Thursday, January 14, 2010
Stir fry is one of our go to easy, low calorie & low fat, filling, healthy and QUICK meals. Asian flavors are simply divine with fresh vegetables. The sauce is light, flavorful, tart and slightly sweet.
Kitchen Witch, why should I spend the whopping 5 minutes it takes to make my own sauce when the supermarket has TONS on prebottled ones for me to buy?
My answer is pretty simple. Flavor and health. If high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and preservatives galore is your thing then go for it, buy what the store has to offer. But if you're like the Kitchen Witch and require some REAL food in your food, make your own. It'll have fresh bright flavors, no preservatives or additives, no HFCS or PHO's. And you can customize it to you and your familys specific tastes. Don't like red pepper flakes? Leave it out! Got a nut allergy in the house? Leave it out! Love ginger, add more. You get the idea.
When you make this stir fry you can serve it with lettuce cups to make lettuce wraps or with steamed rice. Or both :-)
Chicken stir fry/Lettuce Wraps
2 chicken breasts
butter lettuce, pull leaves off to make cups (optional)
veggies: some suggestions
bell peppers (1/2), snow peas (handful), carrot (1), celery (1 stalk), onion, (1/4 small), broccoli (1 head), mung bean sprouts (hearty handful), water chestnuts (1 can), bamboo shoots (1 can)
Asian sauce (recipe follows)
Marinate chicken in 1 T Asian sauce base. Let marinate for 2 hours.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken about 5 min on 1st side, flip when its golden browned and the sides start to turn opaque. Cook an additional 4 min on 2nd side OR until internal temperature is 160*. When chicken is cooled off enough to handle (about 5 minutes) slice into thin strips.
Prep all veggies. This is important in a stir fry because things go QUICK. You won't have time to get your veggies ready to go while other things are cooking so do your prep work first!
In the same skillet add onions, celery and carrots. Cook 1 min or until they start to soften. Add the broccoli and 1/4 c water. Stir well, scraping up any bits off the bottom of the pan. Put a lid on the pot & allow it to steam for 2-3 min.
Add the bell peppers, snow peas, bamboo shoots & water chestnuts. Cover again & cook 1-2 minutes.
Add the bean sprouts, stir well and cover. Cook 1 minute additional.
Slice the chicken and add it to the veggies in the pan, cover & cook 1 minute to warm chicken through.
Serve with lettuce leaf cups and drizzle with Asian sauce.
Asian style sauce/dressing base
1/2 c white wine or rice vinegar
1 T sugar
2 T soy sauce
juice of 1 orange
1 clove garlic smashed
pinch crushed red pepper
2 T tahini (sesame seed paste, can substitute peanut butter or omit if desired)
Make sauce first. In a saucepan add vinegar, orange juice, garlic, sugar & red pepper. Bring to a boil & cook 3 min. Add soy sauce and tahini, stir very well, simmer 2 min longer. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove solids.
This base can be used as a marinade for shrimp, chicken or pork. It can be diluted with oil to become a salad dressing (2T base to 1/4 c oil and 2 T white wine if you want more acidity (opt), shake well). Its also fantastic as a dip for fresh veggies or can be used as a sauce on stir fry or lettuce wraps.
Chicken lettuce wraps
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 2.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Cholesterol 68.4 mg
Sodium 140.4 mg
Potassium 1,020.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15.4 g
Dietary Fiber 6.6 g
Sugars 2.3 g
Protein 33.4 g
Asian style sauce,
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 2.0 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 469.9 mg
Potassium 39.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.4 g