Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables

Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables

Chicken Teriyaki  is a very popular Japanese food in the US.  Teriyaki in Japanese means “grilled with shine.”  Sugar in teriyaki sauce gives a shine to the food, making it not only delicious, but also looks more appetizing.

It is very simple to make teriyaki sauce, as it is a mixture of only three ingredients, soy sauce, sugar, and sake. You can also use mirin for a sweeter teriyaki.  One of the advantages of making the sauce yourself is you can adjust the flavor the way you prefer.  Also making your own, avoids the unnecessary chemicals in store bought teriyaki sauce.

 common-japanese-cooking-ingredientsAccording to Japanese Cooking 101, this is a list of common ingredients used in Japanese cuisine:

Aburaage
Aonori
Dashi
Dried Bonito Flakes (Katsuobushi)
Dried Shiitake Mushroom
Mirin
Miso Paste
Nagaimo (Dioscorea opposita, Chinese yam)
Panko (Bread Crumbs)
Pickled Red Ginger (Benishouga)
Rice
Rice Vinegar
Roasted Seaweed (Sushi Nori)
Sake
Soy Sauce
Tonkatsu Sauce

It is not common in traditional Japanese cuisine to use garlic, though it is in Korean cooking.

Our featured recipe is a Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables, though not an authentic recipe, but an American rendition.

homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce

4 tablespoons tamari sauce  (works the same as soy sauce)

4 tablespoons mirin (can use sake for a less sweeter teriyaki sauce)

2 tablespoons coconut sugar (not used in Japanese cooking, can use white sugar if you wish)

2 teaspoons arrowroot (can also use cornstarch or potato starch)

2 tablespoons water

Mix together in a small sauce pan over medium heat, the first three ingredients. In a small cup mix together the water and arrowroot. Bring the pot to a slow boil and add the arrowroot-water mixture to the boiling pot. Stir in and continue to stir until the liquid thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

Tamari is specifically a Japanese form of soy sauce, traditionally made as a by-product of miso paste. Tamari is a gluten-free product, were as soy sauce is not.

Now let’s prepare the meat and vegetables to mix with our homemade teriyaki sauce.

vegetables cut Julienne style4  tablespoons coconut oil (or sesame oil), divided

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

3 green onions, chopped

2 carrots, cut julienne style

2 celery ribs, cut julienne style

8 asparagus spires, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces

4 chicken breasts, skinless and bones, cut into 1 inch chunks

2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds

A traditional Japanese chicken teriyaki uses chicken thighs, and asparagus is not a vegetable normally used in Japanese cooking.

sauteing ginger and green onionsSaute the prepared ginger and green onions in the heated coconut oil (2 tablespoons) over medium heat in a large frying pan, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Next add the carrots, celery, and asparagus, and continue to stir-fry until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

cooking chicken thigh chunks in teriyaki sauceHeat a large frying pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and add chopped meat and cook until meat is oblique. Next add the teriyaki sauce and mix in.

mixing in sesame seedsNext mix in the sesame seeds, and add the vegetables and mix in as well.

Teriyaki Chicken with VegetablesPlate and serve over white rice.

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Sugar Snap Peas with Tarragon

Sugar Snap Peas with TarragonFresh tarragon has an intense flavor over dried tarragon. When the herb is dried the oils dissipate.

You can store tarragon from 3 to 5 months in the freezer, doing so retains the most flavor of fresh tarragon during sprig of tarragonstorage. There is no need to defrost the herb before using it. Dried tarragon should be kept in a sealed container in a cool, dark place and used within 1 year.

Heat greatly intensifies the flavor of tarragon.

Though is may not look like it, tarragon is a species of perennial herb in the sunflower family.

There are variations of the herb and they include “French tarragon“, which is best used for culinary purposes, “Russian tarragon”, typically better than wild tarragon but not as good as the French tarragon, and “wild tarragon”.

Flavor

If you are wondering what the flavor of tarragon is, we would describe it as slightly peppery and it has a taste that’s somewhat similar to fennel, anise or licorice.

Health Benefits

Tarragon has great health benefits. It contains trace amounts of minerals including iron, potassium, and small amounts of calcium. It also contains vitamin-A, a nutrient essential for healthy eyes. This is herb is one of the recommendations to reduce your risk of macular degeneration.

Our featured recipe also includes:

Cilantro: contains trace minerals and vitamin-A

Shallots: Part of the allium family, which includes onions, garlic and scallions. Shallots also help to ward off cancer. They also contain 34 micrograms of folate, which is good for brain and nerve function.

Sugar Snap Peas:  They are a good source of vitamin-C, a nutrient that protects DNA structures from damage and improves the immune system. The sugar snaps also contain folate, which helps to improve heart health. Low levels of folate can raise levels of homocysteine, which increases the risk of heart disease.

Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate. If you are taking the B-vitamin as a supplement, it is recommended to take the natural form, folate. As noted folic acid is a synthetic oxidized form, and is not found in fresh natural foods as is folate. Because it is synthetic, is not bio-available to the body, as is folate.

Now for our featured recipe – Sugar Snap Peas with Tarragon – and here is what you will need.

1 pound sugar snap peas

1 shallot, diced

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 to 1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cilantro, chopped

Himalayan salt and pepper to taste (optional)

cooking sugar snap peasIn a large sauce pot, bring water to a rapid boil, and add snap peas and cook until they turn bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

chopped fresh herbs and shallotsMean time, prepare the tarragon, cilantro, and shallots.

In a large ceramic coated skillet over medium heat, add butter and melt. Next add shallots and cook until soft, about  3 minutes. Next whisk in a splash of fresh water, about 1 to 2 tablespoons, then add snap peas and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Next add chopped tarragon, cilantro, and mix in with snap peas and shallots.

Sugar Snap Peas with TarragonSpoon cooked sugar snap pea mixture into a serving bowl, and serve with your favorite main dish.

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Sourdough Bread Day – No Fooling

Sourdough Bread Day - No Fooling

Did you know  the way sourdough bread is prepared helps improve its nutrition value?  The sourdough starter as it is called, pre-digeststarches, making the bread more easily digestible.

Because of this it lowers insulin response, thus improving glucose tolerance. The pre-digested starches helps protect Vitamin B-1 from the damage of the heat will the bread is being baked. The pre-digested starches also break down the gluten, resulting in a bread that gluten-sensitive people can eat.

The process also breaks down phytases which free up minerals for better absorption,  such as zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus.

Don’t be FOOLED into believing folic acid is better for you, as it is the synthetic form of folate, and folate is made in nature and is bio-available to the body.

One medium slice of sourdough has 95 micrograms of folate, which is 24% of the daily required amount needed for good health. Lack of folate in the diet would make you more susceptible to developing cancer, age-related vision loss, hearing loss, and heart disease.

So this April first (2015) enjoy a slice or two of sourdough bread, and We’re Not Fooling.

Grilled Brussels sprouts with baconEnjoy sourdough with – Grilled Brussels sprouts and Bacon

1 pound Brussels sprouts cut in half, cooked, either rosasted or grilled

1/2 pound of bacon, cooked

6 slices of sourdough bread, if using longer slices cut in half

Grill or roast prepared Brussels sprouts. In a medium bowl mix with cooked, chopped bacon.

Warm the slices of sourdough bread, and top with the grilled Brussels sprouts and Bacon.

Enjoy!!

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Turkey Avocado and Dill SandwichEnjoy sourdough with – Turkey Avocado and Dill Sandwich –

4 slices deli smoked turkey

2 eggs fried, yolk cooked

1 avocado, medium, peeled, pitted and sliced

3 or 4 fresh sprigs of dill

1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves

Sweet Tomato Chutney – Click here for recipe

Spread sourdough with chutney. Next layer with one or two turkey slices, add fried egg, avocado slices, and top with a sprig of dill and some baby spinach leaves.

Enjoy this sandwich for Sunday brunch, breakfast or lunch.

Stop Fooling around and get to the kitchen and prepare your sourdough bread with either Grilled Brussels sprouts and Bacon or Turkey Avocado and Dill Sandwich.

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Alternative Cooking Methods to Frying

Alternative Cooking Methods to Frying

Every February is Heart Health Month as set out by the American Heart Association.  Here is a list from their web-site of alternatives to frying for better heart health and better cooking in the kitchen.

Stir-fryingUse a wok to cook vegetables, poultry or seafood in vegetable stock, wine or a small amount of oil.  Avoid high-sodium (salt) seasonings like teriyaki and soy sauce.

Roasting: Use a rack in the pan so the meat or poultry doesn’t sit in its own fat drippings.  Instead of basting with pan drippings, use fat-free liquids like wine, tomato juice or lemon juice.  When making gravy from the drippings, chill first then use a gravy strainer or skim ladle to remove the fat.

Grilling and BroilingUse a rack so the fat drips away from the food.

heart health with alternative cooking methods to fryingBaking: Bake foods in covered cookware with a little extra liquid.

Poaching: Cook chicken or fish by immersing it in simmering liquid.

Sauéting: Use a pan made with nonstick metal or a coated, nonstick surface, so you will need to use little or no oil when cooking.  Use a nonstick vegetable spray to brown or sauté foods; or, as an alternative, use a small amount of broth or wine, or a tiny bit of vegetable oil rubbed onto the pan with a paper towel.

Steaming: Steam vegetables in a basket over simmering water.  They’ll retain more flavors and won’t need any salt.

For more health and nutrition ideas visit our sister web-site Savor the Food and Your Health and learn more about how food correlates to a healthy you.

List source: Heart.Org

Header Image credit: kone123 / 123RF Stock Photo

 

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