bring a delicious end to a long day.

    I have a Lemon-Oregano Chicken recipe I plan to share soon. Like this one, start to finish time is under 30 minutes.

    Mighty Tasty!


  28. March 29, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Excellent post AND when you plan a weeks menu and shop to fit, you save money too, lots of it. I try very hard not to shop, so planning ahead is slightly different on a self sufficient farm it is more like Plant ahead and grow ahead. Sigh. Both include plenty of list making though and lists are good as long as you don’t lose them!! love the chicken.. c


  29. March 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Totally with you on this one. We went for years without meal planning and boy, was that unhealthy. Hopefully your post will inspire others to try it. Chicken looks great ~ love lime!


  30. March 29, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Good point about planning. In the time it takes for the pizza delivery or to pick up take out, we can usually make dinner in less time. I often freeze a few portions of whatever I’m making like a homemade tv dinner — that way I can pop it into the microwave when I’m too tired to cook even a simple meal.


  31. March 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    I did a similar plate last night (yet to blog)! I’ve looked at so many recipes over the last few days that I think it gave me “recipes block”. I simply did not know what to cook. I had to make a decision quick – hungry family waiting – so I decided on a chicken dish …


  32. March 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by and liking my Garlic and Rosemary Pork Roast. I hope you’ll let me know if you try it. I love the idea of making the menu each week. I am really bad about not planning ahead, but I am going to try it for a few weeks and see how it goes. I’ll let you know!


  33. March 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm #



  34. March 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    Sounds great; smoked paprika would be a nice variation; that is especially useful when cooking chicken indoors rather than on a fire. Also, your post anticipated the spicy chicken with lime that I have in a somewhat similarly spiced peruvian-inspired marinade for tonight.

    You might enjoy this video on which it is based, that also contains a nice tip about using zest for lime flavor when you want to limit the sour/acidity from [more] lime juice πŸ™‚ http://www.americastestkitchen.com/recipes/detail.php?docid=27399


  35. March 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    The chicken sounds absolutely delicious! It goes on my list to try soon. I am always looking for more chicken recipes.

    I like to do my dinner menus and shopping the same way. It makes it so much easier to know what is for dinner each night, instead of having to decide each day. I admit I am bad about not planning for weekend dinners and lunches. I always plan to do better, but rarely do! I actually take my shopping a step further and make the list in the order of the store. My husband teases me about being too particular, but I can get a huge weekly shopping done in under 30 minutes, so it works!


    • March 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      I do to. Actually my list has six areas one for fresh produce, one for general food, one for personal care, one for other non food, one for meat and frozen and the last for bakery and refrigerated foods. Hey, it works!


      • Chef Julio
        March 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

        What category do the beer, cubans, and lottery tickets go in??!


  36. March 29, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Oh delicious. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe.


  37. March 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    I completely agree about a menu! It is the only way to go! It makes things so much easier! I also switch out meals from day to day occasionally but I plan meals around our schedule. If we have something going on in the evening it’s always going to be something easy; sandwiches, leftovers what have you. Also planning based off things you already have in the pantry keeps your grocery bill down!


  38. March 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Wow! Thats a great idea! I mean i come up with that and its really annoying! I will definitely try that! Thnx πŸ™‚


  39. March 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    I also meal plan usually on Saturday eve after I have gone shopping first. I like to stroll through the grocery store, Sprouts, and start my meal planning based on what looks good. Makes for an adventure.


  40. March 30, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    Perfect… I was just looking for a flavour combination to rub on chicken maryland pieces (I love them as the perfect serving size), and actually this is pretty similar to my own usual concoction, although I usually use lemon juice and not so much garlic, so I’m excited to try this combo. I plan to whisk the extra onion powder into the lime juice and oil and pour over, then dob with butter and pop into a hot oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Should be good!


  41. March 30, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    This sounds delicious! I love how versatile chicken is; you can pair it with just about any flavors and turn out something good. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the like!


  42. delpercente
    March 30, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    Reblogged this on From the mind of Del… and commented:
    I’m having people over tomorrow and thanks to you I think I got dinner in the bag. Thank for coming through! I just love your blog!


  43. March 30, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Great advice! I just started doing this a few weeks ago and it’s amazing how much easier it is and I noticed that we have cut back on eating out. Also, I used to go to the grocery store 3 or 4 times a week but now it’s only one or two.


  44. March 30, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    Sounds lovely! Waiting to try!


  45. Kelly
    March 30, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    We’re peas in a pod when it comes to working out our menus for the week! It’s a great way to make sure you get a nice spread of flavours whilst ensuring you match up to the food pyramid’s requirements. I find it exciting to always schedule 2 new meals each week to keep things interesting and keep introducing new ingredients. I think that best of all is only going to the supermarket once a week – that place can waste your time and empty your wallet so fast, especially if shopping when hungry!

    That spiced chicken looks fantastic and really healthy; yum!


  46. March 30, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    Hello! Thanks for liking my post about yummus. πŸ™‚
    This recipe looks delicious! As a matter of fact, I may make it this weekend, because I’ve got everything it calls for. I was thinking of maybe roasting it in the oven instead of pan frying it, as a healthier approach. Yum! πŸ™‚


  47. March 30, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Very nice recipe πŸ™‚ I have to try this menu planning…one more time 😦


  48. March 30, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    I really love citrus and poultry! (And I also like my food spicy.) This is a must-try!


  49. gincoolette
    March 30, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    Really enjoy all your recipes so far. Very simple, tasty and similar to my taste. Ah! The salmon one was incredible. I had used in the past brown sugar, but was always afraid to use too much. Not now. Ah!:)


  50. March 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    I tried this tonight, and it was delicious – spicy, and full of flavour. I couldn’t find onion powder (is it more of a US thing?) so I chopped some onion finely, and mixed it with the chicken and dry ingredients. I cooked it without the butter and oil, using a low-cal oil spray to fry off the onions and chicken. Once they were underway, I put the lid on the keep the chicken moist, and it was lovely.

    Thanks for this – it’s going on the regular recipes list! πŸ™‚


  51. March 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    This looks like a recipe after my own heart! Can’t wait to try it out! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚


  52. March 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Oh, how right you are. Planning is key to everything! Why do we so often need to be reminded of that? Thanks for jogging my brain on that, and for the recipe. Looks delightful.


  53. March 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    I’ve done the menu/shopping list thing for years and some people think I’m crazy or complain that they “don’t have the time” (which I think is nonsense–but…whatever!) Again, great commentary and another fabulous recipe.


  54. March 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    I do this each week too – on a Sunday night watching easy-viewing TV, looking through the recipe books/blogs/websites. It saves so much money, time, brain-power, stress … I also order food online to be delivered to stop impulse-buys of things we don’t need, save even more time, and save my arms from the weight of heavy bags!!


  55. bajwa007
    April 1, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I have to say it looks real good my wife love to cook I am going to give here thie recipe let see how it turns out to be. Thanks Great blog keep up the good work.


  56. Healthy Way of Life
    April 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Reblogged this on Smiley's Healthy Way of Life.


  57. April 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and hope you will follow me too. I love this recipe for Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken and plan to make it this coming weekend when my parents visit (may switch out the lime for a couple lemons and a clementine hat won’ keep much longer though, rather than 40 miles round trip to get limes at the store… we live pretty far out in the country.) I can see this chicken recipe being cooked with some bell peppers and onion, then sliced up and served w/ tortillas as a fajatas.
    I like your ideas on menu planning. We are working on that here. We fall off he wagon sometimes, usually on days when unexpected errands come up… like taking the kids to the doctor or a pet to the vet (happens surprisingly often when you raise and train service dogs.) There are a few times a month we still eat out because of that, but thanks to our family going gluten-free and dairy-free it is much less often now and many times I pack a picnic if the weather is good and we will be away from home for the day. There are times I wish we had pizza delivery available… not really an option when nearest town is 20 miles one way and 5 miles of that is dirt roads… the chain pizza joints just won’t deliver out this far. Unless we are already in town (Godfather’s is one of our few options for GF resturant dining here), we always make pizza from scratch at home. At least 2 Fridays a month is homemade pizza and Amazon movie night.


  58. stellacarolyn
    April 3, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    I totally agree. I started meal-planning years ago and have never looked back. It makes such a difference that if there’s a week when I don’t, I sort of flounder around, not sure what to do for dinner.


  59. chloehonore
    April 9, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    This looks great…one to try for the family!!


  60. Alcor
    April 11, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    A version of this is what I resort to when I’m too lazy to cook! Unlike you, I’m not much of a menu planner, more of a make-something-using-whatever’s-in-the-fridge person, though I have no frozen dinners in there.


  61. July 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Reblogged this on She's Losing It! and commented:
    I’m going to try this recipe for dinner. Only I won’t use the salt and will cook in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and skip the butter. Looks pretty tasty!


  62. July 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Hi there! I re-blogged this post. I’m always on the lookout for quick healthy recipes.

    Also, I’m a novice female body builder, which means I eat a lot of chicken, ground turkey and fish, which gets boring. I can use 1 TBSP of olive oil to cook and all spices except salt. I can also use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray. Do you have any recipes you can recommend I check out?

    Here is the meal plan I am on now: http://sheslosingit.net/the-bikini-diet/



  63. December 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    This will be my lunch tomorow!



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