We are out of bread. I’ve made bread in a bread machine for 30 years or so, but I never made it from scratch. Inspired by Becky Walker (Hillbilly Kitchen), I made my first loaf of her QuarantineBread. Her very comprehensive tutorial is excellent if you’re interested.
Yesterday I ran out of produce except for onions, celery, and a few potatoes. I had to open a can of turnip greens, which aren’t bad. I’ve cooked greens from scratch that, frankly, weren’t worth the effort.
I pressure cooked a turkey breast, made gravy, and we had greens, turkey, and mashed potatoes yesterday and today.
The photo doesn’t do the meal justice. It tasted better than it looks. I have enough leftover turkey breast meat for tomorrow. Stay tuned for what I make with it.
I craved Asian cuisine today, so I made Kung Pao Chicken and brown rice in the Instant Pot. I didn’t have hot peppers, hoisin sauce, or chili purée. Without the typical red chili peppers, my dish was milder than take-out. As for the condiments, I found recipes online and made my own.
We were pleased with the results. I focused on ingredients I had (fresh ginger root and fresh cilantro) and followed a Betty Crocker (Cookbook) recipe for low fat Kung Pao Chicken. I used frozen chicken thighs and modified it for the Instant Pot or any brand multi cooker.
RECIPE—Instant Pot Kung Pao Chicken for Two
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp cold water
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Grated ginger root
1/2 cup chicken broth (from cooking the chicken)
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp Chile purée
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
Pressure cook chicken thighs in 1/2 cup water ten minutes. Allow pressure to drop on its own.
Mix a slurry of all other ingredients except broth, onions, celery, and peanuts. Set aside.
Remove chicken from pot and cut into 1” cubes. Reserve broth.
Usingsauté mode, sauté onions, peanuts, and celery in 1/2 cup of reserved broth for five minutes.
Add chicken and stir.
Add the slurry and turn off Instant Pot. Stir until sauce thickens.
Previously, I mentioned we have our main meal at lunchtime and prefer a light dinner. For the next several days, dinner is a variation of the chef salad. Light, yes. Quick? Well … not so much.
Unless you buy bagged salad mix, you must firstwash and chopped your produce. (Quarantinetip: save the chopped ends of lettuce in water and grow another serving) I prefer chopping lettuce and slicing tomatoes with a knife, but a food processor or Kitchen Kutter makes quick work of shredding carrots, slicing celery and onions, and whatever else you want to add.
I usually add chopped boiled egg, a bit of Parmesan cheese,and a meat to finish the salad. The meat can be a shredded cooked chicken breast, thawed frozen cooked shrimp, chopped lunch meat, or tonight’s selection, canned tuna.
A salad is a good way to get a couple of servings of vegetables, and it doesn’t have to be boring. Add grated zucchini, sliced fresh mushrooms, or even fruit. We plan to enjoy salads until we run out of fresh produce. That’s when my 30-Day challenge will get, uh, challenging.
Breakfast. I’m a firm advocate of eating breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day because you are “breaking” the “fast” of sleep.
I’m also no fan of fasting. Those diets that involve fasting are not for me! Just as with any meal, I will need to be creative with breakfast if I stick with my vow to stay home 30 days.
We still have eggs and egg substitutes, so today I combined the two to make a lightened version of scrambled eggs. We have plenty of Jimmy Dean turkey sausage patties in the freezer, so I added those to the menu. But the star of today’s breakfast was grits.