‘Cause I’m Keeping It Real

19 Jan

No I’m not gonna shave my head, but I immediately thought of this scene from the movie Clueless when I decided on the title of my post.  Just like Murray, I gotta keep it real.  Although it may appear I cook like a maniac, appearances can be deceiving. I recently sat down and went through my bank statements for 2010 and about 40-50% of my purchases were food related. That breaks down to a ridiculous amount of takeout, lunches from the Deli around the corner, and worst of all fast food. After crunching some numbers I probably ate out on average 3-5 times a week. For me that’s insane! I love to cook! What happened?

When I was growing up my mom would whip up meals all week (except Friday which was our designated takeout day).  We would have dinner by 7:30 PM and we always sat at the table. I miss those days.  However, I must confess, the worst part about my faux cooking is that I still grocery shop every Sunday.  Every week I tell myself this is the week that you are going to cook all of your meals.  Then something happens at work, I’m exhausted, I decide to go to an exercise class, I get caught up in a marathon of the Desperate Housewives on Bravo…..did I just admit that? It’s true, Desperate Housewives of Atlanta is my number one guilty pleasure, that show is like kryptonite.  Anyway, the point is food sits and eventually spoils in my fridge and has to be thrown away.  What a waste.  So as I stated in my first post, back in November, enough is enough. I’m going to take my own advice and start cooking the foods I have in my fridge, and cupboards.

The Plan

It’s time to get back to doing what I love, and cook at least 5x a week, with a set grocery list and most importantly incorporate foods/items I already have stocked in my kitchen. Eat at the table, and try not to eat out more than once a week.

I’m gonna try my best to share the recipes for the dishes I make throughout the week. As always let me know what you think. Would you like to see my grocery list, so that you too can make some (if not all) of the meals I prepare throughout the week? Is this something that you’d like to try? I’d love to make some of your recipes too, I’ll need all the inspiration I can get.  Remember sharing is caring! E-mail me at onebigmix(at)gmail(dot)com

Here’s something I whipped up the other day.

Spicy Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry

Servings: 4

Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients: (Seriously, you know I’ve got to add some commentary)

2 Chicken Breasts BONE-IN –I love, love, love chicken with the bone in. Besides you really can’t beat the price, so inexpensive!  I know I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating.

1 Pound of Bok Choy – thoroughly rinsed and diced (trim and discard the ends (about 1 inch from the bottom).  Try to cut the white of the bok choy into smaller pieces as it will take longer to cook, the greens can be loosely chopped as they wilt like spinach.  Lastly, it doesn’t matter if you use regular or baby bok choy, I find that the regular choy is cheaper at the grocery store.

1 Medium Red Pepper – diced

1 Medium Red or Yellow Onion – diced, whatever you have on hand

3-4 Garlic Cloves – Minced

1/2 Cup Mushrooms – I used a liquid measuring cup

2 Broccoli Heads – Separated, to make smaller pieces

1 Zucchini – diced like you would an onion

2 Tablespoons of Olive or Sesame Oil

Salt and Pepper – to taste

**Note you can interchange a variety of vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, cabbage.  X out the chicken and make it vegetarian, the sauce is still equally delicious.

Spicy Ginger Sauce

2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce

3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

3 Tablespoons Fish Sauce

1/4 Cup Ginger Sauce – I found some Ginger Sauce at my local Grocery Store, if you cannot find a pre-made Ginger Sauce, combine about 1 tablespoon of ground ginger, 3 tablespoons of Hoisin Sauce, and about 3-4 Tablespoons of water (enough to make up about 1/4 cup of liquid).

1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder

Crushed Red Pepper – to taste, if you don’t like spicy food stick with 1-2 teaspoons

Prep. Time

Preheat the oven to 400°F

While the oven is preheating, prepare the ginger sauce and chicken.  Combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, and rice vinegar.  Add in the ginger sauce, and crushed red pepper.  Stir.  Place the chicken in an oven safe dish, I was using my smaller casserole dish for something else, so for a quick fix I used a cake pan, lined with aluminum foil.  Season both sides of the chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt, pepper and for an extra quick, only if you want to, add another tablespoon of crushed red pepper.  Pour the ginger sauce over the chicken.  Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 20-30 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, chop and prepare the vegetables.  Once the chicken has cooked for at least 20 minutes remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  Using a wok or other non stick pan heat the oil on medium heat, then cook the garlic and onions for about 5 minutes, stir in the zucchini and red peppers, then the mushrooms, broccoli and whites of the bok choy.  Season with salt and pepper.  Turn the burner down to medium low, and let simmer.  Return to the now cooled chicken and remove the skin, shred and dice.  DO NOT DISCARD the sauce from the chicken.  Add it and the now shredded chicken to the pan of vegetables.  Lastly, add the greens of the bok choy and bring the mixture to a boil on medium high heat.  This dish can be served by itself, over rice, or noodles.

An extra note, you can marinade the chicken in the ginger sauce over night.  I accidentally marinaded the chicken when I first made this dish because I cooked the chicken and then realized it was too late to eat so I let it cool and placed it in the fridge in all of its juices.  The next day I shredded the chicken and made it a stir fry.  Either way, this recipe is fairly quick, and easy to make.

 

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2 Responses to “‘Cause I’m Keeping It Real”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Breaking Bad Habits, One Meal at a Time « One Big Mix - February 16, 2011

    […] not have a chance to go.  If you have been reading my blog then you’ll know that I am trying to cook more, and use the foods I already have stocked in my fridge and pantry.  I have developed a habit of […]

  2. Chili: No Rules, No Recipe « One Big Mix - January 22, 2011

    […] my attempt to make 5 meals a week, chili was one of the first dishes I thought of because it’s probably one of the easiest meals to […]

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