Sunday, September 4, 2011
At what age did you become responsible for your own meal preparations? Are you a young adult, living independently from your family, and relying on take-out food or easy pick-up, prepared meals from the supermarket? If you notice this is your regular meal planning stategy for satisfying your immediate hunger pains, then have you also noticed that your weight is increasing as you continue these eating habits?
This blog post is about how Scott took a desire to eat healthier by preparing a meal at home with ingredients he chose himself. Scott also increased his time at the gym during the week. When possible, Scott is making better food choices for his overall health. Scott is in his early thirties, lives independently in his own home, has a very busy business career involving lots of travel and has lots of social events with friends involving food, of course.
This fresh stirfry dinner was prepared by Scott, on his own. He thought ahead what he wanted to prepare for his dinner, went to the supermarket to purchase fresh ingredients and took a little time to organize and cut his produce and protein before beginning the cooking process. Scott, without knowing, utilized the process of "Mise En Place" meaning everything in its place before cooking. This is how the chefs cook in restaurants. By having all the ingredients of a meal washed, cut and measured just before you begin the cooking process, allows you to efficiently introduce each ingredient into the cooking process. Therefore, less frustration and chaos while cooking. The result is a smooth, organized, stress-free prepared meal.
Another thing Scott shared with me is a couple of photos of his meal preparation. He even presented his photos on white dishes which is the choice of the professional food photographers, as I have learned as well.
I think Scott took responsibility to prepare a healthy, nutritious meal at home and gained some confidence during the process of preparation and cooking. With a tasty dish like this stirfry, imagine what other home cooking meals await Scott? By controlling the ingredients during home cooking, Scott controls the salt, sugar and fat content and does not let others do this for him. This is a much better way to eat for your overall health, I think. How about you?
Reminder: cut fresh produce first and put into medium bowls. Wash kitchen knife and cutting board to cut the chicken tenders and put pieces into medium bowls. Wash kitchen knife and cutting board again to cut the shrimp and put the pieces into a medium bowl. This prevents cross-contamination of food.
What you will need:
Large cutting board
Large fry pan or skillet
Large spoon, metal or wooden
Medium bowls for ingredients (3-4)
Serving spoon, large
Fork and knife
Olive oil or vegetable oil, two tablespoons
Green pepper, small to medium, chopped into small pieces
Red onion, small, chopped into small pieces or slices
Chicken tenders, fresh and skinless, cut into small pieces
Shrimp, fresh, shelled, cleaned and deveined
Kosher salt, one teaspoon
Black Pepper, crushed, one-half teaspoon
Optional: one teaspoon soy sauce, low sodium.
Cooking process: Fast, total cooking time about five minutes.
Add the olive oil or vegetable oil into the fry pan or skillet. Turn heat on stove top to medium-high.
Add the red onions and green peppers and stir as they cook in the oil.
Sprinkle the salt and crushed black pepper on top of the cooking vegetables.
When the cooking vegetables look softer add in the chicken and keep stirring the mixture. When the cooking chicken looks like color has changed from pinkish to more white color and looks firmer, add the shrimp and keep stiring the mixture. If adding low-sodium soy sauce, add this now and keep stirring to cover all the vegetables, chicken and shrimp.
When chicken is white color and shrimp is more firm and pink color, stir and taste the stirfry.
Add more salt and black pepper for your personal taste.
Turn off the stove top burner and put the cooked stirfry on a clean plate using a clean large serving spoon.
Bring the serving plate to the table where your clean fork and knife have been placed for you to enjoy your home cooked stirfry meal.