I like to save. Some might call me a pack rat, obsessive compulsive washer-outer. I save glass jars, plastic bags, Tupperware, vegetable cuttings for stock, leftovers, notes, envelopes, clothes, books, and when I can, money. You just never know when you might be able to re-use that empty marmalade jar for a homemade vinaigrette or when I might want to re-read that note my Mom tucked into a package for me when I was away at summer camp in 1997. I also love to multi-task, and when I can save time it’s a greater high than any drug could ever muster. I’m serious. I have a four-month old baby. Time to myself has a whole different meaning.
The wonderful Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller once gave over a great piece of advice. She said: it takes the same amount of time to cook ten chickens as it does to cook one. To the busy Moms and Dads and workaholics out there, double your recipes. Triple them. And for the love of G-d, buy some Tupperware and Ziplock bags and use your freezer. It has quite literally saved my life. With RA you never know when you are going to have a really, really bad day, and it’s pretty nice to pull out a ready-made meal.
I recently discovered that a little protein and some veggies go a long way. At the beginning of the week I prepare a big batch of four boneless skin less chicken breasts, and a few large colorful peppers and onions (Cut up chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Saute with a little oil. Dice up peppers and onions. Saute with a little oil until tender. Done!) I split the finished product into three plastic containers, freeze two and keep one out for dinner. The majority of my prep work is now done for three nights. Throw the rest of the ingredients together and you have dinner. What’s on the menu for tonight?
Asian Noodle Stir Fry
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes tops
Feeds 2 very hungry adults or 4 normal humans
1/3 of your cooked chicken, peppers and onions (If making this dish alone, this is about 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 large pepper, chopped. Saute in a little oil until cooked)
1/2 cup frozen or fresh green beans, or whatever vegetables you have on hand
1 package Asian egg noodles, or even spaghetti works here
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce or honey
1 tsp sesame oil
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tablespoons canola oil
1-2 sliced green onions (optional)
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
Cook noodles according to package. I immerse them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and toss with a little bit of canola oil to avoid sticking. Set aside. If using frozen vegetables, allow them to thaw slightly in a strainer. Combine soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, sesame oil, sweet chili sauce, minced garlic, ground ginger, and red pepper flakes. Whisk together and set aside. Heat a large wok or pan over high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of canola oil and add your thawed vegetables, stirring and cooking for 2 minutes. Add cooked chicken, peppers and onions and cook for another 2 minutes or so until everything is heated through. Add cooked egg noodles and sauce, combining everything together. Optional: serve garnished with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
Check back soon for Chicken & Peppers version 2.0!