Friday, February 4, 2011

PLANned Celebration - Chinese New Year

Kung Pao Chicken over Fried Rice
Following a diet Plan doesn't mean going without.  I can, and do, eat anything I want - as long as I don't exceed my daily goals.  This yummy meal stays well within the plan and it is equally yummy using firm soy bean curd instead of chicken.  My husband doesn't care for soy, so I make it with boneless skinless chicken or turkey.  Happy husband, happy wife, happy life.

 I found the original recipe at Hungry Girl, but then made so many changes, that it's pretty much my recipe now.  The ingredients are all staples in my kitchen, so I make this fairly often.  I use frozen stir-fry veggies because everything is already in there, nicely chopped with no waste.  Just be aware of any quick cooking veggies contained in it (in this blend, it's sugar snap peas) and either sort them out to add them later or use them to judge when to add the sauce. I want the peas hot, but not limp and the carrots and broccoli tender-crisp, so I pull the sugar snap peas out of the mix and add them in partway through the cooking time.  Like everything in life, it's a balancing act.

I recommend using a high sided pan to catch spatters. I like using my dutch oven because it's non-stick. I had a wok for a long time and just didn't use it.  I kept reaching for my dutch oven, so I gave the wok away and haven't missed it.

Homemade Fried Rice

Kung Pao Chicken

Very loosely adapted from Hungry Girl
4 servings
Counts for The Plan: 3.5 oz meat, 1 1/3 cup veg., ½ cup fruit, 1 teaspoon oil per serving

12 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 (16 oz.) package frozen stir-fry vegetables
2 Tablespoons water
2 tablespoons dry-roasted unsalted peanuts

2 tablespoons + ¼ cup cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 tablespoons reduced-sodium/light soy sauce
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 clove minced garlic (1 tsp.)
¼ cup Sweet Thai Chili Sauce

1. Cut chicken into ½” cubes. Place in bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons cornstarch; set aside. Bring a Dutch oven or wok to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; when it shimmers, add chicken, and brown on all sides.

2. While chicken browns, make the sauce in the same bowl that had the chicken in it. Combine 2 tablespoons cold water with 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth; then add ¼ cup water, soy sauce, vinegar, minced garlic and chili sauce. Stir until all ingredients have dissolved. Set sauce aside.

Serve with Fried Rice or steamed rice (½ cup cooked rice = 3.5 grain).
Fried Rice
4 servings
1 cup fried rice = 3.5 oz. grain, ½ cup veg., 1/2 oz. meat

1 cup diced carrot
2 cups leftover cooked rice, cold
3 scallions, sliced, greens and whites separate
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
Pinch 5 spice powder, optional
1 egg
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Heat large skillet, when hot, spray with non-stick; add the carrot and stir fry 30 seconds. Add rice and white part of scallions, stir fry 2 minutes. Combine sesame oil, soy sauce and 5 spice, sprinkle over rice mixture in skillet. Stir to combine. Push to side of pan. Add egg and scramble. Stir into rice mixture. Add peas; stir into rice. Garnish with green parts of scallions.

3. Stir chicken, add vegetables and 2 tbsp. of water; cover and allow to steam 1 minute. Remove cover and stirring occasionally, cook until water evaporates. Add peanuts. Raise heat to high, stir sauce to get cornstarch off of bottom of bowl, and add to the pan. Stir to coat all ingredients in sauce. Cook and stir until sauce boils and thickens.

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