Broccoli & Pork Stir Fry

Hello there– Do you hit nights that you just don’t want to summon up a dinner??  Me too. Happy for us last night was 99 cent Taco Tuesday!!

But if you do want to put dinner  on the table, here’s a meal that you can cook up in the time it takes your brown rice to cook up.  Set the rice on to simmer and start dropping stir fry ingredients into a skillet.  Quick & Easy.

1 cup brown (or white) rice
1 pound thin pork cutlets, sliced to bite sized strips
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 small heads of broccoli
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
ganish:  2 sliced green onions

1/2 cup water
2 tab. soy sauce
3 tab. brown sugar
1 tab. constarch
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Thai chili sauce (optional)

Cook the rice according to the directions on the package.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet (or wok).  Cook the pork on high for just 3 or 4 minutes until it is browned, but still tender.  Salt and pepper the meat while it cooks.  Remove it from the skillet.

Chop the broccoli to bite sized bits and cook it in the microwave for 3 or 4 minutes in a bit of salted water, until it is tender, but not mushy.

In the same skilled at add the carrots and cook for 4 minutes until they start to get soft.  Add in the red pepper and cook just 1 minute more.

Then shake together all the sauce ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until it is all blended.  Add it to the carrots in the skillet and stir on medium heat a couple minutes until it thickens.  Add in the meat and broccoli and stir to cover it all with sauce.

Layer the rice and then the sauce & stir fry on a pretty platter.  Garnish with chopped green pepper.  Eat it up nice and hot!


Almond Plum & Chicken Stir Fry

IMG_0751Hi all– As a kid, I remember going out to my Grandma Rose’s backyard.  Her tiny house was on a big lot, planted with corn and sunflowers, rhubarb and a grape arbor,  and fruit trees, several fruit trees, including plums.  We’d go out and feed her chickens and pull from ripe fruit from the trees.  I wish I could do that with her again…

So in honor of luscious summer plums, here’s a plum-y chicken stir fry, that’s fast and fresh. No oven involved.  Good for summer cooking…

2 large chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
1 1/2  cups rice
splash olive oil
2 purple plums, pitted & sliced
3 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup whole roasted almonds, cut in half
1 cup water
3 tab. soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tab. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced

Cut the chicken breasts into nice polite chunks and brown them in a hot pan with olive oil. Meanwhile, put the rice on to cook, according to the directions on the package*

When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan.

In a container with a tight fitting lid, combine the water, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger and garlic.  Shake it all well, until it’s thoroughly blended.

Pour the soy sauce mixture into the hot pan over medium heat and stir it with the drippings from the chicken for a minute or two until it thickens into a pretty sauce.

Then add back in the chicken, plums and 2/3 of the chopped green onions. Let it simmer a couple minutes to meld the flavors and soften the plums just a bit.  Then stir in the almonds.

When the rice is done cooking, spread it onto a large platter and top with the chicken and plum stir fry.  Top with the remaining green onions.  Fast and fresh– summer eating.

Summer Squash Stir Fry

IMG_9722Hello all–  Do have a couple simple old friendly recipes you rely on when you want a quick easy dinner (read–you don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen)  and that you know everyone will enjoy?  At our house that’s fajitas or spaghetti…  And this quick stir fry sauce that pretty much goes with anything you throw into the pan.

So I was wandering into the market, wondering what to fix for dinner when I saw these cunning tiny sunburst summer squash.  I grabbed them along with some pea pods and set out for home to make this simple dinner– about 20 minutes and it’s on the table.

2 cups rice
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
splash olive oil
1 1/2 cups pea pods, ends trimmed, cut in half
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into disks
7 ot 8 small sunburst summer squash, cut into chunks.
1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut to small bits
1 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
5 tab. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
4 cloves, garlic, minced
2 tab. cornstarch

IMG_9719Put the rice on to cook according to the package instructions.*

Cut the chicken into smallish bite size pieces.  Heat a skillet with a splash of olive oil.  When it’s hot, throw in the chicken.  Cook til it’s browned and cooked through and remove it from the pan.

In the same pan (leave the chicken juices)– cook the carrot for 3 or 4 minutes.  Then add in the pea pods and squash and cook 3 minutes more.  Then stir in the red pepper to cook another minute or so.  Put the chicken back in with the veggies.

In a container with a tight lid, shake together the water, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cornstarch.  Pour it into the hot pan over the chicken and veggies and stir until it thickens, just a couple minutes.

Spread the cooked rice on an ample platter and to it with the stir fried chicken and veggies.  That’s it.  Time to eat!

*I just use the standard bagged rice–  2 cups rice, 4 cups water, 1 tsp. salt and simmer it on low, low for 10 minutes.  When it’s done, turn off the heat and leave the lid on the pan and it will steam and stay hot for a long time.


Pork with Peppers

IMG_4598Hello all–  When I make it over to Sprouts to shop, it’s hard to resist those piles of colorful bell peppers.  They practically “give them away” compared to my normal grocers (The problem with being “old” is that you remember when peppers were 15 cents each!).  So sweet and bright, I just can’t pass them by.  SO-here’s my chance to use all those pretty peppers, in a quick-fixing week night dinner.

2 cups brown rice
1 tsp. salt
1 pound pork loin chops
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 cups bell pepper, mix of green, red, orange & yellow, cut in strips
1/4 cup sliced red onion
a couple shakes of garlic salt
1 cup water
14 cup soy sauce
3 tab. brown sugar
1 tab. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. grated ginger
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup green onion, sliced

Put the brown rice on to a low simmer with the salt and 2 1/2 cups of water.  Cook 30 to 40 minutes until it is tender*.

Cut the pork into nice little bite size pieces.  Heat the oil in the pan on high and drop in the pork.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Cook just 4 or 5 minute until it is browned around the edges.  Remove it from the pan.

In the pork drippings stir the bell pepper pieces and onion just 2 or 3 minutes until they soften, but not long enough for them to lose their color. Give them a touch of garlic salt while they’re cooking.  Remove them from the pan too.

In a container with a lid, shake together the water, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger and garlic.  When it’s well blended pour it all into the skillet with the residue from the pork and peppers.  Stir until it thickens, just a couple minutes.

Mix in the pork, the cooked peppers and the green onion in with the sauce.  Warm it all up again on medium heat just a minute or two.  Scoop the rice onto a pretty platter and top it with the pork and peppers.  Pass out the chop sticks and eat!

*Or used white rice– Decrease the water to 2 cups.  Plus 1 tsp. salt and simmer for just 10 minutes.

Chinese Eggplant with Pork & Rice

IMG_4426Hi friends– I’d love to tell you that I unearthed this authentic recipe from a small Chinese restaurant with a age old wok and a little granny cooking amid clouds of fragrant rising steam.  But it wouldn’t be true.  It’s just an old tried and true stir fry favorite.  But I’m sure though, if a Chinese granny happened this way, she’d say it was tasty!  I think you’d like it too…

1 cup rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tab. lime juice
2 tab. soy sauce
1-2 tsp. Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tab. brown sugar
2 large-ish Chinese eggplants, cut into nice chunks
4 tab. olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, chopped to bits
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Cook the rice with 2 cups of water and the salt in a pan with the lid closed.  Simmer 10 minutes on low from the time it starts to bubble.  Turn off the heat and let it sit with the lid on.

Put the pork on to cook in a large nonstick skillet.  Chop it to small bits as it heats up.  While that’s cooking up, mix the chicken broth, lime juice, soy sauce, chili sauce and brown sugar together in a container with a lid.  When the meat is browned, spoon in 3 tab. of the broth mixture over the meat the keep heating a couple minutes until it coats the meat and evaporates.

Take the pork out of the skillet and reserve it.  Stir fry the eggplant in the skillet coated with olive oil for about 3 minutes.  Then add in the onion and continue cooking until the eggplant is browned around the edges and the onion is caramelized.

Add the cornstarch to the chicken broth mixture.  Put on the lid and shake it together until the cornstarch dissolves into the liquid. Then pour this over the eggplant. Add the pork back into the pan and stir a minute on high until the sauce thickens.  Mix in the chopped cilantro and serve it up over rice on a platter.

Makes 3 to 4 yummy servings.  Enjoy!

Honey Sesame Chicken

IMG_9926Hi friends–  Here’s yet another week night chicken dinner.  I guess you’d call it one of those staples, you pull out for quiet evenings at home– a little spice, a little sweetness and the homey combination of chicken and brown rice.

1 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut to nice bits
2 tab. olive oil
garlic salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup tomato paste**
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tab. olive oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes*
1/3 cup water
1 tab. cornstarch
1 tab. sesame seeds
3 green onions, green parts, chopped

IMG_9937Cook the rice according to the package directions.  While that’s going, brown the onion in olive oil and then add in the cut chicken and cook it stirring now and then until it’s cooked through– about 8 to 10 minutes.  Salt it with garlic salt while it’s cooking.  In a container with a tight fitting lid, put the garlic, honey, tomato paste, soy sauce, 2 tab. olive oil, red pepper flakes, water and cornstarch.  Shake it until it’s well blended and then spoon it over the chicken.  Cook on high heat stirring until it thickens– just a couple minutes.

To serve it up, spread the rice on a pretty platter and then spoon the honey chicken over the top.  Garnish with the green onion and sesame seeds.  I think you’ll like it.  We did.

*1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes is mildly spicy, if you’re a spice wimp (I would fall in that camp), you could start with less and work your way up to even more spicy.
** If you don’t have tomato paste on hand, the recipe I worked from called for ketchup.  That would work well too.

Plum and Pork Stir Fry

Hey there–  I’m looking forward to some real Chinese food next week.  Larry and I are traveling to see our kids in Shanghai.  Our daughter-in-law Jodi is magic with her wok.  But in the meantime we enjoyed this simple stir fry to practice our chopstick skills!  Sweet, tart plums play well against the savory pork.  Hope you try it…

4 boneless pork cutlets
2 tab. olive oil
2 ripe plums, cut into small slices
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup water
2 tab. soy sauce
3 tab. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ginger (chopped or powdered)
1 tab. cornstarch
1 1/2 cup brown rice (or white*)
3/4 tsp. salt

Put the brown rice, salt and 3 cups water into a pan with the lid on.  Simmer on low for 25 to 30 minutes until the rice is soft.  Meanwhile cut the pork into small chunks.  Then brown it with the oil in a hot non stick pan.  When the meat is browned and cooked through, drop in the peppers and cook 2 minutes while you stir.  Finally add in the plums.

In a container with a tight lid shake the 1/2 cup water, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and cornstarch until it is all thoroughly combined.  Stir it into the hot pan of meat and plums until it thickens and makes a lovely brown sauce.

Spread the rice on a platter and pour the pork & plum mixture over the top.  Pass out the chopsticks and dig in!

*White rice only needs to simmer 10 minutes.