Chicken Stir-Fried Rice

Hello again!  I’m back with another recipe.  And not surprisingly, this one is inspired by my love for Asian cuisine.

To be fully transparent, this is a recipe that I found before I was on the CKD diet. It’s Weight Watchers, which is great, but because of the salt, some of the veggies, and use of brown rice, I had to adjust it slightly to work now.  But it works just as well (if not better!) and I continue to love it.  This recipe is completely customizable too.  You can add any veggies you’d like to this dish or if you want to swap chicken for shrimp or beef or just leave it as veggie, feel free!  It’s really simple and comes out just as delicious.  I’ve admittedly tried this with many, many varieties and like it all the same.  Also, this can easily be transformed into a side dish if you want to take out the protein altogether.

Also, because I’ve made this so many times, I’ve found a slightly better order to cook everything, as laid out in my instructions below.  The method in the original Weight Watchers recipe works fine too – but I like actually stir frying the rice separately so it gets a nice yummy crispiness.

Original Recipe: Weight Watchers, Find it HERE

Revised Recipe: Me, Jackie 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 large egg white(s)
  • 1/2 cup(s) uncooked scallion(s), chopped, green and white parts
  • 2 clove(s), medium garlic clove(s), minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 12 oz uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cup(s) cooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup(s) frozen green peas, thawed
  • 3 Tbsp of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup(s) uncooked carrot(s), diced

NOTE: If you have a wok, this is ideal for this recipe.  If not, I would recommend using a large skillet that is pre-heated until hot.  You can use a cast iron or nonstick, but it’s important to make sure it’s hot before you begin cooking anything. That creates the nice sear on the bottom like a wok would. It also should be a larger size – there’s a lot of food in this recipe!

Instructions

  1. Pre-cook the rice according to package instructions. Set aside and allow to cool.
  2. After skillet has warmed up, coat with 1 tablespoon of canola oil and add the chicken. Cook until done, when no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, optional carrots, minced garlic and ginger.  Stir together and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes or until peppers have softened.
  3. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Coat skillet with remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil and add the pre-cooked rice. Spread the rice out around the skillet so as much of it is covering the surface as possible.  Allow to sit (untouched) for 5 minutes or until slightly browned on the side. Stir around the pan and allow other side of rice to cook for additional 3-4 minutes.
  5. Once the rice is browned, add back in the chicken, peppers, garlic and ginger.  Add in the coconut aminos and rice wine vinegar.  Add the frozen peas and stir together.  Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until combined.
  6. In the center of the skillet, make a hole by pushing back the rice-chicken-veggie mixture towards the outer edges.  In the hole, add the egg whites and stir. Egg whites will cook quickly so make sure to stir rapidly until they are scrambled.  Once they are fully cooked, combine the eggs in with the rest of the mixture.
  7. Add cilantro and serve.

Yields about 1 cup per serving.

ENJOY!

Rice
Notice the crispy bits…YUM

Veggie Dumplings

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I will forewarn that this is one of the most time-consuming recipes that I have, but in the end, the results are absolutely amazing.  They’re a really great dinner on their own or maybe a side dish or appetizer for parties and gatherings.  But be warned, this requires an assembly line of activity, so you need to allow yourself enough time so you can properly pull all of this together.

I love a good dumpling and I order them wherever I go. Even now, with my diet, I still order dumplings. I assume there’s soy sauce in them and lots of salt (and probably some veggies I can’t eat) but one good dumpling makes me unbelievably happy. I prefer them steamed, but this recipe uses a light sear + steam method.

There are a few shortcuts in this recipe that you can use, which will help speed up the process a bit.  But note, it’s not the actual cooking that takes time – this is the quick part – it’s the creation of the dumplings themselves. I am just not good at filling and folding the dough. I constantly struggle with this.  I really hope you’re better but please let me know if you have any tricks!

Original Recipe: HERE

Revised Recipe: Me 🙂 Jackie

  • Prep: The official recipe says 5 minutes, so I guess someone somewhere is able to do this in 5 minutes. I am not. For me, this takes about 40-45 minutes to prep.
  • Cook: 15 minutes
  • Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup coleslaw mix (found in the lettuce section with the bagged lettuce)
  • 1/2 cup chopped bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup button mushrooms
  • 4 scallions, chopped (light green and white parts only)
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos (see HERE for the brand I prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 15-20 dumpling wrappers – you can find these in the freezer section or the refrigerator section, usually near the tofu products

Directions

  1. Prep and chop your ingredients: Note – I throw all of the vegetables (coleslaw mix, bean sprouts, mushrooms, scallions) into a food processor and chop them that way. This is MUCH easier and creates greater consistency with the filling.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the coleslaw mix, chopped beansprouts, scallions, soy sauce/coconut aminos, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and ginger.
  3. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium. Once its hot, add the contents of the medium bowl. Cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover, stir and let cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat.
  4. Working with one dumpling wrapper at a time, spoon about 1 teaspoon of filling into the center. Moisten the edges of the dumpling wrapper with water (use your finger to spread it around). Then, fold the wrapper over, sealing the edges together with your fingers. Place on a foil-lined plate. Repeat until all of the dumplings are filled and sealed.
    NOTE: There’s a great website showing all the different ways to fold a wonton wrapper HERE. I generally do the basic samosa style (because I can’t quite get it any other way).  One tip though – make sure to keep a wet paper towel over the wontons you’ve already filled.  They’ll dry out if you don’t do this and will taste a bit like cardboard when you go to cook them.
  5.  Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and wait until it gets hot. Add a few of the dumplings, making sure to to over-crowd the pan. Sear on one side (about 1-2 minutes) and then flip to the other. While they’re on the other side, add about 3 tablespoons of the water to the pan and cover.  Allow to steam.
  6. Wait about 3-4 minutes, remove the cover and the dumplings should be nicely steamed with crispy edges.
  7. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Good luck and ENJOY!

My Go-To Corn Salsa

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This is my absolutely, hands down, my favorite recipe from the last few years of being on the CKD diet.  I make this recipe so frequently – it’s permanently engrained in my brain. At this point, I could get corn salsa tattooed on my arm.  Or maybe I could frame a picture of it in my living room.  Have I mentioned that I’m slightly obsessed with this recipe??  🙂

Here’s why: when I get home from work at night, I usually want something to snack on. With CKD, there’s not a whole lot in a bag that I can turn to – I can have salt-free pretzels, rice crackers, graham crackers, but all of those items make me feel like I’m going to gain 50 pounds by the end of the bag.  And, on their own, they’re boring. Sure, I can eat an entire bag of pretzels, but my mouth would be as dry as a piece of cardboard by the end.  I need something with them – something that fills me up so I don’t eat as many. I need a dip.  And for me, this is the perfect solution.

It takes me all of 10 minutes to make and is corn-based, which is acceptable for CKD.  It’s got a kick of spice, which I love, and if I make a batch, I can add it to the top of fajitas, chicken, or even a salad.

I have two versions of this recipe so I’m going to post both. There’s not a drastic difference between the two in terms of taste – it’s more about what ingredients I happen to have on hand.

 

Both recipes were inspired by the same thing: Trader Joe’s Corn & Chile Salsa.  Have you ever had this?  IT’S AMAZING.  It’s sweet and spicy at the same time. I literally could eat an entire jar…which is what made me think that perhaps I could make it myself.

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The Holy Grail

If you haven’t tried this, DO IT. Or…maybe not. You will be obsessed.

The first version of this recipe is literally a replica of this jarred wonder:

Version 1:

Original Recipe Found HERE

Revised Recipe: Me 🙂 Jackie

Ingredients
  • 4 medium ears of sweet corn unhusked or 1 bag of frozen corn (NOTE: check salt content to make sure there isn’t any)
  • ¼ cup finely diced sweet yellow onion (NOTE: if you like more of an onion flavor, feel free to use red onion as an alternative)
  • ¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper start with 1 and add more, if you want more heat
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Instructions
  1. If using frozen corn, defrost according to package instructions
  2. If using fresh corn, place 2 ears at a time in the microwave and cook for 5 minutes on high power. Carefully, with oven mitts, remove corn from microwave and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining 2 ears of corn. When cool enough to handle, pull off husks and silk. Lay corn on it’s side and cut kernels from cobs, rotating the ear of corn as you go. Transfer corn to a medium size bowl.
  3. Add diced onion, red bell pepper and finely chopped jalapeño to bowl with the corn. Stir to combine.
  4. Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, coriander, cumin, and crushed red pepper in a medium size, microwave safe bowl. Stir well to combine. Microwave on high power for 1 minute.
  5. Remove vinegar mixture from microwave and add to bowl with corn mixture. Stir well.
  6. Allow salsa to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately or transfer to a glass jar or storage container and refrigerate till ready to use. Salsa will keep in refrigerator for 5 days to 1 week.

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Version 2: This is a more basic edition of the above recipe and isn’t quite as sweet. If you’re looking for more of a true salsa, this would be your pick.

Original & Revised Recipe: ME 🙂 Jackie (I came up with this!)

Ingredients

  • 4 medium ears of sweet corn unhusked or 1 bag of frozen corn (NOTE: check salt content to make sure there isn’t any)
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar (feel free to add more or less depending on your taste)

Instructions

  1. If using frozen corn, defrost according to package instructions
  2. If using fresh corn, place 2 ears at a time in the microwave and cook for 5 minutes on high power. Carefully, with oven mitts, remove corn from microwave and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining 2 ears of corn. When cool enough to handle, pull off husks and silk. Lay corn on it’s side and cut kernels from cobs, rotating the ear of corn as you go. Transfer corn to a medium size bowl.
  3. Add diced onion and finely chopped jalapeño to bowl with the corn.
  4. Add cumin, honey, the juice of 1 lime and stir together to combine.

NOTE: Both recipes get better after they’ve sat in the refrigerator, so try not to eat the entire thing immediately after you’ve finished making it. Be patient – it’s worth it!

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

I like pretty foods – anything that’s a bright color or has multiple colors. And this dip definitely satisfies this requirement.  It’s fresh, it’s easy and it’s really pretty. When you arrive to a party with this, everyone will look at it and say, “Oh wow!  What a pretty color!” And it really is.  And when they taste it, they’ll all want the recipe.  Little do they know that it takes just a little prep and uses ingredients you probably already have on hand.  It’s delicious!

Red pepper

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Original Recipe: HERE

Revised Recipe: Me 🙂  Jackie

Yield: 1 1/12 Cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag of mini sweet peppers (Note: make sure you buy sweet and not spicy! They should be all different colors)
  • ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • teaspoons canola oil
  • teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 whole basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried basil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut off the tops from all of the mini peppers.  Lay them on a sheet pan and toss them in the 2 tablespoons of canola oil.
  3. Put them in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the pan and move the peppers around, flipping them so the bottoms are now on the top. Put them back into the oven for 6-7 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
  4. Once the peppers have cooled, put them into a food processor, along with the cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, balsamic vinegar and basil.
  5. Blend until smooth.
  6. Serve with broccoli florets, baby carrots, apsparagus spears, bell-pepper spears, or salt-free tortilla chips.

 

Emily’s (or Marissa’s) Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

This is recipe that is hotly contested amongst my group of friends.  Originally, my friend Marissa made this recipe at a party she threw a few years ago. We all loved it, not just because it was so tasty, but also because Marissa’s idea of a party is to have 3x more booze than food. So when she does bring out a few small bites, we all attack like starving wolves and inhale whatever she serves.

After that party, my other friend, Emily, asked Marissa for the recipe for these little wonders.  Since then, Emily has served them at all of her parties and people have since forgotten that they originally came from Marissa (btw, I don’t think anyone has truly forgotten that Marissa originally made them – I just think that Emily actually makes them better than Marissa did. The meatballs come out lighter, not as dry, and just the right amount of kick).  I, in turn, have passed this recipe along to my family and they all refer to it as “Emily’s Buffalo Chicken Meatballs,” when in reality, it’s actually Marissa’s.  Confusing, I know.  Just don’t mention this to Marissa.

The point is that this is one very tasty recipe and you don’t need to be on a CKD diet to appreciate it.  In addition to serving it at parties as an appetizer, I also make it for dinner (and serve it over rice) and you can freeze it. If you like buffalo sauce at all, you will love this.

 

Image result for buffalo chicken meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce (Note: traditionally, hot sauce has a lot of salt. While Frank’s [the original, not the buffalo, which has less salt] will forever be my favorite, you can also make your own. I’ll post the recipe below for reference.)
  • 1 pound ground chicken, preferably thigh meat
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 celery stalk, minced
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs (Note: please see my tips for low-sodium bread crumbs in the Green Bean Casserole Recipe)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the vegetable oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

Combine the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and fully incorporated. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

Combine the hot sauce mixture, ground chicken, egg, celery, and bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

Roll the mixture into round, 3/4 -inch balls, making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.

If serving at a party, keep warm in a slow cooker.


DIY Low-Sodium Wing Sauce

2-4 tablespoons Tabasco (to taste)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and whisk in tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar and lemon juice.