Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Homemade and Healthy Chicken Pad Thai

Um, yes, this is so good. Like, three weeks in a row, good. Or, take-this-to-the-next-friend-who-has-a-baby-good. Or, straight from my husband's mouth, "Wow, the flavors are so good"-good.

This tasty Chicken Pad Thai has obviously made it into our regular rotation. If you have 10 minutes earlier in the day, chop your veggies and shred your chicken, stick them both back in the fridge covered, and this meal will take less than 30 minutes to put together.

Chicken Pad Thai (Katie Newell, Feeding Our Families)
For the pad thai:
8 ounces rice noodles
1 - 1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken)
1 red bell pepper
2 carrots
1 small red onion
2 cups bean sprouts

For the peanut-honey pad thai sauce:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (I use just rice vinegar, not seasoned)
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 inch piece of fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. and 1 tsp honey
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp organic sugar
1/2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce (I don't add this; just never have it)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (I don't add this; trying to keep "heat" at bay for kids)

2 green onions
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup roasted peanuts (I don't add, though feel free!)
Lime wedges, for squeezing

Slicing and dicing: Peel and coarsely chop 3 cloves garlic and a 1" thick piece of ginger. Thinly slice 1 red onion. Core, seed and thinly slice 1 red bell pepper. Peel and matchstick (or julienne) 2 carrots. thinly slice 2 green onions.

Prepare the peanut-honey pad thai sauce: In a mini food processor, blender, or with the good ol' whisk, blend all ingredients together under "peanut-honey pad thai sauce." Blend well.

Cook rice noodles: Cook according to package directions, then drain and rinse in cold water to stop noodles from cooking.

Make your pad thai: Heat a large deep skillet (or wok) over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and heat about 30 seconds, until shimmering. Add onions, and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add carrots, and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add bell pepper, and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low. Stir in bean sprouts, cooked shredded chicken, cooked rice noodles, and pad thai sauce. Toss until chicken and noodles are warm, and to distribute sauce throughout. Transfer contents of skillet to serving dish, and garnish with green onions, cilantro, peanuts (if using), and squeeze with lime wedges. Serve and enjoy!

Delicious White Chicken Chilli

Every spring has a cold day here or there. So this spring, put this white chicken chili on the list! Warm spices, tender chicken, white beans of your choice, corn, topped with cilantro (my fav), green onions (my other fav), and sharp cheddar cheese (an everyday essential, of course).

It's so easy to put together, especially if you cheat and buy a rotisserie chicken for the meat.

White Chicken Chilli (Katie Newell,

Ingredients (Serves six, leftovers are fantastic):

For the chilli:
3     cups cooked shredded chicken, about 1 pound
3     cups prepared white beans, or two 15-ounce cans
1½  cups frozen corn kernels
4     ounce can diced green chilies (mild)
1     large yellow onion, or 2 small
4     cloves garlic
2     tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1     quart chicken broth
½    cup sour cream, or more to taste
3     green onions
¼    cup flat-leaf parsley  
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese for topping 
For the seasonings:
1    tbsp ground cumin
1    tsp ground coriander
1    tsp dried oregano
1    tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne

Instructions (1 hour, 20 minutes, 20 minutes active):

Prepare your ingredients:  Dice 1 large or 2 small yellow onions.  Mince 4 cloves garlic.  Thinly slice 3 green onions.  Coarsely chop ¼ cup flat leaf parsley. If necessary, drain and rinse white beans. 

In a small bowl or ramekin, combine all ingredients listed under “for the seasonings”. 

Prepare your white chicken chili:  Heat a 4-quart or larger stockpot over medium heat for about 5 minutes. While pot heats, use a hand held blender or mini food processor to puree 1½ cups beans with 1 cup of the chicken broth (this will help thicken the soup). When pot is hot, add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and heat an additional 30 seconds, until oil shimmers. Add diced onion and garlic and saute for about 6 minutes. Add combined seasonings and stir continuously for 2 minutes, being mindful not to let the spices burn. Add remaining chicken broth, shredded chicken, whole beans, pureed beans, frozen corn, and green chilies to pot. Increase heat to bring just to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about an hour.  Remove from heat. Stir in green onions, parsley, and ½ cup or so of sour cream. 

Getting it in the table: Ladle soup into bowls. Top with cheddar cheese. Serve with your favorite whole grain crackers, fruit, or cut up veggies and dip. Enjoy!

Notes: This is a very flavorful soup, but has very little heat. This makes it super kid-friendly. Our entire family looks forward to this simple dinner. Vegetarians, omit the chicken and use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. This dish is naturally nut-free and gluten-free. If you choose to double the recipe to freeze for a future dinner, freeze the second batch of soup before you stir in the sour cream (to prevent the cream from curdling when reheated). If you forget and add the sour cream, reheat the soup at just over medium low, no higher.