Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chicken Chow Mein... HEALTHIFIED!

Forget the Chinese food take-out and try this homemade Chicken Chow Mein recipe. (or if you'd like, you can make it with any other meat/seafood of your choice) It's delicious, good for you, and no worrying about eating tons of fat, calories, or additives, like you do when ordering take-out.

With all my allergies, I get very nervous when I get take out or go out to eat, so I solve that problem by simply not going out to eat. It's somewhat difficult to do, but I really don't know what they're feeding me in those restaurants, so I just don't bother, overpriced food is just not worth getting sick (or fat!). One of the things I miss the most from Chinese take-out is Chicken Chow Mein, which inspired me to make up this recipe. It was delicious, so I'm passing it on to you all.

Be careful when choosing a soy sauce for this recipe if you have any allergies or are trying to stay away from sugar, like I am. I found only one soy sauce on my grocery store shelf that did not have sugar, but unfortunately it did have wheat. It was a name-brand low-salt soy sauce, I don't like to give brand names, but I'll tell you that. Just want to note as well, that for people who are on the candida diet, it is recommended that you only consume soy sauce occasionally. But all in all, I would just say to listen to your body, and it will "tell you" if it disagrees with something you've eaten.

You may consider getting a wok to make this recipe; there's a lot of ingredients to saute, and it's good to have a large wok to fit them all in. (remember, the veggies will "shrink" as they cook)

- one small head of cabbage or bok choy
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 sweet bell pepper (I used orange, but any color may be used)
- 1 small onion
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 3 tbsp. grapeseed oil (or other oil of your choice)
- approximately 1 lb. of chicken (or other meat), fully cooked and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I recommend grilling the meat, to "cook out" most of the fat, but baking or other methods are also okay if you'd like!)

- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. corn starch

Before you begin, be sure to decide what you are going to serve with the chow mein: I usually make rice with it, but it can also be made with Chinese noodles, or with chow mein noodles sprinkled on the top. (be careful not to have too many of these chow mein noodles, because they are usually fried in fat, and not so healthy for you!) Cook the rice while you make the chow mein, so that everything will be done at the same time. Awhile back ago, I purchased a rice maker. It makes cooking rice so simple: You just measure the rice and water, and just click the button. The rice cooks, and the button clicks back up when it's finished. Seriously, it's that simple. You can get small ones for about $10 or a large one for about $20-25, they're usually available at any department or grocery store, or sometimes drugstores sell these as well. (That's where I got mine.)
Now on with the directions for the recipe:

To begin the chow mein, pour sesame oil and grapeseed oil into wok and move wok around to coat the surface with the oil. Cut cabbage half and then slice thin (about 1/8-1/4 inch thick), place cabbage into wok, breaking it into pieces as you place it into wok, so that it looks like thin strips. Slice celery into 1/4 inch slices and add to wok. Slice onion into thin slices and cut pepper into thin slices, then cut pepper slices into 3 shorter pieces, add both of those ingredients to the wok as well. Turn heat on high, and then turn down to medium when you hear it start to sizzle. Cook for approximately 25 minutes, tossing every 2 minutes, until vegetables are wilted and start to tenderize. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, turn on heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk (or fork, if you do not have a whisk), and let boil for one minute (continue stirring constantly). While making sauce, add chicken to vegetable mixture in wok, keeping heat set to medium, and toss for another 5 minutes. Then add sauce to wok, toss to combine and serve.

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