We’ve all read the stories about how bad Chinese take-out is for anyone trying to lose weight..
But as someone who lived in New York and now lives in L.A., a life without Chinese food just doesn’t seem sustainable…or fair!
But what if I told you that, even if you hate to cook, you can make your own Chinese dinner at home for a fraction of the fat and calories (not to mention the cost) and be eating it in less time than it would take the delivery guy to find your house or apartment?
It’s true.. With Skinny Broccolini, Shiitakes, and Chicken, you can have 2 heaping cups of Chinese Stir Fry goodness over a cup of Magic Brown Rice (shhh, it’s half cauliflower) for under 300 calories!
The sauce is made of fresh garlic, ginger, and 4 bottled ingredients available in most grocery stores–Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce), and Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar–which last forever in the fridge or pantry.
And if you’re keeping that inventory of Magic Rice in the freezer (I know you are) you’ll be having dinner in less than 30 minutes!
And you can put that money you usually tip the delivery guy toward your new pair of skinny jeans!
A note about ingredients:
At my farmers market in L.A., one Asian farmer who sells Broccolini calls it Baby Chinese Broccoli…another calls it Chinese Kale…they’re both half right.
Broccolini is actually a trademarked hybrid of Broccoli and Chinese Kale. High in vitamin C, with vitamin A, calcium, folate, and iron, it’s sweeter and more tender than broccoli.
If you don’t have an Asian farmer, it’s available in most supermarkets….just look for the ones with the thinnest stalks to ensure even cooking. (If stalks are thicker, slice them, lengthwise, before you cook.)
About the mushrooms: If you can’t find fresh Shiitakes, you can use brown mushrooms, but they aren’t the same. Shiitakes have a far better taste, a more chewy and meaty texture and more nutrients. Yes, they’re more expensive, about 5 bucks a half pound, but use them if you can get them..they’re still cheaper than good meat.
SKINNY STIR FRY OF BROCCOLINI, SHIITAKES, AND CHICKEN
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (preferably organic) sliced into very thin 2 inch strips
1/2 lb fresh (not dried) Shiitake mushrooms
1 lb Broccolini, (Rinse well just before cooking so a little water is clinging on.)
2 T cornstarch
1/4 c water (you’ll add more while cooking to make more sauce, but start with this)
1/4 c Tamari or Soy Sauce (Tamari is wheat-free Soy Sauce, use that if you want to stay gluten-free)
2 T minced garlic
2 T minced ginger
Put 2 T of cornstarch in a bowl, add 1/4 c cold water, and mix with a fork until it’s dissolved. Add in the Tamari (or Soy) Sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Rice Vinegar, and stir. Add in the 2 T garlic and ginger and set aside.
Get all your veg ready to go, because it’s going to go fast once you start.
Put your non-stick wok or largest non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat for a few seconds. As soon as it’s warm, spray with canola oil and count to 20. (Don’t let it go longer or the cooking spray will turn brown and add a bitter flavor.)
Toss in the chicken and stir until all pieces are white on the outside…they’ll continue to cook inside as you go, you just want the chicken juices sealed in before you add any veg. Add the mushrooms and stir again for a minute or two.
They’ll release some juices and share the flavor with the chicken.
It’s going to look like it can’t all fit in the pan…but as you toss it for the next 4 or 5 minutes, you can see that it will really shrink…
Add in the sauce and stir again to coat. Now, add in another 3/4 to 1 cup of water, a bit at a time, and toss a couple of minutes more until all the veg are cooked to the tenderness you prefer and the sauce has thickened a bit.
I have to admit…
This is just a sneaky way for me to convince you that spending a little time now and then to make Magic Rice you can keep in the freezer will save your life and your waistline!
(See this video here if you need me to walk you through it. The video shows the wild rice blend but, for this recipe, just substitute brown rice..)
On your busiest nights, having that staple in your inventory, one that you can thaw in minutes and do anything with, will save your life!
PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD
Now that you know the quick and easy (and super tasty) sauce recipe, use organic pork or shrimp instead of chicken…use slender green beans or asparagus instead of broccolini..add onions, or red bell peppers…or just use it to flavor any veg alone!
The world is your Oyster (sauce)!