Wayne's Weekend: Combine lean meats and fresh vegetables for a healthy lemon chicken stir fry.
As we start a new year, I want to focus on simple and light meals. A stir fry is probably one of the easiest dishes to prepare. Using lean meats and a variety of fresh vegetables, you can put together a stir fry in minutes. The recipe below includes chicken, red and yellow peppers, snow peas and lemons. But, use it as a guide and substitute other vegetables that you may already have on hand or prefer over those that I used. Consider broccoli, mushrooms, bok choy, water chestnuts, or even zucchini or cucumbers as possible substitutes. But, don’t get carried away adding too many vegetables. You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a flavorful and filling stir fry.
Chicken Stir Fry
2 1/2 cu Water
2 tsp Corn Starch
2 tbl Basil Leaves, chiffonade
2 tsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 lb Chicken, cubed into small bite sized pieces
2 cloves Garlic, smashed and minced
1 tbl Fresh Ginger, minced
1/4 cu Onion, chopped
1 sm Red Pepper, seeded and sliced into long strips
1 sm Yellow Pepper, seeded and sliced into long strips
1 stalk Celery, sliced at an angle
1 med Carrot, quartered and sliced into strips
1 cu Sugar Snap Peas, stems removed
2 Scallions, sliced, including some of the green portion
2 cu Cooked Brown Rice
Cooking Spray, preferably olive oil flavored
Pour water into a sealable container. Add corn starch, basil leave and soy sauce. Slice the lemon in half. Zest one half and add it to the container along with the juice from that half as well. Thinly slice the other half of the lemon and set those slices aside. Cover the container and shake vigorously to combine all the ingredients.
Place chicken in a separate container. Add garlic, ginger and 1/4 cup of the liquid mixture. Cover and let chicken marinate for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, heat a wok or large saucepan over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add chicken, garlic and ginger. Stir fry chicken until it is opaque on all sides and just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. Add additional spray to the pan and add onions. Stir fry for about a minute and add peppers, celery and carrots. Stir fry for an additional 3-4 minutes and add snow peas. Stir fry for about 2 minutes and return chicken to the pan. Pour liquid mixture into pan. Bring mixture to a boil and stir until liquid thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Add scallions and lemon slices. Stir fry for an additional minute. Serve hot over brown rice.
Also, for this segment, I made a simple cucumber salad by thinly slicing a seedless cucumber and marinating it for 20 minutes in two teaspoons of fresh dill, two tablespoons of vinegar and just a pinch of sugar.