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Yesterday, I read an article about spring cleaning your diet, which inspired me to make stir fry last night.  As you know, I typically make healthy meals but this one is a nutrition powerhouse, and will be sure to “clean up” your diet quickly, any night of the week. 

Quinoa is packed with vitamins, minerals, and is the only complete protein from a plant source.  Not a fan of quinoa…go ahead and sub brown rice.  One serving of stir fry contains 37g protein – if using quinoa.  Easily make into a vegetarian meal by omitting chicken and adding more vegetables. Gluten, wheat and dairy free meal as well (using wheat-free tamari soy sauce).

With yummy, crisp vegetables and garlic stir fry sauce, it will satisfy the biggest appetite, without leaving you feeling weighed down.  No need for a snack later at night….instead of zoning out on the couch you’ll probably want to run around the block a few times!

serves 4

        • 1 cup QUINOA OR BROWN RICE, dry
Chicken and marinade:
          • 1/2 FRESH LIME, juiced
          • 3 tbsp SOY SAUCE, LOWER SODIUM*
          • 1 tbsp PURE OR RAW HONEY
          • 2 tsp SESAME OR OLIVE OIL
          • 1 lb CHICKEN BREASTS, boneless, skinless
        • 12 oz BROCCOLI FLOWERETS
        • 12 medium BABY CARROTS, quartered
        • 8 oz FRESH SLICED MUSHROOMS, chopped
        • 1/2 medium ONION, sliced
        • 8 oz WATER CHESTNUT, SLICED, chopped (1 can)
Stir Fry Sauce:
          • 5 cloves GARLIC, minced (or 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
          • 1 tbsp GINGER, minced (or 2 tsp dried ground ginger)
          • 2 tbsp SOY SAUCE, LOWER SODIUM*
          • 1 tbsp PURE OR RAW HONEY
          • 1/2 FRESH LIME, juiced
          • 1 1/2 tsp CORNSTARCH*
          • 2 tbsp WARM WATER
  • 4 tbsp ALMOND, slivered
  • 2 tbsp FRESH CILANTRO, (optional garnish)

*GLUTEN/WHEAT FREE OPTION – use wheat-free reduced sodium Tamari soy sauce, gluten free chicken broth (or just water), and GF cornstarch (most are just check ingredients).

Time saving tip: when a recipe calls for half an onion, chop or slice the other half and refrigerate or freeze.

1. If using quinoa rinse in a mesh strainer; place in a medium saucepan with chicken broth, stir and bring to a boil (with brown rice follow package directions substituting chicken broth for water). Continue cooking on medium for 15 minutes. Stir again, cover and remove from heat. Let set for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork.

2. While quinoa is cooking, marinate chicken in a plastic bag with 3 T. soy sauce, 1 T. honey and 1/2 lime juiced. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

3. Cut carrots (I like baby carrots because they are no peel and cut into nice little julienned pieces without all the work – always in my fridge too),

mushrooms, onion and water chestnuts. Microwave broccoli for a few minutes to unthaw. Set all vegetables aside.

4. Whisk together stir fry sauce: minced garlic, ginger, 2 T. soy sauce, water, corn starch, 1/2 lime juiced, and 1 T. honey. Set aside.

5. Remove chicken from marinade and cut chicken into chunks (note: don’t use a wooden cutting board to cut poultry). In a cooking sprayed, large skillet or wok pan, brown chicken in 2 tsp oil, until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Spray the same skillet and saute all vegetables just until tender crisp, 4-5 minutes.

6. Add cooked chicken back in with vegetables and pour sauce over. Stir (add crushed red pepper if using) and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve stir fry over quinoa, top with slivered almonds and garnish of fresh cilantro, if desired.  Round out the meal with my homemade egg rolls, under the appetizer tab.

Serving size: 3/4 cup cooked quinoa, 2 cups stir fry with 1 T. slivered almonds.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (listed above): 410 calories, 9g fat, 55mg cholesterol, 900mg sodium, 48g carb, 6g fiber, 9g sugar, 37g protein

VARIATIONS: use any vegetables or lean meat substitutions; sliced red pepper, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, asparagus, or sliced lean sirloin  or tenderloin steak.

Spring Cleaning? …………

On a side note….I tried doing some spring cleaning yesterday and it ended up being more spring redecorating….oops. 

Love cooking – strongly dislike cleaning.

Vase directions (Starbuck’s frappuccino container) are under my house projects tab, flowers are from IKEA and the place mat from Pier 1.