Asian Chicken Stir Fry

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Sometimes I feel like no matter what age we are, we are always looking forward. As children, we look forward to that mysterious land of “high school,” where you can drive a car, stay out late, and presumably have the exact same social life as the cast members of Saved by the Bell. As teenagers, we look forward to “college” where curfews don’t exist and we possess that coveted “independence” we always longed for. And as adults, you’re always thinking of the next phase…marriage, buying a house, having kids, advancing your careers, and finally…retirement. It’s hard to “enjoy the moment” when we are constantly looking forward. The funny thing about me is, I never seemed to look forward to the same periods of life as my peers. As a child, I don’t remember longing for high school or college like most of my friends did. Instead, I always remember thinking that the first few years of marriage would be the happiest time in my life. This is undoubtedly a strange thing for a 13 year old to think…but oddly enough, the current time in my life is something I always looked forward to. But this current phase didn’t quite pan out exactly the way 13 year old me thought it would. Because, believe it or not… it is way better. I’m happier right now than I ever thought was possible. Because coming home to my very best friend every night is truly the best. So rather than spending my time over planning for the future..I’m focusing on enjoying this incredible, wonderful season of life. And one of my favorite things about this phase in life is cooking simple dinners at home. As much as Eric would be perfectly happy eating grilled chicken or pizza every night, I love coming up with different  ideas to mix up our weekday dinners. And this was a recent creation that turned out to be quite the hit. It’s very simple to make, and far cheaper and healthier than hitting up the Chinese takeout place down the street. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients: Makes 2 servings

  • 2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups frozen vegetables (I used a “stir fry blend” of broccoli, carrots, green beans & cauliflower)
  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 3-4 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Preparation:

  1. Place raw chicken breasts (thinly sliced) into a large ziploc bag, and cover with next four ingredients (soy sauce through olive oil). Let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes
  2. Heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat
  3. After chicken has marinated, pour entire contents of the bag into the saucepan.
  4. Cook until chicken has cooked through, and add frozen vegetables
  5. Continue to stir until vegetables are heated through
  6. To serve, place cooked brown rice on a plate, and top with chicken stir fry mixture. Top with sunflower seeds

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Vegetarian Chili

About a year ago, I shared the story behind my family’s beloved recipe for Gazpacho Soup and how our neighbors patiently await its return each summer. After finishing off their portion of  Gazpacho, some of our neighbors have returned our mason jars to us filled with a soup of their own. And the following recipe is a take off of one of my favorite of these “thank you” soups. Our neighbors, The Trains, shared this amazing recipe for vegetarian chili with us last winter and it soon became a Sunday night staple. I would make a big batch of it on Sunday nights in order to bring to work with me for lunch throughout the following week. The chili is full of flavor and serves as a hearty and incredibly filling lunch. You barely even notice that it doesn’t have any meat in it! Three different varieties of beans gives this chili added protein , and I’ve found that just about any vegetable can be added in for some extra flavor. Paired with some hearty Pumpkin Cornbread (recipe to come!) and you have yourself a healthy and hearty meal, perfect for the colder months to come.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yello onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 14oz cand of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 14oz can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 1 14oz can white northern beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 14oz can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil

Preparation:

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat and add olive oil, onions and garlic. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes
  2. Add bell peppers and carrots and saute for 10 minutes, or until peppers are tender
  3. Add next four ingredients (tomatoes through tomato paste)  and bring mixture to a boil.
  4. Stir in beans and spices, stirring frequently
  5. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 20 minutes before serving

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