Thursday, January 8, 2009

Not So Fat Fridays - Chicken with Asparagus & Pistachios

I've been on a little detox since Monday. No alcohol & no coffee. Not one sip, not one drip. And this is coming from someone who likes their sips & drips. It was time to give myself a little challenge so when my best friend Tammy told me she was doing it I thought I would go right along for a little buddy system.

This kind of thing works for me because I stick with it. And it clears my head. Thank goodness I started Monday because by the time I got laid off my mind was already in the right place & I was able to handle it better! So, all week I have been using my biggest wine glass & filling it with either milk or lemon lime seltzer water. This is what I did when I was pregnant & it really works. 

So, to stay with the theme of health & wellth, here is my 1st Not So Fat Friday special. I combined two recipes I have been making for quite some time. So simple, just keep with the process of the sauce & you can make so many variations of this using whatever meat or veggies you like.

1 can low sodium chicken broth
2 tblsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tblsp hoisin sauce
1 tblsp chili garlic sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp - 1 tblsp crushed red pepper (depending on your heat preference)
2 tblsp sesame oil
1 lb fresh asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup shelled pistachios (or cashews)
Cooked whole grain brown rice

In a small bowl combine 3/4 cup chicken broth, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce, 2 tsp cornstarch & crushed red pepper. Set aside.

Heat 1 tblsp sesame oil in large skillet. Add asparagus & cook for 5 minutes. Add onion & cook for a few more minutes until transparent. Transfer to plate. Heat additional tblsp sesame oil in pan. Add chicken & cook until just about done. Add asparagus & onion mixture back into the pan with the chicken. Add the chicken broth mixture & cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Serve over whole grain brown rice & garnish with pistachios.

My Thoughts:

The value of this dish, other than it being healthy, is the easy sauce that gets put together in minutes & then thickens at the very end, bringing it all together. Sometimes, if I want to omit the hoisin or chili garlic sauce to reduce the sugar or sodium, I just use a bunch of spices like ginger & garlic & crushed red pepper, maybe some rice wine vinegar. The idea is to have enough liquid like the chicken broth along with the cornstarch. From there, add in what you like & you can't go wrong. Set the sauce aside & throw it in at the end.

If your pan gets dry as you're cooking the veggies or the chicken, just add some chicken broth, water or white wine. This gives a nice steaming effect & also brings up any little pan bits at the bottom without having to add additional oil. If you don't like pistachios, try cashews.

If you don't have sesame oil, you can use vegetable or olive oil. I also cook my rice in half vegetable broth & half chicken broth for added flavor so that I don't have to douse it with butter. You can substitute the asparagus with any veggie such as snow pea pods or green & red pepper.


Ace C said...

That looks pretty good. I have to ask does your kid participate and the eating of some of these meals? I also left you shoutout on the blog for you too.

jewelstreet said...

Looks yummy. One question. Can I forgo the onion? My daughter won't eat onions. Don't know what she has against them. If not, maybe she can just pick them out. lol.

Off to print the recipe.

sassy stephanie said...

Oh yum. I would never think of a flavor combo like that. Sounds delish. Love pistachios.

Jessica said...

This looks yummy! It's so great to find recipes that you can modify easily. I'll have to give this a try and let you know how it goes. Mmmmm!

Tam said...

YOU said the H word...Healthy! Something I need to work on big time. Hey I am glad to here that you are doing good and your mind was in the right place after that news!

Rachael said...

that isn't something i would ever think of putting together myself, but it sounds yummy!

Kacey R. said...

I'm really HUNGRY now. I'm digging this...I need a printer so I can print all of your fab recipes. ;o)I hope you enjoy your date night tonight my dear. I'm thinking of you! {{HUGS}}

Kristina P. said...

I love asparagus and pistachios! This sounds awesome!

HeatherY said...

Looks really good! I love wine too and have given it up as well recently (not for good of course). I actually put cranberry juice or mandarin sparkling water in a martini glass for a little treat the other day!

Bre said...

Wow, this looks delish ! You just keep coming up with better and better recipes !
...sorry to here you got laid off ...but then I read that you weren't totally dissapointed. But I do hope you find a job you like better ! Good luck job hunting!
....I made the mistake of saying that the recession hadn't touched us and BINGO - my hubby got laid off! least it's only temporary. He'll go back in April.


Pumpkin Delight said...

I love pistachios. This looks delicious. I'm going to print it out right now!

Angela said...

Looks great girlfriend! I am so excited that you shared your idea for getting out of the habit of drinking wine while cooking, etc. I need to do that anyway this spring as we'll be "trying," so that should help a lot! I love the lemon-lime seltzer idea. Thanks for giving me a boost in that direction! :-) I think just having it in a wineglass will trick my mind into feeling pampered even without the alcohol.

Texas Mom said...

This looks incredibly, incredibly delicious! YUM! I haven't even had breakfast yet, and here I'm drooling over dinner! ;-)

angie said...

Yummy......the dessert looks delicious too! COngrats on the shout out from Tiffany and Heather on Tip Junkie! You DO have the best recipes!

Sweet Pea Chef said...

This looks amazing. How cool to use pistachios instead of the typical stir-fry nuts. Very cool.

Life with Kaishon said...

I am printing it out right this second! It looks terrific! Good luck with your no coffee and wine break! I really love coffee. One of my favorite donut shops has it on sale this week for 44 no matter what size you buy. Isn't that a steal : )

Michelle said...

Oh yummy! This sounds delicious! I love how you explain things so well.
Great job on your detox! You are a good friend!

Chef Chuck said...

Yumm, What a great blend!