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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Asian Chicken and Veg Packets

I'm back from a delightful family wedding in a beautiful part of the country I'd probably not otherwise have visited.  Gorgeous!  Splendid time!  Hiatus explained, now back to work.

I'm still posting recipes from the "carb-conscious" freezer meal kit assembly-fest I did before my trip.  Probably the suckiest part of "anything-conscious" eating is portion control.  You can eat low-carb, low-sodium, low-fat, low-whatever and find delicious and healthy things to have, but in the end, if you're eating it by the bucketful, it's not healthy any more.  Enter South Beach Chicken and Veggie Packets.  Each serving of this recipe is HUGE, and it's tasty, low-carb, low-fat and relatively low-sodium (use lightly steamed fresh veg to help reduce sodium content and swap no-salt broth for soy sauce).

A lot of my notes on this recipe involve how to pack it for freezing.  Because foil is the most leak-proof wrapper you could do (and can be grilled as well as roasted), I recommend using it.  BUT if you plan to freeze these guys, I'd use heavy-duty foil and put a layer of parchment paper (not waxed paper) on the inside to protect against tears from frozen cooking liquid.  Store them seam-side up in the freezer and be sure to defrost them that way, too.

Asian Chicken and Veggies Packets
Makes 8 servings

3 lbs. chicken breast, sliced
2 16 oz. bags frozen broccoli
2 10 oz. bags frozen snap peas
2 8 oz. cans water chestnuts, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
2/3 cup sherry
6 tbsp soy sauce (low-sodium)
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced

Combine all ingredients in a LARGE bowl and stir well to combine.  Alternately, mix vegetables together in one bowl, and mix sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and ginger together in another. 

Tear off 8 sheets of foil about 18" in length (also cut similar sized pieces of parchment paper, if freezing).  Put 1 piece of parchment paper on top of 1 piece of foil.  Put 1/8 of the mixture (or 1/8 of the chicken, 1/8 of the veggies and 1/8 of the cooking sauce) in the  middle.  Match long ends of foil and roll tightly down to the chicken-veggie mixture, making sure to fold the foil over at least twice.  Press the foil flat and roll the short ends toward the center, making sure to fold the foil at least twice.  Pinch all folds well to ensure that there are no leaks.  Put on a tray to freeze.  Repeat with remaining ingredients and foil.

To cook, thaw thoroughly SEAM SIDE UP.  Bake 18-20 minutes at 450F or grill over high heat for about 20 minutes.
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