Fast Food, Schmast Food….
Fast food is popular because it’s easy, right? I know that is the sole reason for it when we hit a drive thru. Okay, okay – not the sole reason – I sometimes just really crave a good McD’s french fry. Admit it….you do too!!!
Anyway…fast food is easy. I’ve been on a quest for a few months now to cook at home more and I think I’ve finally figured out how to have “Fast Food” at home – and I’m not talking about chicken nuggets and onion rings, just the fast part. The key to easy and quick meals is a well stocked pantry. If I have all the staples on hand, there are a ton of recipes that can be made with a little digging through my freezer for the right proteins or my regular and rotating fresh veggies in the crisper.
It’s a matter of cooking for a while and determining what the “staples” are for and your family. Do you eat a lot of shrimp? Keep it on hand in the freezer. Your kids love broccoli? Put it on the grocery list every week (and kuddos to those great kids – wanna swap? I kid, I kid). Love Asian food? Soy, teryaki and hoisin should be staples you keep on hand. Get the idea? It seems simple enough, but I wonder how many people really practice it?
So, here’s an example of a meal that I made a few days ago. It took less time to make this from start to finish than it would have to order a pizza or go pick up food somewhere, and it was definitely tastier! I didn’t have ground pork on hand on this particular day, but ground beef was a great substitute. Also, be forwarned that if you don’t like spicy, cut back on the crushed red pepper as this one packed quite a kick!
Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Pork
Cooking Light, April 2006
4 servings (serving size: 1 cup pork mixture and 1/2 cup rice)
- 1/2 pound lean ground pork
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil
- 2 1/2 cups (1-inch) cut green beans
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 cups hot cooked white rice
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture, beans, and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until pork loses its pink color, stirring to crumble.
Combine hoisin and next 3 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add hoisin mixture to pan. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Serve over rice.