Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Learning More About What A Local Garden Grows In Winter


What on earth is tatsoi? That's what I said when I opened my box of produce from Harvest2U last Wednesday. I'm not going to lie, I had never heard of this beautiful leafy green before last week. So, once again, I was on a mission to step outside of my normal repertoire and use my Harvest. I have to admit, I wasn't sure about this one. So, I set out to find a way to use this lovely bunch of tatsoi in a fashion that my preschool aged children would enjoy. 

Tatsoi is an asian salad green. It's leaves are dark green and it's similar to bok choi. It's sort of cabbge-y (yes, I know that is not a word) in flavor so I wanted something with a little bit of sweetness to offset the taste. Tatsoi is rich in vitamins A, C and K as well as beta cerotene. 

Again, my primary goal is to make something that is A) nutritious, B) palatable for my young children, C) South Beach Diet friendly and D) doesn't take all day to prepare. Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of a labor intensive recipe, but my current goal with my Harvest2U shipment is to make something that is easy for anyone to prepare. I realize that many of my readers (who are honestly mostly my family and close friends) actually work outside the home and have things higher on their list of priorities than a meal that's going to take them hours to cook at the end of their already busy day. 

Sesame Ginger Chicken with Tatsoi and Noodles

I started off my marinating my chicken in a sesame ginger sauce that I created to be South Beach Diet friendly as well as gluten free (GF).
<sidebar> My lovely husband reminded me that I should be notating which of my recipes are GF since my dear father in law and brother in law are both gluten intolerant. <end sidebar>

1/4c soy sauce (be aware: If you are gluten intolerant, not all soy sauce is GF)
1/4c rice wine vinegar
1T chili oil
1T sesame oil
2t sugar substitue (I used the one in the yellow packet)
1 larve clove garlic, crushed
1/2t fresh grated ginger
1t finely chopped chives (I used garlic chives)
dash of salt and pepper

Whisk above ingredients together and marinate chicken in refrigerator for several hours. 

Chop the following:
2 small carrots (julienne aka matchsticks)
1 small turnip (julienne)
2 small leeks
You can put these together and set aside.

Chop a handful of fresh parsley and about a tablespoon of fresh chives and set those aside as well.

Wash and pat dry your tatsoi with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook up about a half of a box of organic, whole grain thin spaghetti. Remember, I'm adapting this to the South Beach Diet, so if you want to substitute rice noodles it's perfectly fine! Also, for those who are gluten intolerant use GF spaghetti noodles or GF rice noodles. 

In a wok or large pan (I opted for the large pan since I do not own a wok) heat some oil and brown your chicken (but reserve the marinade). Once the chicken is browned, remove it from the pan and set it aside. 

Next, you'll want to deglaze the pan with a little splash of white wine. I used a lovely Sauvignon Blanc because that's what I wanted to drink that night.

Then pour a glass for yourself. *evil grin*

OK, seriously. Once the pan has been deglazed and the majority of the wine has evaporated, add the carrots, turnip and leeks into the pan.

Once the veggies start to soften up a little bit, add in the rest of the marinade to the pan.
Add your beautiful, vibrant green tatsoi to the pan and mix well.

Once it starts to wilt just a little bit, add in the noodles, parsley and chives. Also add the chicken back into the pan/wok. This part goes very quickly. The tatsoi and vegetables going from vibrant and crisp to overcooked and soft in the blink of an eye. So, don't blink....OK? Kidding.

When you're done, dinner should look like this:

When I put it on the plate I topped it with some sesame seeds. It was totally a matter of preference. My boys gobbled this up! I was so incredibly happy to see them devour all of these totally healthy ingredients. 

So there you have it, friends. A totally healthy, fast and delicious dinner that your kids will eat! 


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