Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fast Food, Schmast Food....

Fast food is popular because it's easy, right? I know that is the sole reason for it when we hit a drive thru. Okay, okay - not the sole reason - I sometimes just really crave a good McD's french fry. Admit do too!!! food is easy. I've been on a quest for a few months now to cook at home more and I think I've finally figured out how to have "Fast Food" at home - and I'm not talking about chicken nuggets and onion rings, just the fast part. The key to easy and quick meals is a well stocked pantry. If I have all the staples on hand, there are a ton of recipes that can be made with a little digging through my freezer for the right proteins or my regular and rotating fresh veggies in the crisper.

It's a matter of cooking for a while and determining what the "staples" are for and your family. Do you eat a lot of shrimp? Keep it on hand in the freezer. Your kids love broccoli? Put it on the grocery list every week (and kuddos to those great kids - wanna swap? I kid, I kid). Love Asian food? Soy, teryaki and hoisin should be staples you keep on hand. Get the idea? It seems simple enough, but I wonder how many people really practice it?

So, here's an example of a meal that I made a few days ago. It took less time to make this from start to finish than it would have to order a pizza or go pick up food somewhere, and it was definitely tastier! I didn't have ground pork on hand on this particular day, but ground beef was a great substitute. Also, be forwarned that if you don't like spicy, cut back on the crushed red pepper as this one packed quite a kick!

Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Pork
Cooking Light, April 2006

4 servings (serving size: 1 cup pork mixture and 1/2 cup rice)

  • 1/2 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 2 1/2 cups (1-inch) cut green beans
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups hot cooked white rice

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture, beans, and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until pork loses its pink color, stirring to crumble.

Combine hoisin and next 3 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add hoisin mixture to pan. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Serve over rice.


staci said...

That crappy old pan looks familiar. Loved this dinner !!!!

Terri said...

That crappy old pan is GREAT! I loved how big it is. I don't have a pan that large, but sure would love one!

McMommy said...

I would have made this because my husband LOVES spicy foods but I didn't have peanut oil or hoisin sauce? (what is that??)

Terri said...

Hey McMommy - You could probably use canola oil rather than peanut oil. Hoisin Sauce is a Asian dipping type sauce that is soy based. You can find it in a small jar in the Asian cooking section of your typical grocery store. Sorry I didn't see this comment earlier - the email landed in my spam folder....imagine, McMommy as spam! =) I hope you get to make this - totally tasty!