Monday, December 27, 2010

What to eat for a week?

It happens every year without fail - Christmas rolls around and I start drooling over other blogger's Christmas meals. Growing up I spent Christmas Eve at my friend's home with their very Italian Christmas feast. The food never stopped coming. One thing I can say about Italians and Jews - no one goes hungry at a holiday meal.

And then I started to spend Christmas with Thatboy's family. In Thatboy's family EVERYONE goes hungry. They're equal opportunity starvers. I'm not joking when I tell you about the year everyone got a teaspoon of soup and single leaf of lettuce at TBIL's Christmas party. This year we tried to outsmart the crowd. When we realized that our typical 7 hour drive was going to be closer to 10, we called to let them know that we'd be grabbing dinner before TBIL's party. Of course, when we showed up, it was lucky we had stopped since there was no food to be found. And Thatboy had to seek out TBIL who didn't seem very interested in seeing us at all.

The rest of the trip was pretty much more of the same - we continued to make efforts to make it a nice family holiday and were rebuffed at every turn. Thatboy offered to make Christmas breakfast for everyone and was told not to because his father didn't want two big meals in the same day. (SEE - equal opportunity starvers) Christmas Dinner was so overdone as to be inedible and even though TFIL cooks for the same number of people every year, there's never enough food. I discovered part of the problem when I overheard him trying to convince TMIL that 9 potatoes would be enough for baked potatoes for 8 people AND mashed potatoes for 12 people.

But I'm willing to be my Christmas experience is unusual and most of you are stuffed to the gills with roasts and sweets. And even still, I know most of you are also looking forward to a fabulous New Years feast. Because there's no better way to kick off the year than my going all out with food, wine, and festivities. The problem becomes what to eat during the week in between these two heavy meals.

Well friends, I have the answer to all your problems. You know what you eat between Christmas and New Years? Something easy and loaded with veggies. Something like a stirfry! This one is a modified childhood favorite. And I know it's not just from my childhood. I've yet to meet a kid who didn't love sweet and sour something. Something about the sweet sticky sauce, the plump juicy pineapples. Thatboy grew up with sweet and sour pork, but we were sweet and sour chicken people in my family.

This recipe is far better for you than the classic dish because the chicken isn't battered and fried. (Although I'm sure that's another reason the dish is a sure fire kid pleaser.) Instead this is something you use as a bit of a detox before throwing yourself into the new year.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
1 cup white rice, cooked
1 cup pineapple chunks (I've been using the frozen pineapple tidbits from Trader Joes. LOVE)
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1 boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 cup sweet and sour sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce

1. Heat oil in skillet. Add veggies and cook until tender crisp. Remove veggies from skillet.
2. Cook chicken in skillet until cooked through.
3. Add veggies back into skillet with chicken, sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, and pineapples. Heat through and serve over rice.


  1. I rolled myself out of the dining room on Christmas Day, morning noon and night, Boxing Day, etc, etc.

  2. You are officially invited to my house next Christmas. I promise you won't go starving. And you'll even get leftovers. Good deal.

    I do want this stir fry though. If there's anything CHristmas leaves me craving, it's mass amounts of veggies!

  3. Strange...I figured every family made way too much food for the holidays. 9 potatoes enough for mashed potatoes for 12? Not likely.

    Happy New Years to both of you!