I’m 3 whole days into my healthy eating/journaling. I have been very good about journaling. As a matter of fact, even after two days of a I learned something. I need to pack healthy snacks. Even though I loaded our center snack shack with healthier versions of snack, they are not necessarily healthy. After all 100 calorie cakester snack is still a cakester. I packed grapes today, good girl.
I also learned if the leftover Halloween candy is located next to your laptop your hand magically disappears into it, up to 3 times. But they are only mini Butterfingers, I try to console myself with. Despite the lapses (and I knew they would be there), I still have a positive attitude.
Dinner was a recent example of how awesome healthier food can be. Orange Chicken over brown rice (recipe below), Thai Fried Cabbage (future post), and pre-made oven fried lumpia. Take out at home. I hijacked the Orange Chicken recipe from RasaMalaysia. Normally Orange Chicken has a battered fried chicken, but that equals fat which equals calories I don’t need so I skipped that entire portion and then added some carrots and green pepper to boost the veggies content. Instead of serving it over steamed white rice I served it over brown rice made with some of the leftover chicken broth and I stirred in the green parts of the scallion.
Turns out, it was just as tasty! At least no one in this household complained, but then again, they never usually never complain about the food put in front of them.
Since I was adding carrots to the recipe I thought it would be fun to give them some character. I used my handy dandy tester tool from Pampered Chef® to score the carrots.
I was thinking of a nice flower shape, sliced thinly and stir fried to perfection. However, I only seemed to have really skinny carrots on hand so I couldn’t make more than four scores.
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all …”
Sorry, I was having a moment there. Must be from all the recent elections.
Because my little carrots were so wimpy, I sliced them a little thicker than my mind’s eye.
I can not emphasize enough the importance of Mise en Place, or in other words have all your sh*t together and ready when you are stir frying. Once the process starts it goes quick. No Rachael Ray, “chop and drop” will work, there is simply not enough time. So get it all prepped first. No really, I mean it.
The recipe called for 5 red chilies. I had some Arbol peppers, for like, ever!
Can you see the dust on the outside of the jar…yeah I meant, for like ever!
(The beauty of dried peppers)
I upped the the orange juice because I was tripling the amount of chicken, and I increased the corn starch accordingly. Plus I wanted a bit more “sauce” to make up for not battering and frying the chicken.
I also removed significant amounts of fat from the chicken. I used chicken thighs instead of breast, because that is what I had.
I discovered that I had something in common with chickens.
We both have pockets of fat in our thighs. Nothing like resembling your food.
I also resemble a funny looking potato, maybe an eggplant….’cept I’m not purple. But I do hang out in the grocery store and you either love me or hate me.
Maybe I should change my nickname to eggplant?
I stir fried the chicken first than drained it on some paper towels. Holy cannoli, look at the amount of fat left behind….
In the leftover fat, I quickly cooked the carrots and peppers, added the garlic, ginger, and peppers, and finally the chicken.
Lastly I added the prepared orange sauce and cooked until thickened.
Come on now, you know you want a taste.
This is what happens when you are a right handed person, trying to use chop sticks left handed so you can take a picture with your right hand.
Don’t worry, I picked up the chicken and ate it. Hey, it’s my house, my germs and I’m okay with it.
Besides, it was too good too waste!
- 1 1/2 pound chicken breast (cut into bite-size cubes)
- 5 dried red chilies (cut into 1.5 inch length, seeded and soaked in warm water)
- 1 teaspoon minced orange zest
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 inch ginger (minced)
- 1 stalk scallion (use the white part only, cut into thin threads for garnishing)
- 2 teaspoons oil
- Oil for deep frying
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 green pepper, cubed
- 1/2cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 3 tablespoons canned chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 5 teaspoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
- Salt to taste
- Mix the orange sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Heat 2 tsp of oil, stir fry the cubed chicken then] Transfer them out onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
- In a wok, stir fry the carrot and green pepper for approximately 2 minutes and quickly stir-fry the minced garlic and ginger until aromatic. Add in the dried red chilies and toss around until you smell the spicy aroma. Follow by the minced orange zest and then chicken. Quickly stir the chicken around before adding the orange sauce mixture. Continue to stir-fry until the sauce thicken. Dish out, garnish with the scallion threads and serve immediately with steamed brown rice.
Off to the Foodbuzz festival in San Fransisco, woo hoo!