Sweet and Sour Chicken

Here is a quick and easy stir fry dish with far less fat and sugar than the standard carry-out Sweet and Sour.

Ingredients

1 pound chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces.

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp apricot preserves

2 tbsp corn starch

2 tbsp canola oil, divided

1/2 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

2 cups broccoli cut into bite size pieces

2 carrots julienned, approx. 1 cup

1/2 jalapeno or other hot chile, seeded and finely chopped

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Directions

Combine vinegar, soy sauce, corn starch and preserves in a small bowl, set aside

Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook 2 minutes.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until no longer pink and just starting to brown, 2-3 minutes more.  Transfer to plate.

Add remaining 1 tbsp oil.  Add onion and cook 1-2 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to brown.  Add chile and carrot.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until carrots start to soften.  Add broccoli and cilantro and cook for approx 1 minute, until broccoli starts to soften.

Stir in chicken, chicken broth and reserved vinegar mixture to pan.  Bring to boil.  Simmer until chicken is heated through and sauce has thickened, about 1 minute.

Serve over brown rice.

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Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

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Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

In hopes of satiating a craving, I’ve been working on lightening up the standard pizza recipe by topping it with a reduced fat cheese, lean meat and veggies and of course adding some whole grains by starting with a whole wheat dough.

Yield: 2 thin 16″ pizza crusts

Ingredients

1 package active dry yeast

1 1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp agave nectar

1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Proof yeast according to package directions.

In a food processor, add both flours, salt, prepared yeast, oil, agave and any remaining water.  Pulse processor to combine all ingredients.  Process until the dough begins to form a ball on the food processor blade.  Remove dough to a large oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Punch down dough and transfer to a floured board.  Knead briefly.  Divide into two portions, forming each portion into round disk about 8 inches in diameter.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

If only making one pie, place second dough ball in plastic wrap inside of a ziplock bag and freeze for later use.

 Remove from refrigerator and bring to room tempurature before proceeding.  On a floured surface, roll and steatch each piece of dougn into a 16″ circle.  Place each circle on a dusted pizza peal or screen and top as desired.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F and bake for 15-18 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown

Ham, Roasted Red Pepper and Black Olive Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust


New Year’s Day Black-Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas

I’m from the South, so it’s just not New Year’s Day if there isn’t a big pot of Black-Eyed Peas on the stove.  Traditionally, Black-Eyed Peas are both a bringer of good luck for the year as well as a great hangover food.  The hardest part of the process is remembering to soak them then night before.  So after you pop that last bottle of bubbly, grab a bag of dried peas and throw them in a bowl to soak.  You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Since I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately, I tried to lighten the whole thing up a bit this year, opting for smoked turkey for flavoring instead of my beloved pork fat.  Feel free to use Ham Hocks or my usual favorite, the left-over Christmas Ham bone.  Bon Appetite!

Ingredients

1 Bag dried black eyed peas.  Rinsed, sorted and soaked overnight.  Drained

2 tbsp Canola Oil

1 Small Onion diced

3 pieces (approx. size of a fist) Smoked Turkey Tails, Necks or Legs

1 tsp kosher salt

Black Pepper to taste

3 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme plus additional sprigs for garnish

Drain peas from soaking liquid and sort to make sure any foreign materials are removed.

Directions

In Large Cast Iron dutch heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion.  Saute until soft.

add drained peas, turkey, black pepper and.  Add water to the pot until peas are covered by at least an inch.  Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.  When pot reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer until peas are soft– two to three hours.  Skim surface of any accumulated fat and discard.

Remove turkey about 30 minutes before serving.  Remove meat from bone and add meat back to peas, discarding bones.

Add a Dash of Hot Sauce if you like it spicy and garnish with thyme sprig. Serve with freshly made cornbread and a salad for the perfect New Year’s Day lunch.

If you are so inclined, tradition says to throw a dime in the pot while cooking.  The person that finds the dime in their bowl is said to have the bet luck for the year.  Personally, I prefer to cook without pocket change and take my chances.

Happy New Year!


Hello world!

I have found myself fascinated recently with food photography and started this blog as a place to post some of my experimentation.