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Monday, January 24, 2011

What's in my lunch box? Week one.

I should be reading for class, but I'd rather be blogging.

Let's talk packed lunches.  I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how sick I am of turkey wraps and apples for lunch.  There is really nothing more blah, and therefore, highly unsatisfying.  I have made it my goal (I guess it could even be a new years resolution) to spice up my lunch menu.  In fact, I will commit to this now:  For the rest of the year, each week I will post "What's is in my lunch box?" with satisfying, nutritionally valuable lunch options.

Pressure is on!

Week one:  Spicy kung pao stir fry (and probably and orange)

This past weekend, I invited a few friends over last minute to have stir fry before we headed to an art showing.  This, however, was no ordinary stir fry;  it was Big Bowl's recipe for spicy kung pao chicken stir fry.  I only ever order one item on Big Bowl's, and that is the stir fry bar with spicy kung pao sauce.  So I searched for the recipe online and found it!  Now you don't need to go to Big Bowl for the best stir fry ever.  You can make it yourself in the comfort of your own home!

This is the only picture I have of the night.  Lame.

Back on track, though.  the stir fry was so delicious on Saturday night that I made it again tonight for dinner, and I will be bringing it in my lunch tomorrow.

A few more great things about this recipe: it is super quick and easy, you can add any of your favorite veggies, and you can make a lot at once to have for leftovers.  Perfect to pack in your lunch box!

So make it for dinner and pack it for lunch.

Spicy kung pao chicken stir fry, modified from Big Bowl's recipe

8 oz chicken breasts, thawed and sliced to desired sized
1 t starch
1 t sesame oil
1/2 C peanut oil
6 dried chilies

For the sauce

2 T garlic black bean sauce
1 T chili paste
1 1/2 T hoisin sauce
1 T vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 T sugar
1/4 C green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C roasted peanuts

Veggies I used for my stir fry

Snow peas
Water Chestnuts
...feel free to add your favorites!

Marinate sliced chicken in starch, sesame oil, and peanut oil for at least 30 minutes. 

While you are waiting, combine bean sauce, chili paste, hoisin sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and garlic.  Mix well.

Heat a large frying pan with a bit of peanut oil, and transfer chicken and marinade on to your hot skillet.  Cook thoroughly.  Remove all but 1/4 C of oil from the frying pan.  Add dried chilies to the skillet, then add the green onions.  I then added my snow peas, broccoli, mushrooms, and water chestnuts to the skillet; let them cook for a second; then poured my sauce over the veggies.

Stir your stir fry, then cover it so that the veggies can cook, removing the lid to stir occasionally.  Once the veggies are cooked, reduce the heat and add your pineapple, peanuts, and cilantro and stir.

Serve with sticky rice or brown rice.

Tonight I did not make chicken, Just veggies.  fried the veggies on a hot skillet with a generous pour of peanut oil.  Cook the veggies for a minute or two, then pour the sauce over the veggies.  I also added a bit of sesame oil to the sauce, only because it is so delicious.

So there you have it.  Stir fry is in my lunch box this week.

Write me comments!  What do you pack in your lunch box?!



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