On Sunday we went swimming at the Woodford State Park in Vermont with my old roommate and his boyfriend. It was so nice to be back in the water! Our swimming was cut short by a rain, thunder, and lightning storm, but we waited it out in the car and then went back to the park to grill white hots for dinner…white hots are the upstate western New York specialty, in case you don’t remember from my 4th of July post. I actually did not do a lot of cooking over the weekend…Saturday I made breakfast for my husband and I, and then we gorged on food from 7-11 (yeah, you don’t need to remind me that it’s very unhealthy!), then on Sunday we grilled the white hots. This week, though, I am back to making more yummy recipes (as you saw on Meal Plan Monday).
Tonight I made Garlicky Chicken and Broccoli, which is actually a Weight Watchers recipe! I was pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out. With some of the other recent Weight Watchers recipes I’ve made, I have had to add more ingredients to spice and flavour them up, but this one was great on its own. I used green beans instead of broccoli, because I’m not a big broccoli fan. I also used sriracha sauce instead of chili sauce (because I didn’t have any), and it was too spicy for my husband. Well, the dish itself was not too spicy, but I spooned extra sauce over the chicken, green beans, and rice, so the excess of sauce turned out to be too much for him. But that meant I got to clean his plate for him! A no-no, I know, but whatev. 😉 Aside from the spice, he loved the chicken and the “hint of spice” that it had before he reached the parts soaked in the sauce. In any case, this was so tasty, and the perfect combination of flavours. I used 4 garlic cloves and I certainly could have added more…I didn’t get the exact garlicky flavour the recipe was going for, but I could certainly still taste it (as well as the ginger). This was also a fairly simple recipe. My husband marinated the chicken as soon as he got home from work, so it had been in the fridge for about 45 minutes by the time I came home. All I had to do was prepare the sauce, chop the garlic and ginger, then cook the chicken and make the stir fry.
The only time-consuming portion of this meal was preparing the black rice (Test It Tuesday!). I randomly happened upon black rice at Adam’s Fairacre Farms (a specialty food and souvenir store), and excitedly bought it, as it was something I have never seen before. A friend of mine then informed me she has seen it in Asian dishes. I quickly googled it and saw that it’s typically used as a side dish, or prepared in sushi or black rice pudding. I decided to pair it with the garlicky chicken stir fry and hope for the best. Since then, I have found several recipes involving black rice (check out my Pinterest page if you’re interested in seeing them). I loosely followed this recipe for preparing it. Today I read several articles on black rice, and it turns out that it has as many nutrients as the equivalent amount of fresh blueberries. It is quickly becoming known as a new superfood, even healthier than brown rice. It is also referred to as Forbidden Rice, per ancient Chinese legend, that it was so rare, nutritious, and tasty, that only emperors were allowed to eat it. It is primarily still only found in Asian countries, and then imported into the U.S. You can read more about black rice by clicking the following links…and trust me, it’s actually very interesting!
Nutritional and scientific facts aside, it was so good. I might consider researching online the cheapest places to purchase it and only use it in the future. My husband and I both loved it! The websites and various recipes stated that it’s often even chewier than brown rice, and has quite a distinct nutty flavour, but I didn’t notice any of that. Part of why I might not have noticed a nutty flavour is because I mixed the stir fry sauce with it, but I definitely did not notice a super-chewy texture to it. It fluffed up quite a bit, and I can’t wait to take the leftovers to work tomorrow!
WW value of stir fry, per serving: 6-8
WW value of black rice, per serving: 5
Garlicky Chicken and
-1 egg white
-2tbsp rice cooking wine, or sherry wine
-3,2/3tbsp cornstarch, divided
-2tsp kosher salt
-2.5 uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
-3tbsp low sodium soy sauce
-4tsp dark brown sugar
-2tsp chili sauce (I used sriracha sauce)
-2tsp sesame oil (I just realized that I used olive oil instead…)
-1tbsp minced garlic (I used 4 cloves)
-1tbsp ginger root, fresh, minced
-freshly washed green beans
-1cu reduced-sodium chicken broth
-4 medium uncooked scallion, thinly sliced
-In a shallow dish, whisk together egg white, rice wine, 3 tablespoons cornstarch and salt; add chicken and toss to coat. Cover dish and marinate chicken for 30 minutes (or overnight).
-In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, chili sauce and remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch; set aside.
-When ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil; remove chicken from marinade and add to pot (discard marinade). Poach until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes; drain well and set aside.
-Heat oil in a large wok over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broccoli and toss to coat. Pour broth over broccoli and increase heat to medium-high; cook until broccoli is crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and reserved sauce; reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, about 3 minutes. Garnish with scallions and serve.
-1 part black rice (1/4cu = 1 serving)
-2 parts water
-1tsp olive oil
-Rinse rice, then place in a large pot, cover with 2 parts water.
-Bring to a boil, and let boil for 10-20mins.
-Cover and continue to cook on low heat for 10-20mins, or until water is absorbed, rice should be easily fluffed.