Fast Food, Schmast Food….

Uncategorized | July 19, 2009 | By

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.

  1. staci
    July 20, 2009

    That crappy old pan looks familiar. Loved this dinner !!!!

  2. Terri
    July 20, 2009

    That crappy old pan is GREAT! I loved how big it is. I don't have a pan that large, but sure would love one!

  3. McMommy
    July 24, 2009

    I would have made this because my husband LOVES spicy foods but I didn't have peanut oil or hoisin sauce? (what is that??)

  4. Terri
    August 5, 2009

    Hey McMommy – You could probably use canola oil rather than peanut oil. Hoisin Sauce is a Asian dipping type sauce that is soy based. You can find it in a small jar in the Asian cooking section of your typical grocery store. Sorry I didn't see this comment earlier – the email landed in my spam folder….imagine, McMommy as spam! =) I hope you get to make this – totally tasty!

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