FlyLady Flunkie (Recipe – Aleppo Pepper Chicken, Asparagus and Pasta)

6 years ago, a friend of mine sent me a link in an email to something that she said “changed her life”. The link was to a housekeeping/organizing/cleaning system by someone known as FlyLady. Intrigued, I clicked on it and read…and read… and read. As a fairly new stay at home mom, and one who worked from home as well, I was finding it difficult to get into a routine of any kind.

FlyLady is all about routines. Routines for decluttering. Routines for laundry. Routines for cleaning out your car. Routines for planning your meals. The FlyLady system was everything I was looking for and more! I quickly started with the first step…shine your sink. My routines evolved and I eventually had a control journal, a rock solid system, and was “FLYing” high. I even was the owner of a local FlyLady Yahoo group that met in person once a month. My FlyLady friends and I would talk Fling Boogies, Purple Puddles and about our “PODA’s”. My house was spotless, my days were well executed and I was on the top of my game as a stay at home mom. It was wonderful!

Then, my son suffered horrible third degree burns on his face in an accident involving our smoker grill. Life was turned upside down and between caring for him, a new baby (Kelly), and the year of every other day doctors appointments I found myself falling off the FlyLady wagon. Years have now passed and I’ve tried many times to regain the momentum that I once had with FlyLady, but never was able to grasp the concept as I originally had. I longed to be that organized again, and I still do and know I will be that way again, or close to it. I just need to buckle down and get motivated to do so.

One thing I was really, really good at when I was practicing FlyLady was menu planning. I would do our menu plan and grocery shopping for an entire month at a time. I LOVED being that prepared and that organized. The one bad thing about being that organized is that we never had spur of the moment meals, like the one we had tonight. I had everything planned down to such detail that there wasn’t room to play around at all. What was on the menu was what we were having (and yes… I was quite anal about it).

As much as I miss being a FlyLady star student, I am glad that we had a night where a meal wasn’t planned because I had the opportunity to play some and discovered this delicious meal. Because of that and other delicious impromptu meals preceding it, being a FlyLady flunkie hasn’t been all that bad!

Aleppo Pepper Chicken, Asparagus and Penne Pasta

  • 1 (16 ounce) package dry penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 boneless chicken pieces, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Aleppo Pepper ( lovely gift I received from Kalyn and Lydia!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Follow package directions for pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add chicken and saute until lightly browned on both sides. Remove from pan and cover to keep warm.
  4. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add garlic, asparagus and Aleppo pepper.
  5. Saute until asparagus is tender.
  6. Stir in chicken, and cook for 2 additional minutes.
  7. Season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  8. Toss pasta with chicken and asparagus mixture. Plate and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese
Love Aleppo Pepper? Here are some other recipes you might enjoy!

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  1. says

    That sounds so good! I’m an Aleppo pepper addict. My Dad is up in Milwaukee and I’m making him get me a huge bag of Aleppo because I’ve missed it so much! 😀

    I want to grow Aleppo peppers next year and tracking down seeds feels like I’m trying to score drugs – there’s so much secrecy and silliness involved. But I’m possessed!
    .-= Kristina´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.

  2. says

    Love it! I was on the flylady bandwagon at that same time and fell off after I was hit by a car while walking across the street. I too have never managed to re-implement those routines, but I take a stab at it at least once a year. :)

  3. says

    This post really hit home with me. Like you, I was a Flylady junkie for years. And like you, a personal tragedy derailed me. During my father’s battle with cancer, I just didn’t have the time or energy to keep it up. After he passed away, I decided that life was too short to live my life by schedules and routines. I rarely plan my meals ahead now. I usually stop by the market every day and see what inspires me. I think I’m a better cook now because of it. Although, my sink isn’t all that shiny anymore, and I think I just saw a dust bunny hop under the sofa. 😉
    .-= Susan at SGCC´s last blog ..Strawberry Marshmallows =-.

  4. says

    This is the way I love to cook. A trip to the market and/or the pantry to see what’s good, then to the kitchen to combine it all into something that in all probability we’ll never have again. It makes us appreciate it while we’re eating it!

    I don’t know aleppo peppers–I don’t even know if they’re available in Belgium–but I’m going to look for them. I have a list of specialty spices that I look for in the markets when I can–finocchio fiori, sumac, etc. I’m adding aleppo pepper to that list.
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..MARKETS =-.

  5. says

    I love how that dish looks! I’ve never heard of Flylady but well, I would love to be more organized so maybe I should check it out. Although I will probably never be really good in scheduling stuff, so.. not sure if that’s gonna work. But it’s great to make ‘on the fly’ dishes. Some of the best meals have come from leftovers in the fridge!
    .-= Simone (junglefrog)´s last blog ..Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes: Daring Cooks August =-.

  6. says

    How great that you had fun experimenting with your Aleppo pepper. I can’t take credit though (the spices at the dinner were from both of us, but the Aleppo pepper was just from Lydia!)

    I’m interested in your story about trying to stay organized, because now that I work at home I’m noticing I haven’t quite found my way yet and I feel a bit disorganized too!
    .-= Kalyn´s last blog ..Warm or Cold Salad Recipe with Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Red Pepper, Capers, and Basil Dressing =-.

  7. says

    I never did FlyLady but I was once an organized stay at home mom. Somehow I have fallen off of the wagon over the years too. And, really, I can’t even think of a good excuse. I still admire those who are organized but there must be a certain charm to my new brand of chaos or I would probably find a way to do more about it.

    In praise of creativity, your recipe sounds fabulous!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Lemon Meringue Pie =-.

  8. says

    So when I plan my menu, I usually plan it for 1.5-2 weeks and I do not say what we’re having when. I could not do it! There are just some nights when I don’t feel like having such and such. When I tried doing the whole menu planning, and that happened, it would frustrate me. Now I find that just having a list of meals to go off (as well as a few that I always have stuff on had for) helps me avoid those nights when I don’t feel like what’s on the menu.
    .-= CrystalsCozyKitchen´s last blog ..Think Thursday: Peanut Butter and Banana Bites =-.

  9. says

    I’ve never been able to get as organized as FLY Lady is, but I can appreciate the concept and have tried to incorporate some of the ideas from her site.

    This recipe is calling to me because I have some Aleppo pepper hanging out in my cabinet and I’m always looking for new ways to use it!
    .-= patsyk´s last blog ..Roasted Veggies, Sausage & Pasta =-.

  10. says

    I completely understand the allure of being super-organized. There are days that I wish I was. But like you said, it removes the freedom to create things on the fly, and this dish looks great! I do make a point to create a weekly menu and shop for the week, but I don’t nail down what will be made when, so then if activities prevent me from making a time-consuming dish one night, I can simply switch the menu around. Happy medium, I guess!
    .-= Alta´s last blog ..Kids in the Kitchen: Smoked Pork Ribs =-.

  11. says

    Hi Kristen!! It was great “chatting” on the conference call yesterday…:)

    I am a Fly Lady flunkie as well…I have been feeling extremely out of sorts lately so I think you just inspired me to pull out my Fly Lady manual and get back at it!! Your pasta dish looks wonderful!!
    .-= Aggie´s last blog ..Stuffed Turkey Burgers =-.

  12. says

    FlyLady flunkie here, too. But I learned some very valuable lessons from her. I hope to reconnect with my past flylady self in a few years when my toddler’s stuff isn’t taking over our house, making us look like an official Toys R Us store. Until then, I’m going to relax in the somewhat disheveled state and enjoy having a little one at home.
    Your pasta dish looks delicious. I’ve never tried that kind of pepper before. I’ll have to start looking for it! Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Tammy´s last blog ..Hamburger Sliders =-.

  13. says

    I like to plan meals, but it’s nice to not have a plan once in a while. I think some of my best new meals have been spur of the moment creations where I had to figure out what I could make based on what we had and how much time I had to make it. I wish I could get into the FLYLady routine for keeping my house clean though!
    .-= Katie @ goodLife {eats}´s last blog ..Sundried Tomato and Spinach Lasagna Rolls =-.


  1. […] FlyLady Flunkie (Recipe – Aleppo Pepper Chicken, Asparagus and …Aug 13, 2009 … One thing I was really, really good at when I was practicing FlyLady was menu planning. I would do our menu plan and grocery shopping for an … […]

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