Hoisin Chicken with Steamed Vegetables

This chicken dish is the second installment of the Healthy Cooking on the Cheap Series and is a simple and quick recipe that you can easily prepare for you and a friend in 30 minutes tops! I don’t know how hectic your weekday schedule is but I know mine is pretty busy and this dish is perfect for a last minute dinner.

I happen to really enjoy preparation of this recipe because of how incredibly easy and fast it is. Often times, the first time I cook a dish it takes twice as long. This is probably common for most cooks because a good cook READS THE ENTIRE RECIPE FIRST. It usually takes at least two preparations to really get familiar with a recipe, which usually quickens the preparation time. But even someone who has NEVER cooked before can make Hoisin Chicken with Steamed Vegetables in their sleep.

It’s fairly common for me to multi-task in the kitchen and this dish complements a busy lifestyle quite well. I recommend marinating the chicken in the Hoisin sauce, or other Asian-inspired marinade you might have on hand, in advance. Most chicken tastes better when it has marinated for a longer period of time, so feel free to let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator while you are prepping your vegetables. I usually tend to throw in whatever vegetables or spices I have on hand to make the dish a little more interesting and spicy, since you all know by now how much I enjoy spicy foods. Some of the ingredients I’ve added in the past are chopped garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, sriracha, and hot chili flakes.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and experiment with the ingredients you have laying around YOUR kitchen! Unfortunately I was unable to post the pictures of this dish today but check back tomorrow for photos.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce (can subsitute for Teriyaki, Soy Vey, or your marinade of choice)
  • 3 tablespoons Sesame Seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chopped Garlic (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Flakes (optional)
  • 3/4 – 1 lb chicken tenders (or chicken breasts cut into bite-sizes pieces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup butternut squash (or any vegetable of your choice)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 package pre-cooked brown rice
  • 1 Ziploc Steam Bag
  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce (optional)
  • Sriracha (optional)

Preparation

1. Combine the chicken tenders, garlic, Hoisin Sauce, chili flakes, and sesame seeds in a plastic bag and marinate for at least a half hour.

2. Dice vegetables and prepare rice (if not using pre-cooked brown rice).

Hoisin Chicken Sautee3. Coat and heat a medium or large saucepan sprayed with Pam. Remove the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and cook in sautee pan for about 3-4 minutes or until the tops of the chicken tenders become less pink.

Hoisin Chicken with Green OnionsSteamed Vegetables4. Once the chicken starts cooking through turn the tenders over and add the green onions. While the chicken finishes cooking, microwave the pre-cooked rice and the vegetables (in the Ziploc steam bag) and heat them based on the package directions. Be sure to steam the spinach separately as it takes a very short time to steam.

5. Once the vegetables, rice, and chicken have finished cooking, place 3/4 cup of rice, 1 cup of vegetables, and three chicken tenders in each of two bowls and serve. Feel free to top with soy sauce or sriracha.

Hoisin Chicken with Steamed Vegetables

Healthy Cooking on the Cheap

Are you a victim of poor eating habits? Don’t let the state of the economy effect your nutrition. I know it’s difficult to eat well and cheaply but cooking is a great way to save on both cash and calories this holiday season. The next three Hartley Confection posts will be dedicated to getting you on track with nutritious meals that are easy to shop for, quick to prepare, and serve both you and a friend!

I have prepared a menu of four nutritious and hearty two-serving dishes that are easy to prepare during a hectic work week. And the best part is, you can buy all of the ingredients in one place…TRADER JOES.

One stop shopping is the best kind of shopping and especially at a jam packed store like Trader Joes. But if you have the time to stop in before work or during your lunch hour, you’re more likely to get in and out with everything you need in a relatively short period of time. Trader Joes is pretty much my home away from home and especially living in Manhattan. As most of you have already found, the produce in ordinary grocery stores are not up to par. Trader Joes not only has fresh produce, but an assortment of inexpensive store brand staple items like simmer sauces and olive oils which make shopping there a pleasure, well except for the lines!

Below I’ve included a full weeks menu of dinners, or leftover lunches and a list of 13 items you will need to prepare these meals. Each dish costs around $12, which breaks down to about $6 per person or portion. If you’re only cooking for one, save the leftovers for lunch or keep each portion frozen separately for up to one month. Though I wouldn’t recommend freezing pasta dishes as the pasta usually becomes soft after it is reheated.

The list of ingredients provided assumes that you will already have a variety of spices on hand such as salt, pepper, curry paste or sriacha, and curry powder. It’s always good to store small amounts of spices in your kitchen, as they bring tremendous flavor to a dish without the added calories. The only item you won’t find at Trader Joe’s are the Ziploc Steam Bags. I definitely recommend purchasing these as they are inexpensive and reusable (though I wouldn’t use one bag more than two times). I prefer to steam vegetables because unlike sauteeing or baking, steaming preserves the vegetables’ nutrients and allows them to keep their bright color.

THE MENU

Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp with Steamed Vegetables

Hoisin Chicken with Steamed Vegetables

Whole Wheat Penne A La Vodka with Asparagus

Curried Chicken Penne (without peach chutney)

THE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package large frozen shrimp ($9)
  • 3/4 – 1 lb boneless chicken breasts or tenders ($6)
  • 2 pre-cooked packages of brown rice ($3)
  • 1 can chopped garlic ($3)
  • 1 package green onions ($1.15)
  • 1 package sliced white button mushrooms ($1.99)
  • 1 package pre-sliced broccoli ($3.50)
  • 1 bunch asparagus ($2.50)
  • 1 box Flax Seed Penne ($1)
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes ($1.50)
  • 1 can Light Coconut Milk ($1)
  • 1 container Half & Half ($2)
  • 1 container Hoisin or Teriyaki (or marinade of choice) ($3.50)
  • 1 package Ziploc Steam Bags ($3.50)

4 Dinners, each serving two people, for a grand total of about $48 (including tax). Stay tuned for the upcoming recipes.