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Here’s the ingredients for our stir fry dinner tonight.

Chicken breasts chopped into bite size pieces

Baby bok choy and sliced red bell pepper

Green garlic, chopped scallions, fresh basil, fresh cilantro, lime

broccoli rabe

threw in some pea shoots (these are DELICIOUS!)

The finished product – thanks to Wallingford Locker’s chicken and Evening Song Farm’s veggies……..served over jasmine rice. Yum.

I truly think that some of the best dinners I cook are those that are literally pulled from the fridge with whatever ingredients I have on hand. The picture above is a tofu stir fry that was part of last night’s dinner. I am partial to tofu in a stir fry and the rest of the family…well not so much. Complicating this is the fact that youngest son is allergic to sesame, so addition of sesame oil (which I also happen to like) is a big no-no on anything that he is eating. Hence, we are usually a two dinner family.

The “other” dinner I made last night was a chicken stir fry with broccoli and snow peas. Simple and quite tasty. For both recipes I put the protein into cornstarch and coated it before cooking – for the tofu that enabled it to be crunchy on the outside while still soft on the inside – for the chicken it gave it a nice moist taste.

Basically I pulled whatever I had in the way of fresh veggies out and you can do the same, but here’s the recipe for these particular recipes:

TOFU STIR FRY

1 container of extra firm tofu- drained on towel and cut into one inch cubes.

3 scallions chopped into 1 inch pieces

1/2 large onion, sliced thinly

2 carrots sliced thinly on the diagonal

1/2 large red bell pepper sliced into thin strips

handful of snow peas, chopped in half

handful of broccoli florets

chicken broth 2 cups

low sodium soy sauce 3 tablespoons

1/4 cup cornstarch

2 t. sesame oil

vegetable oil for sauteing (about 2 T.)

1. Dredge cubed tofu in cornstarch (about 1/4 cup total) until all sides are covered. Heat vegetable oil in frying pan or wok and add tofu, let cook on one side for about 5 minutes (or if you’re like me until the smoke detector goes off) and then flip so all sides are browned nicely. Remove from pan.

2. Add all vegetables and stir fry for about 5 minutes until vegetables are cooked enough for your taste.

3. Add sesame oil, chicken broth mixed with remaining cornstarch and soy sauce.

4. Bring to a boil so it thickens and then serve with jasmine or brown rice.

CHICKEN STIR FRY

3 boneless chicken breasts sliced into 1/4 inch slices

2 large broccoli crowns cut into florets (bite size)

1/2 pound of snow peas sliced in thirds

2 c. chicken broth

3 T low sodium soy sauce

1/4 c. cornstarch

vegetable oil for sauteing (about 2 T)

1. Dip slices of chicken into cornstarch to coat. Put oil into frying pan and heat, add chicken – cook until browned.

2. Steam broccoli florets in microwave with 1/2 c. water covered for 2 minutes to par-cook.

3. Drain broccoli and add it to pan along with snow peas. Stir fry until vegetables are cooked to your liking, about 5-8 minutes.

4. Mix chicken broth with remaining cornstarch. Add soy sauce and mix well. Add to pan and bring to a boil to thicken.

Serve with white or jasmine rice.

Baby, it’s been pretty darn cold outside. Last evening’s soccer game, the sidelines looked more like an advertisement for a ski commercial than soccer. Parents, siblings and friends, myself included, were bundled with hats, gloves, fleece, jackets, blankets, you name it – ’cause it was darn cold out. Literally Tim and the other players were numb, so cold. Needless to say, we made a sidetrip to Dick’s on the way home to grab some warm X-Armor underclothing to wear under soccer jerseys since the weather forecast is not getting any warmer.

Soup has been a pretty consistent staple here at the T’s both because it’s warm and because it’s an easy to prepare ahead of time and eat as a quick dinner. We have been running, running, running, all week and the next couple weeks aren’t really looking too much better.

An easy, quick dinner is roasted chicken soup with leftover chicken. We had a roasted chicken on Sunday and I took the carcass, threw it in the oven and roasted it for about an hour and a half. When it comes out it looks something like this:

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Add the roasted chicken, roughly chopped celery, onion and carrot to the pot of cold water. I put all of this in my pasta insert to make straining of the bones much easier. DO NOT BOIL! Bring to a gentle simmer and let it cook for an hour or two. Boiling will turn the stock cloudy. After it has cooked, strain it all out and put in chopped onion, celery and carrots. I also put in chopped chicken breast meat at this point. Raw or cooked, whichever I happen to have on hand. Parsley, salt and pepper.

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I divide the soup in half since we are a divided house – some like dumplings with their soup, some like noodles.

Here’s the finished product!

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What’s a girl to do when she has to do dinner, pronto? Open the fridge, dig out the leftover taco meat and whoa-la – Taco Casserole! It was a hit with the boys and tasted pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

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For those that care – here’s the recipe:

  • Taco meat – about 1 pound cooked and seasoned
  • crushed tortillas or leftover taco shells
  • shredded cheese
  • sliced black olives
  • diced tomatoes
  • shredded lettuce
  • salsa

1. Spread taco meat into casserole dish. I pre-heated the leftover taco meat in the microwave since I was pressed for time.

2. Spread with black olives and diced tomatoes.

3. Cover with crushed tortillas or taco shells.

4. Spread about 1 cup of shredded cheese over that.

5. Place in 400 degree preheated oven for about 15 minutes.

6. Remove from oven, spread shredded lettuce and salsa over top.

7. Enjoy!

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