No time to cook? Think planned leftovers.
In the following recipes from the California Walnut Commission, Asian Walnut Chicken - which can be served hot or cold - is the basis for three other dishes later in the week.
Asian Walnut Chicken
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup sherry or red wine
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root or 1 tablespoon powdered ginger
10 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 3-1/4 pounds total)
Lemon Olive Sauce:
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped green or ripe olives
1 clove minced garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, sherry, oil, sugar, garlic and ginger root. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
Put the chicken in a large lock-top plastic bag. Pour in the marinade. Press the air out and seal the bag tightly, then massage the bag gently to distribute the marinade. Place in a large bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The chicken can be marinated up to 24 hours in advance of cooking.
Remove the chicken and reserve the marinade. To barbecue, grill over hot coals, turning occasionally and brushing two or three times with the reserved marinade during the first 10 minutes. Total cooking time is about 15 minutes. Chicken is done when it is opaque throughout, with no trace of pink in the center; cut into a couple of pieces to be sure.
The chicken may also be cooked under the broiler; turn it once and brush two or three times with reserved marinade during the first 8 minutes. Total cooking time is 12 to 15 minutes, and the chicken is done when it is opaque throughout, with no trace of pink in the center. Cut into a piece to be sure.
Meanwhile, prepare the Lemon Olive Sauce: in a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, olives and garlic. (Or puree the ingredients in a food processor.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce in the refrigerator for Piquant Pita Sandwiches (see recipe below).
Stir walnuts into the sauce remaining in the bowl.
Serve 4 breast halves, accompanied by the Lemon Olive Sauce. Reserve the remaining 6 breast halves for Exotic Chicken and Rice Medley, Piquant Pita Sandwiches and Savory Chicken Salad Dijonaise (recipes follow).
Nutrition information per serving: 335 calories, 13 grams fat (35 percent fat calories), 41 grams protein, 98 milligrams cholesterol, 10 grams carbohydrate, 592 milligrams sodium.
Exotic Chicken and Rice Medley
Dice 2 of the Asian Walnut Chicken breast halves and set aside.
Put 3 cups water in a large saucepan. Add
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (they do not have to be thawed) and 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and bring to a boil. Add 3 cups instant rice and the diced chicken. Stir to blend. Cover the pan and remove from heat. Let stand 5 to 7 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Before serving, fluff the rice with a fork, adding 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: 6 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 388 calories, 9 grams fat (21 percent fat calories), 22 grams protein, 39 milligrams cholesterol, 55 grams carbohydrate, 158 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Piquant Pita Sandwiches
Dice 2 of the Asian Walnut Chicken breast halves and place in a large bowl. Add the reserved 1/2 cup Lemon Olive sauce, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup diced celery and 1/4 cup chopped green onion. Stir and toss with a fork to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut 4 pita breads in half to make 8 pita pockets. Divide the mixture among the pita pockets, tucking a leaf or two of crisp lettuce and a few tomato slices into each sandwich as well.
Yield: 4 servings of two pita halves each.
Nutrition information per serving: 378 calories, 11 grams fat (26 percent fat calories), 28 grams protein, 49 milligrams cholesterol, 40 grams carbohydrate, 639 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.
Savory Chicken Salad Dijonaise
Dice 2 of the Asian Walnut Chicken breast halves and place in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup chopped green onion, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley, 3 tablespoons wine vinegar or cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard, 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce and 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger. Stir to combine and coat the ingredients, then set aside.
Cook 12 ounces fresh pasta (spaghetti, fettuccine or Chinese-style noodles) in boiling water according to package directions. Stir 1/3 cup of the hot pasta-cooking liquid into the chicken mixture. Drain the pasta thoroughly, then add it to the bowl. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce.
Yield: 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 478 calories, 11 grams fat (21 percent fat calories), 31 grams protein, 55 milligrams cholesterol, 60 grams carbohydrate, 690 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.
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