I know, I know, I just posted a super delicious Chicken Stir Fry Recipe with Pineapple Orange Barbecue Sauce not too long ago. I shared my secret ingredients for making a tangy, sweet and savory sauce, and I use one of them again in this stir fry ~ barbecue sauce. There was so little left in the jar, I added water to shake out what remained. Worked perfectly. Using local produce really enhances these meals. The chicken is also local, with Ohio raised chicken breast, and Amish chicken sausages.
As an aside, I personally prioritize locally grown over purchasing store bought organics, which is like an added tax for growers who have to put out extra funds for the organic label. Couple that with the fact that the parent companies of most organic food labels are the very companies selling some of the least healthy food products, I simply lack confidence in their labeling.
Locally raised and grown foods are always freshest. Seasonal foods, picked when ripe will retain most of the nutrients as opposed to being picked before ripe, and left to sit in holding bins.
Local farmers need our support. Before the Industrial Revolution ~ when the merchants began to take over the farming industry ~ most Americans were consuming locally raised and grown foods. I think the DE-centralized approach is FAR MORE healthy and sustainable, and I do pray we return to that way of living.
I could go on, however, this post is to inspire prepping ahead of time, not just supporting local farmers, although that is always in season.
While prepping for the Chicken Stir Fry With Seasonal Veg (& fruit considering tomato and summer squash are fruit) I cut up extra to prepare the next day's dinner as well. I outline my prep steps below.
Sometimes we don't get home until later afternoon. Since we prefer to have our second and usually biggest meal of the day by 2-3:00, 4:00 at the latest, I like having something quick around for those days when we will be getting a later start to our evening meal.
If you have extra time on a weekend, take the time to prep at least one extra meal ahead of time. Alternatively, make a bigger batch of either recipe, then freeze half for a quick meal on another day.
Here are a couple tips for prepping it forward:
- If you don't mind getting a few bowls dirty, it makes prep easier. It will help you stay organized. Think cooking show. The ingredients are all prepped in individual bowls, ready to go.
- Choose two or more meals which use similar ingredients.
- Cut the vegetables differently for a different look and texture, so you don't feel like you are eating the same meal twice.
- If having a grain with your meal, such as white or brown rice, set it up that morning, or even the night before. For example, I measured 1 cup of white rice into a bowl, and added 2 cups of water and a squeeze of lime. I keep it on the counter, covered with a sushi mat so it can breathe, but keep dust and bugs out ~ if there are any. The extended soaking time + the acid from the citrus helps grains further break down and be more digestible, something I discuss in my upcoming Whole & Pre-Sprouted Grains Cookbook E-Book.
- Cut all the produce first. Organize as needed in bowls. Then, cut meat. This keeps your knife and board cleaner.
MAIN INGREDIENTS TO PREP FOR BOTH DISHES:
- 2 pounds chicken breast (1/2 pound per person is usually good +/-)
- 2 chicken sausages (I used Amish chicken sausages)
- 1 medium sweet onion, cut in half: one half cut into half moons, the other half diced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 carrots: slice 1.5 of the carrots on the bias for stir fry, dice the rest
- 1 yellow or green summer squash, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced on the bias (diagonally)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced or cut into chunks (if desired, use the other half in the stir fry too)
- 2-3 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large tomato, cut one half into larger chunks, dice the other half
- 1/4 small head of cabbage, cut in half, then lay down to cut horizontally/cross wise into fettuccine noodle shaped wedges
- Kelp or other seaweed cut into small pieces with a scissors ~ boosts mineral content and can be added to both recipes, or omitted if you don't have any
- If using white rice, measure 1 cup in a bowl, and add 2 cups water and a squeeze of lime. Do this in the morning if time permits
PREP IT FORWARD STEPS:
- Half moon sliced onion, celery, and 1.5 carrots sliced on the bias can go into a bowl with half the garlic
- Place summer squash in a separate bowl
- Half the tomato cut into chunks for the stir fry can go in a bowl with the squash
- Diced onion and rest of garlic and diced carrot can all go into the same bowl for the next dish
- Cabbage and half tomato for next dish can just be prepped on the cutting board, or into a bowl, to be used in the second dish
- Put 1.5 pounds of the chicken breast in a bowl for the stir fry, and the remaining chicken breast + chicken sausages in a separate bowl (Note: sausages are often salty, hence I'm cutting it by adding some of the chicken breast to get the amount of protein we want for the two of us without adding a third or fourth sausage)
Chicken Stir Fry With Celery, Squash, Carrot & Tomato
- 1/2 sweet onion, cut into half moons
- 1&1/2 carrot
- Both stalks celery, sliced
- Seaweed like kelp cut into small thin pieces with a scissors (optional, but boosts mineral content)
- 1 yellow or green summer squash, cut as outlined above
- 1/2 (or a little less) large tomato, cut into chunks
- 1.5 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1 inch or so bite sized pieces
- Salt & white pepper
- Dried ginger, optional ~ warming and a bit spicy, so use a light hand during the summer!
- Extra virgin olive oil for cooking (xvoo)
- 1-2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce diluted in 1-2 Tbsp. water
Perfect White Rice
Amish Chicken Sausage, Tomato & Cabbage
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 1+ small clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 carrot, diced
- Optional kelp or seaweed, cut into small pieces with a scissors
- 1/2 pound chicken breast
- 2 Amish or other chicken sausage, sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 large tomato diced
- 1/4 head cabbage, cut cross-wise into fettuccine noodle shaped wedges
- Dried oregano and basil ~ a few good shakes of each
- About 1/2 cup, or a bit more tomato juice
I didn't think to create this into a post until after both meals were already prepped. Next time, I'll get better photos of each step during prepping.