{quick-easy-goodforyou} chicken tender stir fry

to make this dish you can use any vegetables you have available or prefer. mushrooms, celery, broccoli, cabbage, and japanese eggplants all work very well.  today i happened to have red bell peppers and zucchinis-onions are always a good addition. when i was writing down the ingredients for this (really easy) dish i realized how hard it is for me to put down precise amounts (or measurements) for my recipes-i typically eyeball most of the ingredients-then adjust, add, subtract, and revise as i go (and tasting is essential). this method tends to work for me most of the time but lets me down often when i (attempt to) bake. this stir fry is the type of dish that allows you to play a little-add a bit more of this and a little less of that, substitute one herb for another- – -have fun with it, and make sure to taste as you go. enjoy. the cooking should really be at least as much fun as the eating!

{basic} ingredients for 2-3 servings:

  • a WOK
  • 10-12 organic chicken tenders-cut in 4 or 5 pieces each
  • 2 garlic cloves-finely chopped (minced)
  • a sliver of fresh ginger-finely chopped (minced)
  • 1 onion-cubed
  • 1 organic red bell pepper-cubed
  • 2 zucchinis-cubed
  • 1-2 tbs coconut (organic unrefined) oil or other vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1 tbs coconut meal/flour (or corn starch)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil 
  • cilantro leaves for garnish

*for the marinade combine: minced garlic & minced fresh ginger,  sesame oil, soy sauce, coconut meal/flour (or corn starch) & red pepper flakes (for spicy)*
marinate cut chicken with garlic, ginger, soy sauce (or braggs liquid aminos), red pepper flakes, sesame oil, and coconut meal (or corn starch), and ideally let it rest for about 15-20 minutes-heat 1/2 of the coconut oil in the wok, then add chicken and stir fry until chicken is fully cooked, stirring constantly. add some cracked black pepper if you’d like, then remove from heat and put aside in a bowl.

heat the remaining oil in the wok (do not rinse out or wash), then add the cubed (to about the same size) vegetables, a dash of soy sauce if needed, then stir fry for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are just tender.
add the chicken back to the wok with the vegetables and stir fry together for another minute or two (if it seems too dry you can add a few tablespoons of chicken broth) add some cilantro leaves to the wok and quickly combine everything together before serving. top with a few more fresh cilantro leaves. sprinkle with sesame seeds. serve with brown or jasmine rice. y-u-m!
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vegetarian quinoa and lentil patties or “cutlets”

vegetarian quinoa and lentil patties

growing up, when my mom asked us what we’d like to eat for dinner, i’d often request “kotlet” -or the persian version of a meat and potato cutlet flavored with onions, turmeric, cinnamon, and parsley without a moment’s hesitation. the “kotlet” is almost tastier cold or at room temperature than hot, and travels well-which is probably why i always associate it with traveling and the family road trips we used to take (bringing along delicious kotlet sandwiches wrapped in flatbread with crunchy dill pickles, chopped parsley, and tomato slices). here, i’ve taken the traditional persian cutlets ( see kotlet recipe ) and given them a lighter vegetarian twist. you can also coat these in breadcrumbs for added crunch, but i didn’t this time, and as you can see, they turned out beautifully. to make these delicious healthy “cutlets” (or burgers) you will need:

  • 1 cup small green lentils
  • 1 cup mung beans
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 large organic eggs
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1 small bunch basil
  • 1 small bunch chives
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo bean (or organic whole wheat) flour
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tsps turmeric
  • 1-2 tsps cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp organic unrefined coconut oil
quinoa patties or cutlets

1. cook the mung beans and lentils together in about 3 cups salted water until tender, drain, set aside (this also freezes well for later use).
2. cook quinoa in about 1 and 1/4 to 1/2 cups of water for about 15 minutes (should have none or very little liquid left), drain and set aside.
3. finely chop the herbs, then finely cube the 1/2 onion. fry the onion with 1-2 tsp of coconut oil and the turmeric until tender, and let it cool.
4. combine all of the above (in a bowl), including the sea salt & pepper (keep in mind the beans and quinoa were salted), cinnamon, three large organic eggs, chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour, and mix well, creating a “paste”.  5. fry the patties by spooning spoonfuls of the “paste” on to a skillet with a tbs of coconut oil, and slightly flattening the top with the back of your spoon and frying about 2-3 minutes on each side (medium heat). you can also use your hands to make little balls that you flatten between your palms. if you want to serve the patties in buns use a larger spoon and use more paste to make a bigger patty. i served them with basil and tomato slices and a nice salad on the side-it was a good for you delicious meal!

{here is the link to my post on traditional beef & potato kotlet}

vegetarian cutlets or kotlet
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