Addiction, the sequel (again!); stir-fry problem solvers

A friend’s child went into drug rehab this week. And the way my friend describes the drug use is exactly my thought process when I’m getting ready to medicate my low moods with over-eating:

“S/he was only using a few times a week. S/he’d use, feel good. It would wear off. S/he’d get sick (feel bad) and think, ‘Just this once, it won’t matter if I use again.’  ” And again. And again. We junkies know how that goes just in case you thought being addicted to food is any different than being addicted to other substances providing instant highs, subsequent lows.

OK, it’s not against the law to finish the ice cream in the container when a half serving remains. But the sugar makes me feel lousy in the short run, the fat, in the long run. A significant portion of my difficulties running up and down stairs, after all, is the 40 extra pounds packed about my mid-section.

So, alone in the house last night (well, if two not particularly housebroken dogs, a rambunctious kitten and two pissed-off cats count as alone), I had this chat with myself: “Yes, it will too matter. Go to bed. Feel good about your strengths, instead of bad about your weaknesses. Think about your supper and how in most of the world, that was probably a day’s worth of food.” And I did. Yay, me.

And that supper was so good, we polished it off in two days, with me forgetting to take a picture. It was a gingered Cashew Chicken from the January/February issue of Cuisine at Home magazine, a recipe that answered two of my frequent quibbles about stir-fries: 1) They all taste the same and 2) the meat is overdone to a fare-thee-well. Remedies: 1) Toasted sesame oil, fresh ginger and chili garlic sauce and 2) pre-cooking the chicken.

Cashew chicken

1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

3/4 cup roasted cashews

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce

1 cup scallion slices (green part)

Find chili garlic sauce in Asian foods section of your supermarket. Use it in recipes or splashed on jasmine rice like ketchup on a burger.

As with any stir-fry, have all ingredients ready to pop in the pan before you fire up the stovetop. Cook chicken in saucepan of boiled salted water until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes; drain and refrigerate tightly covered,  if not using immediately.

Heat oil in wok or skillet. Add cashews; stir-fry until fragrant, 1 minute. Add ginger and stir-fry 30 seconds. Stir in soy sauce and chili garlic sauce, then add cooked chicken; stir-fry 2 minutes more. Stir in scallions. Serve over rice.

Makes 4 servings, 381 cal and 20 g fat each.


6 responses to “Addiction, the sequel (again!); stir-fry problem solvers”

  1. The very definition of addiction is that there are endless sequels, as many as the days of our lives whether we are abstinent or not. For all we know it follows us into the next life. After all, if we believe that love lives on, the opposite must hold true.


    1. wow, that’s cheery thought. !!!


      1. but poerhaps in future lives we become smarter in defeating it.


      2. hah, not at this time of year when all i can think about is how much my head hurts from all the pollen. we have a green truck!


  2. Two questions. JoAnne:
    1) Is the chili garlic sauce hot?
    2) Does it matter if I read this as I was finishing off some chocolate moose trackside cream


    1. bwhahahaha! moose tracks. no, the sauce is rather sweet and pickly. since you only use 1 tb. in recipe, it really doesn’t account for a dramatic taste in this dish. how’s the condo? all settled in. we’re going to miss you tomorrow morning. xo, joa


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