I’ve finally woken up to the reality that “family-sized” recipes and dinners aren’t sized for my family. As a side project, I’m creating a set of our favorite meals with recipes scaled to a Catholic sized family. I’m sure it keeps my brain supple, but it’s hard to do the necessary higher math in my head when my kids are constantly saying, “Hey, Mommy….”

This is yet another area where planning can save us. Auntie Leila has a step by step guide to mentor struggling moms who struggle with Dinner Every Day. I muddled into most of the same ideas, so my only wisdom to add is that at some point you may have a large family. Embrace it. And create yourself a set of recipes sized for you family.

I originally found this delicious salad with bright lime, moist grilled chicken and warm chili flavors at  Grilled Chilli Lime Chicken Fajita Salad. The lady who created it is Australian, so her spelling is different and she refers to fresh cilantro as coriander. 🙂 Below I have adjusted it for our big family with some small changes.

Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Salad

serves 12-15

As they have the same ingredients, make the marinade and the salad dressing at the same time but in separate bowls.

INGREDIENTS 

5.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Marinade:

1/3 cup olive oil

2/3 C freshly squeezed lime juice. 6 large (the size of a lemon) limes will provide enough for marinade and dressing

1/4 cup of freshly chopped cilantro

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons salt

Dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon brown sugar
¾ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground Cumin
1 teaspoon salt

Salad:
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, sliced, and grilled                                                                                        1 red bell pepper, seeded, sliced and grilled
1 Vidalia onion, sliced and grilled
2 heads Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried and chopped
4 avocados, sliced
Extra cilantro leaves to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS
In separate bowls, whisk marinade and dressing ingredients together to combine. Pour  the marinade over chicken in a shallow dish and marinate for two hours or more hours.

Heat about one teaspoon of oil in a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat and grill chicken fillets on each side until golden, crispy and cooked through. Once chicken is cooked, set aside and allow to rest.

Wipe pan over with paper towel; drizzle with another teaspoon of oil and fry pepper and onion strips until cooked to your liking.

Slice chicken into strips and prepare salad with leaves, avocado slices, peppers, onion strips and chicken. Drizzle with remaining marinade/dressing and serve with (optional) extra cilantro leaves.

While I grilled the chicken and veg, I made Johnnycakes from Verta Mae Grosvenor’s Verta Mae Cooks in the Americas’ Family Kitchen. I like them because they are a slightly sweet cornbread to contrast the savory punch of the salad. This is the original 6 serving recipe with adjustments to the pan and cook time.

Johnnycakes

Serves 12

1c flour

1 c cornmeal

1/2 c sugar

2 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp melted butter, cooled

2 eggs, separated

1 c milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease deep dish pie pan.

Sift together dry ingredients.

Add egg yolks, milk and shortening to flour and mix well. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. My 3 year old helped with this using an egg beater. Scoop about 1/4 egg whites and stir into flour. Fold in the rest of the egg whites, taking care not to deflate the mixture.

Bake until browned and set, 35-40 min.

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