I know better. I have always known better. Still, I do the grocery shopping hungry or, to be brutally honest, famished.
When I was a briefcase-toting, suit-wearing, type 'A' person I did it after work on Friday's, which usually meant around 8:30 pm. Now that I am a 'not gainfully employed outside the home' type I like to get my exercise routine done in the morning before I go – in the odd chance that mon mari offers to buy lunch I won't have to think about it later in the day.
One of the known problems with shopping whilst starving is the buying of unnecessary foodstuffs. I shop with a list but it often turns out to be a jumping off point. I'm also much more adventuresome when I'm hungry, which explains some of the bizarre stuff I find in my pantry. Then my conservative (insert nationality here) upbringing kicks in and I have to find a use for it.
The fact that I didn't have a clue what to do with rice paper when I bought it …. two years ago, didn't prevent me from buying not one but two packages. It
was seemed to be a good price. (What did I know?). If you look closely at the expiration date you will understand the crises I faced last weekend – when I looked closely at the date. Zoot alors! Something must be done!
So, it was Chinese for dinner. I knew what the starter would be 'Summer Rolls'; no frying in hot oil and much healthier than 'Egg Rolls'.
I decided on a healthy version of Sweet and Sour Pork, as well. No batter, no deep-frying and no mid-meal trip to the back 40 with a wok full of hot, smoking oil.
Sweet and Sour Pork Time: 20 minutes
This is not the kind made with canned pineapple, which I think is horrid, but an actual real Chinese recipe.
for the pork:
12 – 16 oz (300 – 450gr) lean pork I used pork tenderloin
1 tbs oil
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs chicken stock
for the sauce:
1 tbs oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 large red or green pepper mine was red
1/3 head broccoli, 1/2 – 3/4 cup small florets
1 medium carrot
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs white sugar
4 tbs red wine or sherry vinegar
1 tbs cornstarch (maizena, corn flour) dissolved in
2 tbs chicken stock
2 tsp soy sauce
Cut the pork into 1" (2.5cm) cubes. Heat oil and soy sauce in nonstick skillet. Add pork and stir-fry 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes or until done. Mince garlic. Slice pepper and carrot into matchsticks. Cut broccoli into small florets. Dissolve cornstarch in chicken stock and set aside. In large nonstick skillet heat remaining 1 tbs oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add carrot, broccoli and pepper and stir-fry 2 – 3 minutes. Add stock, sugars, vinegar and soy sauce and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Give cornstarch a stir to recombine and add to sauce, stirring until thickened. Remove pork from pan juices and add to sauce. Serve with Sesame Brown Rice.
Even Chinese can be healthy!
Actually, true Chinese is very healthy, it's just the takeout and buffets
we all some of us so dearly love that pack in the calories.