Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Rice Bowl

I've been meaning to make a rice bowl forever. Finally! They are as delicious as whatever is put into them. I used a whole grain, lots of fresh vegetables, and an egg for protein. Gotta love it!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
2 Tbs. torn fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup chopped tomato (I used red and yellow heirloom tomatoes)
1/4 avocado, chopped
5 olives
1 hardboiled egg, peeled and halved
pinch of salt
1 Tbs. balsamic dressing

Directions: Place the brown rice in a bowl. Top with the spinach and basil, then the pepper, tomato, avocado, and olives. Place the egg halves at the edge of the bowl. Sprinkle the pinch of salt over the egg, and drizzle the dressing over the rice bowl.

Serves 1
Stealthy Cooking Tip: Don't like one of the ingredients? No problem. Substitute! I substituted a sliced chicken thigh for the egg, and a variety of peppers for the tomato for one of my picky eaters. Still lots of vegetables, healthy carbs, and enough protein to make this last!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Stir Fried Chicken and Vegetables with Thai Basil

Years ago, my husband and I visited Thailand. One of the most exciting days of our visit was the day spent in a cooking class with the main chef at The Boathouse Inn on Phuket Island. Three students learned Thai cooking techniques under his expert tutelage, then we used our new skills (with the help of several sous chefs) to create a delicious lunch. This recipe is my version of my favorite dish.

Ingredients:

1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. pink peppercorns, coarsely ground
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
3 Thai chilies
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 cup long beans, cut into 1-1/2 inch length
1 can baby corn
1 cup wood ear mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup Thai basil, chopped
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. fish sauce
1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

cooked rice, brown or jasmine

Directions: Think of this dish as a stir fry. Prepare all of the ingredients ahead of time, and have them near the cooking pan. Once started, this dish comes together quickly. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the peppercorns, garlic, chilies, and red pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds, just until the garlic begins to give off a pungent aroma. Add the chicken, cooking for about 2 minutes, until the chicken is browned on both sides. Add the vegetables, along with the chicken stock and just 1/4 cup of the basil, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, and the vegetables are tender. Add the remaining basil, along with the sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and black pepper. Taste for seasoning, correcting by adding more fish sauce (for saltiness) or pepper, if needed. Serve with a side of cooked rice.

Serves 4


Stealthy Cooking Tip: Do make an effort to find Thai basil, as it is more pungent than regular basil. Long beans are longer, though less bean-y tasting than regular green beans. Wood ear mushrooms, are dark mushrooms, with a unique taste. You can find these items at most markets that stock Asian foods. If you can't find them, substitute regular basil for the Thai basil, French haricot verts for the long beans, and shiitake mushrooms for the wood ear mushrooms.  Whatever kind of vegetables and herbs you use, I think you'll enjoy the balance of flavors in this rendition of Thai cooking.