Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Healthy Weeknight Meal

I admire chefs who can create original recipes on the spot with only the ingredients that they have on hand.  (I guess that's why I love to watch shows like food network star and extreme chef.)  I'm much more comfortable following a recipe than I am creating my own dishes.  I'm better at altering or adjusting recipes than I am at starting from scratch. 

Last week was particularly busy at our house and I didn't have a whole lot of time to fix big family dinners.  Quick and easy was the name of the game last week for our dinners.  I stumbled upon easy dinner inspiration at Trader Joe's when I spotted a package of sliced mushrooms, asparagus and onions.  When I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for a simple chicken stir fry.  (Not a huge stretch of the imagination but at least I didn't use a recipe.)

I don't normally buy precut vegetables because I like to slice them myself but this batch of asparagus and mushrooms and onions looked really good.  I love asparagus but my family doesn't share my affection for the stalky green vegetable and I don't like to buy a whole bunch of it for myself.  The sliced asparagus was a good alternative.  

I started my chicken stir fry by cutting the chicken into bite size pieces. 

I browned them in a little olive oil.

Halfway through cooking time, I added the vegetables and garlic and seasoned everything with salt and pepper.


Once the meat was cooked through, I took the chicken and vegetables out of the skillet.  I left the juices in the skillet and continued to let them simmer until they were reduced to a nice thick sauce.  I didn't want to add any additional sauces, like soy sauce, to the dish.  (I was trying to limit the amount of sodium that was in the meal because my son had to weigh in for his wrestling tournament the following morning.)  I added the reduced sauce to the stir fry just before serving. 

I served the stir fry with rice and sliced fresh pineapple.  I was not surprised that everyone ate it but I was a little surprised at how much they liked it.  My kids both ate huge helpings of the stir fry - picking out the asparagus of course - and asked for more.  My husband and I both liked it a lot and decided it was a great way to eat vegetables. 

I made a new goal for myself - to try and create one new recipe a month without using a recipe.  This should be interesting.

Bon Appetit!

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