Friday, February 10, 2012

Chicken Green Bean Stir Fry

Look who is blogging again.  I have another delicious light and simple dish that is easy and healthy.  It's a delightful balanced meal all in one bowl.  I know that this is another green bean recipe, but I'm on a roll with these healthy little strings of green. Fresh green beans are very low in calories, contain no saturated fat and are a very good source of vitamins, minerals, and plant derived micro nutrients. They are good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, folates, vitamins B-12, B6, thiamine and vitamin-C. In addition, beans contain healthy amounts of minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium, which are very essential for body metabolism. So enjoy knowing that your body is soaking up all the goodness:)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 1/4 pounds green beans
  • Olive oil
  • Hot cooked rice (again I mix half  sticky rice and half brown rice)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar (I use raw sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon flour (you could use cornstarch, but I have an allergy to corn)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce (Kikkoman is best)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder or fresh ginger grated
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  1. I start by putting frozen chicken breasts in the oven, broil on HI, after they start to defrost and cook a little, sprinkle with pepper and garlic salt
  2. Take end off green beans and wash.
  3. Start rice to cook before starting stir fry.
  4. Prepare stir fry sauce.  Add brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, sherry, rice wine, ginger and garlic (chopped or pressed through garlic press) in small bowl.  Sprinkle with flour while whisking briskly, pressing out any lumps until sauce has a consistent milky brown color.
  5. Heat three tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Add green beans. If green beans don’t fit in one batch, cook half at a time. Sprinkle with black pepper and garlic salt. Use long tongs to turn beans over while cooking so that they do not burn.
  7. If beans are particularly thick, add two tablespoons of water to pan and cover skillet for a couple of minutes to steam-cook beans to desired tenderness. Do not overcook, as beans will go back in the pan briefly later.
  8. Continue to check chicken and turn over when browning starts.  When chicken is no longer pink, take out and slice.
  9. Add chicken to beans and stir to separate pieces.
  10. When chicken is thoroughly cooked, add prepared stir fry sauce and stir. Sauce will quickly turn from milky light brown to glossy dark brown as it cooks. If it seems too thick add a couple of tablespoons of water.
  11. Add sesame seeds and crushed red pepper if desired.
  12. Remove chicken and string beans to serving dish.
  13. Serve over rice.
Serves 6.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Japanese Curry Rice

Homemade Japanese curry and rice is definitely one of our families most favorite meals.  It is a great pot of meat, veggies, sauce and spices.  Japanese curry is sweeter, milder and thicker than Indian curries but sometimes I like to make it a bit more soupy. You can buy the curry bricks at the grocery but I haven't for years because of the MSG and other additives, so I found this homemade curry recipe that uses a roux instead.

Japanese Curry Rice

for the roux
3 Tbs butter
1/4 C flour
2 or 3 Tbs Curry Powder*
for the curry
2 tsp oil
2 large onions sliced thin
2 cloves garlic
2 lbs meat beef or chicken cut into chunks
1/2 of bag of mini peeled carrots
6-8 C water depending how thick you want it
2 Tbs beef or chicken bouillon depending on the meat you use
4 or 5 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
Salt and black pepper to taste

Rice (I mix half brown and half Japanese sticky rice)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat and add the meat, garlic and onions. Sprinkle with black pepper. Cook meat and onions until meat is brown.
 Add the carrots, bouillon and the water then bring to a boil.  I love this bouillon paste from Costco, but bouillon cubes work too, but again the MSG. 

Simmer for about 30 minutes or until you can pass a fork through the carrots and potatoes and the meat is tender.
I love any recipe with sauces and gravies and once you learn how to make a good roux, you can make any sauce or gravy.  For the roux, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the flour and curry powder, stirring until you have a thick paste. Add some fresh ground black pepper and incorporate into the roux. I usually add a few Tbsp of water at this point to make a gooey paste. Remove from heat and set aside until the meat and veggies are ready.
To make the curry, just laddle about 2 cups of liquid from meat and veggie pot into the roux then whisk until it’s smooth. Pour this mixture back into the other pot and gently stir until thickened.
Serve over rice or noodles.

* There are many curry powders that you can purchase.  There are a few consistent spices, but some varying spices.  I usually prefer the more orange or red to the yellow or green curry powders.  I love the one made by Simply Organic.  It has a great mixture of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg that produce a more intense flavor.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Spicy Turkey Squash Soup

This soup is one of my original concoctions and it is quickly becoming one of our favorites.  It is very healthy, perfect for a cold winter night and packed with lots of nutrients. 

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 10 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 can (15 oz) white Cannellini, Great Northern or Navy beans
  • 2 cups tender french green beans (I've used both fresh and frozen)
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • salt to taste (I used roughly 1 tsp depending on chicken stock)
1. In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil until it is hot. Add the onion, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes
2. Add the squash, stock, green french beans, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and a bit more black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Add the turkey and white beans. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the turkey is heated through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

A Recipe A Week

It's a new year and since I haven't posted in a year, it's time to get started once again.  I have a lot of recipes that I want to share, so I will try and post one a week.  If I have any followers, you are welcome to keep me at task:]


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chicken Florentine

I have a box of recipes that I have accumulated over the past 15 years.  Most of these are recipes from my mom, who is a fabulous cook.  They are usually written in pencil, marker or even crayon on scratches of whatever paper happened to be near the phone.  I have even found out that some of them had missing ingredients, either my mom was giving the recipe to me from memory or I missed part of her dictating.  I have made several recipes and thought it tasted different from my mom's and then realized it was missing something key.   I want to start making a book of my favorites, so I'll start by blogging a few. 

Chicken Florentine is definitely one of our favorites.  It is a comfort food, but there are alterations you could make to make it healthier.

4 Chicken breasts, cut in strips against the grain
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup of Panko(Japanese bread crumbs)
2 TBSP Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
2 cups cooked Spinach
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup Flour (I use whole wheat)
1 cup of chicken broth
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Cooked rice

Put bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, pepper, salt and sugar in gallon sized Ziploc bag.  Shake to mix, add raw chicken strips, shake to coat. 
Heat olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep it warm.
In same pan, melt butter and stir in flour to make a paste.  Add chicken broth, stirring constantly until a low boil, stir in milk to boil.  Add mozzarella.   Layer rice, cooked spinach, chicken strips and sauce.  Give it a try!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Yes you CANsolidate!

Every year I make a resolution to organize, organize and then organize.  It's not something that comes naturally to me or anyone in my household, but still always a desire.  My sweet sis-n-law has tried helping me (it comes naturally to her).  She will send me emails with tips and lets me know what new ideas she is implementing at her home.  She has been talking about this Cansolidator thingy for over a year now and knowing me, she knew I would never get around to it, so surprise.  She gave me one for Christmas.  Not only did she gift one to me, but she spent 4 precious hours cleaning and organizing my whole pantry while she installed this magical display of food.  It just gives me chills typing about it.  Service is definitely my love language, thanks for the love Clarissa!  Hopefully this inspiration will burn in me the whole year as I carry out my organization resolution.

Cleaning and organizing, so dedicated!
 So organized!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One of my favorites!

I love pretzels dipped in sweet deliciousness.  One of my favorite treats are pretzels dipped in caramel then rolled in mini M&M's.  For my neighbors, I painfully dipped pretzel rods for 4 hours.  I dipped over a hundred pretzel rods(most dipped twice for the caramel and chocolate).  Now that is showing the love!  I do love my neighbors.  We live in a fabulous neighborhood with so many caring, sharing, gifted people.  Tis the season to show our neighbors how much we love and appreciate them, after all it does take a village to raise a family.