Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Generally Gloomy

Lunch: Sloppy Joes, French Fries and Apples and Oranges
Dinner: Russian Chicken, Buttered Noodles and Peas

It’s cold and raining again. It has been dark and dreary all day; I suppose it could be worse, I could live up North where they’re getting dumped on with snow. It’s hard to remember 20 inches in a night. I vaguely remember blizzards. I do remember getting stuck at a friend’s house after a surprise snow storm and having to stand at outside at the bottom of the hill waiting for my dad to come and rescue me. I can also remember the blisters on my hands after having to dig out the driveway. Snow is deceptively heavy. While part of me has snow day envy and misses sledding and snowball fights. I do not envy freezing cold blizzards that knock out power and prevent you from going anywhere. I also would not like to imagine trying to catch the bus in blowing snow. I’ve had to do that before… it’s not fun. Snow is also deceptively sharp.

Speaking of the bus, there seems to be a rise of Chatty Cathy’s lately. I was sitting in front of a woman this morning who was chatting loudly on her cell phone. She was describing in great detail her recent weight gain and botched perm. I couldn’t help it, I had to sneak a peek at her. She did rather resemble a chubby poodle which makes me feel bad for thinking. But, I never would have even noticed her if she hadn’t practically announced it to everyone. Currently the person behind me is having an in-depth conversation on the phone about horses. I really don’t want to listen in. I’m wearing headphones and am listening to some Norah Jones (fitting for such a rainy day), but I can still hear here over the music. I did see someone riding a horse through the center of town one night on their cell phone. It was quite possibly one of the most bizarre things I’d ever seen.

Because I’ve already given you guys my recipes for sloppy joes and Russian chicken, I thought I might share a recipe that Tyler and I made last night. It’s for a less fattening General Tso’s Chicken. General Tso’s chicken is one of my favorite Chinese food dishes. But the deep fried chicken bits in a sugar-filled sauce are simply not on the diet plan. Tyler also loves Chinese food, so we made this and he loved it. The chicken is crisp and the sauce is sweet and spicy and it really does satisfy a craving for the real General’s chicken. Tyler even liked the snow peas.

General Tso’s Chicken
Serves 4

¼ cup Cornstarch
½ lb Snow Peas
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Ginger
3 tbs Brown Sugar
2 tbs Soy Sauce
½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 Egg Whites
Salt and Pepper
1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbs Vegetable Oil
½ cup Water

In a bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and ½ Water; add in snow peas, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, soy sauce and Snow Peas.

In another bowl, combine remaining 3 tbs of cornstarch, egg whites, salt and pepper. Coat chicken in mixture. In a large skillet heat 1 tbs of oil over med-high heat. Add half of chicken mixture to the skillet and cook until golden brown and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken and set aside when cooked through. Add snow pea mixture and cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens. Add chicken and stir to coat. Serve over brown rice.

Note: Tyler likes veggies so crisp they’re practically raw. If you would like yours a little softer, after you dump the sauce and snow peas in the pan, you may want to cover it and allow it to cook a little longer.

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