Quarantine Cooking

by Meredith Antunez March 25, 2020

Quarantine Cooking

Well, these are some wild times.  Day Who Knows of How Long, sitting tight inside, doing our part to flatten the curve of this unprecedented pandemic.  We're all trying to make the best of it, and in my house I'm cooking even more than usual to pass the time.  Of course my meals still need to be family friendly, so I thought I would share a recipe that get high marks around here even from my toughest critics, my children.

It's a popular assumption that since I am a chef, my kids would be amazing eaters- open minds and open mouths with mature palates ready to embrace the delicious food their mom makes.  NOPE.  My kids are super picky, metaphorically  stabbing me in the heart with every fork full of processed mac and cheese.  I hope that someday they'll appreciate my home-cooked meals and outright refusal to buy Lunchables, but until then, I search for recipes that will keep the peace at dinner and achieve that perfect balance between my desire for a healthy and flavorful meal and their desire for hot dogs and potato chips with extra ketchup.

I recently stumbled upon a winner of a recipe, one that's easy to make, really delicious and even hides vegetables in plain sight.  It's vaguely reminiscent of Chinese take-out, and uses ground chicken, which makes it super quick to prep and cook. I made some changes based on personal preference and came up with this:

 

1 lb. Ground Chicken

1 Red Bell Pepper, small diced

1 Large Zucchini, small diced

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

2 Tbsp. Minced fresh Ginger

1 Tbsp. Minced fresh Garlic

3 Scallions thinly sliced, white and green part separated

1/4 cup Soy Sauce

2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil

2 tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Corn Starch

Begin by sweating the white scallion slices, ginger and garlic in vegetable oil over medium heat in a large saute pan with the vegetable oil.  Add the bell pepper and zucchini and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add the ground chicken and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.  

  

Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar and season to taste (although the soy sauce will likely reduce the need for any additional salt and pepper).  If you prefer a thicker sauce, make a slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 Tbsp. of water in a small bowl.   Gradually whisk  into the simmering liquid until you have thickened the sauce to your liking.

  

Serve over rice and garnish with the green parts of the scallions if you dare-it's not worth starting a war with my kids, but it would look nice. I add a healthy dash of sriracha to mine for spice, or use the same recipe as a delicious filling for healthy lettuce wraps. Give it a try! 




Meredith Antunez
Meredith Antunez

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