Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The One Thing I Believe In...

The other morning, my mom, dad, and I were in our normal vortex of coffee, writing, and reading the paper. When there was a swirl. My mom suddenly was on the move. She was in the kitchen with her check book before my dad and I even knew what hit. She was asking questions like, "Do I just make the check out to her?" And she was pretty feverish about it. I had some catching up to do. I had no idea what was going on. "Mom what are you doing?" She is wild-eyed, "I want to donate to this girl. She is doing something great." My dad is yelling from the deck, "Just come out here and finish reading the paper."

I'm saying, "Mom what are you talking about? Who are you donating all of our money too?" She ignores me, "How much is enough." More yelling from my dad encouraging mom to take a deep breath and finish reading the paper. Then she says, "This is the one thing I believe in..." She is desperate now. To which I say, probably not really compassionately, "Really? You only believe in one thing?" And we are laughing about my mom's feverish drive to help. And it makes me stop and think. What is the one thing that I believe in.

And it's easy. I believe in love. I believe also that love can be delivered through food. Food that is nutritiously selected and lovingly prepared. I recently have taken on a client and am teaching her these skills. I know! I can hardly believe my luck too! And she is absolutely wonderful. Together we prepared the Sesame Chicken and Sticky Rice N' Peas. We also made some delicious Seshwan Edemame to snack on or add to salads to replace croutons, or add to pasta salads, etc!

I also believe in swimming in the great adventure that is life and exploring. Exploring with life, love, and lots and lots of different foods. Don't get stuck in a rut, branch out, put on your swimsuit and dive in. Don't worry, the water might not always be warm, but it is refreshing! These recipes were created with love and prepared with skill, heart, and soul. Not only are they good for you, but they are delicious. I am proud of my mom and her convictions as I too have my own "One thing I believe in". What's yours?

Sesame Chicken 

1 pound chicken breast
½ white onion; sliced into long slivers
8 ounces fresh snow peas
1 tbsp. ginger (can be fresh or dried)
2 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. olive oil
Fresh basil; minced
½ cup cashews or your favorite nut

~Cut the chicken into slender bite sized pieces using a sharp knife.

~Optional: Marinade the chicken in a large zip lock bag for a few hours or even overnight. Combine the chicken, soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, ginger, and garlic and shake to coat the chicken.

~Using a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once the pan is hot add the chicken and the marinade juices or the seasonings and oil separately to the pan, depending on if you marinated the meat. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

~Add the white onion slivers and continue to cook over medium heat for another 2-3 minutes. Next add the snow peas and the cashews. Toss to coat with the juices from the chicken for another 2-3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

~Serve with the sliced green onion on top and alongside brown rice or quinoa for a healthy and delicious meal.

Notes: If you have fresh peppers, shredded carrots, bamboo shoots, or another vegetable on hand that you like, feel free to add it in here. This is your recipe and you can do anything you like with it! Make it completely yours!

 Sticky Rice N' Peas

1 cup brown rice (you can use quinoa as well)
2 ½ cups water
1 tsp. sesame oil
Pinch of salt
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup green onions; diced

~In a large sauce pan combine water, sesame oil, salt, and rice. Heat over medium heat until the mixture has come to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

~Remove from heat and add frozen peas and green onions. Toss and fluff with a fork. Cover for an additional 2 minutes to heat peas through.

Note: You can also add curry or cumin to this rice, in addition to bamboo shoots or any other vegetable that you like to make this rice yours and personalize with your favorite flavors!

Health Benefits to Brown Rice:
  1. Provides all necessary carbohydrates requirements.
  2. Rich in fibers.
  3. Helps control blood sugar.
  4. Helps control cholesterol.
  5. It is a body building food.
  6. Beneficial for stomach and intestinal ulcers and for diarrhea. It is easily digested starch food.
  7. Because of the mineral content, it supplies important nutrient for the hair, teeth, nails, muscles, and bones.

 Edible Seshwan Edamame

Health Note From a Hot Mess: Edamame is an excellent source of low-calorie protein; a half-cup of these young beans has eleven grams of protein and is one of the few vegetarian protein sources that have all nine of the essential amino acids the body can’t make. The fat in edamame is the heart-healthy kind, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Plus, they’re a caloric bargain at only125 calories!

The isoflavones found in edamame and other soy products can help to lower the risk of heart disease and may also lower blood cholesterol levels. When edamame is used as a protein source in place of meat, the cardiovascular benefits are further enhanced. Edamame is also a good source of folate and vitamin K which are important for heart health.

1 pound frozen edemame
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. fresh ginger
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
½ tsp. kosher salt

~Heat a large sauce pan filled with water until it reaches a rolling boil. Add the frozen edemame to the pot and boil for 6 minutes. They will be crisp, yet tender.

~Drain water and add the remaining ingredients tossing the beans to coat with the oils and seasonings.

~Cook for another 2-3 minutes so the flavors have a chance to marry together.

~Serve sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds if desired. Can be served hot or cold as a snack or a side dish!

Mental Health Benefit: These recipes are basic and the fun part about them is that you can add your own favorites. Your favorite veggies and nuts. Make this meal what you and your family love! After all food is love. So why not make it exactly what you want and create the best meal for you!

Wishing you love and health today and every day!
~ "Too Lovely" Hot Messes in the kitchen

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