As a kid I dreaded most doctor visits. The dentist always told me to floss more; I’d rather suck on a mint. The eye doctor threatened that if I watched too much TV and spent too much time on the computer, I’d one day need glasses. Sheesh. Like my parents really needed one more reason to limit my TV watching.
My general practitioner lectured about the importance of getting enough vegetables, fruit, and exercise in my diet. For pete’s sake mister, didn’t fruit snacks, canned green beans, and tap dance count?
The list of wellness to-do’s seemed endless in my young mind. Thankfully, as I’ve grown most of these “healthy practices” have become a regular part of my life. But veggies? I still struggle to get the recommended amount. I mean really, when hunger strikes, who thinks “man, I’d love to chomp on a carrot right now”?!?
So when it comes to putting together meals, I try to find ways to make my vegetables as tasty as possible. That, my friends, is one reason why I love a good stir-fry.
Crisp broccoli sauteed in a hot skillet, tossed in tangy sauce? Now that I could eat all day.
This recipe for chicken vegetable stir-fry is a basic, yet tasty recipe that is sure to please any crowd. And another beautiful part about it is that it’s super easy to substitute your favorite veggies and meats to tailor to your taste.
Sweet Chili Chicken Vegetable Stir-Fry
The cast of characters:
2-4 Tbsp olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts chopped into bite size pieces
1 cup chopped carrots
2 medium sized broccoli crowns, chopped into bite size pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup rice, uncooked (I like Jasmine or Basmati rice)
For the sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp sweet chili sauce
3 tbsp water
2 tsp cornstarch
red pepper flakes for topping
1. In a small saucepan, add two cups of water, a dash of olive oil, and salt over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in your rice, turn heat to low, cover with lid, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
2. While rice is cooking, combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the cornstarch. Then add your soy sauce and chili sauce and combine (you can add more chili sauce and red pepper flakes if you want to turn up the heat). Set bowl aside.
2. Chop your chicken and vegetables. In a large skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and set to high heat. Once skillet begins to smoke, add half of the chicken and let brown on one side until it turns a nice golden brown color (about 3-5 mintes). Flip chicken pieces and repeat until chicken is cooked through. Remove cooked chicken to a bowl and set aside. Add additional Tbsp of oil and repeat with second half of chicken.
3. Once all chicken is removed from the pan, add more oil and throw in your minced garlic, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Once the garlic becomes fragrant and begins to brown, add in chopped vegetables. Stir your veggies so that they are covered in oil and garlic. Cook on high heat for about 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Be careful not to over cook them; you still want a nice crunch to the broccoli.
4. Add cooked chicken back to the skillet with the veggies. Give your sauce a stir again, and add to the skillet. Turn heat to low and mix all ingredients in the skillet well. Allow to cook a few minutes longer; you will notice the sauce will bubble and thicken.
5. Top your rice with chicken-veggie mixture, add a few shakes of red pepper flakes and enjoy!