Or condensed soup of any kind.
Where my key words for December were "ooey and gooey'' the word to describe my current perspective on food - and life for that matter - would have to be "spicy."
Spicy foods serve many purposes. Not only do they have the power to unblock the nasal passages and help soothe the sniffles, I find that I eat less when I have something zesty on my plate.
Something zesty in my life doesn't hurt either, and certainly, embracing a spicy attitude has its benefits.
The spicy person tends to take life less seriously and never forgets at days end that work must be left behind. They remind us that long conversations over a plate of well prepared food and a glass of wine are good things, and that we should all make time in our lives for dancing, laughter, and the odd siesta.
This is why I like January; even though I'm not one for resolutions, there is definitely a sense of renewal this time of year.
In the spirit of that, I took my running shoes out of hibernation this afternoon, leashed the dog and went for a long slow jog - my first real run in over a month.
I've talked about this before, but I'll say it again - the benefits of exercise, not just on the body, but on the mind, are immense.
A 45 minute workout, run, swim, or walk is a powerful way to change perspective, lift the spirits, and uncover the spice that resides within all of us.
And what better after a zesty workout than a beautiful Asian Stir Fry?
The following recipe is one I have adapted from a new cookbook I'm very impressed with: MasterChef
It's a compilation from Gordon Ramsey's Fox show and when I saw this recipe for Asian Orange Stir Fry, I knew I had to try it.
The original recipe called for boneless chicken breasts, fresh mandarin oranges, and more cayenne pepper. My version uses boneless pork loin, canned mandarins, and a little less heat.
When my husband took his first bite he said "I could eat this every week."
And I agree.
Asian Pork Stir Fry
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
For printable recipe click HERE
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1 small tin mandarin oranges
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian chili sauce
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound snow peas
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the bias for garnish
- Whisk the egg white, cornstarch, sesame oil, and cayenne pepper in a mixing bowl. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the pork and toss to coat. Set aside.
- In another bowl, drain the juice from the mandarins and add the broth, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and chili sauce. Stir well until everything is mixed.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok at medium high. When the oil is hot, toss in the pork and stir fry until pork is cooked through and is nice and brown and crispy. Reduce heat if the pan becomes too hot.
- Remove the pork to a plate lined with paper towel and add the snow peas to the pan. Pour in the mandarin juice mixture. Simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens (about 7 minutes)
- Add the pork back to the pan tossing to coat in the sauce.
Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, and a website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.
Visit her daily on her blog, The Kitchen Witch or on her YouTube Channel, CHARMED With The Kitchen Witch.