I’ve been spending this week on a bit of a mini holiday, staying at Aarons place in Traralgon, which is about 2 hours from Melbourne. It has been a nice change of scenery and I have actually managed to catch up on a bit of my university study while he has been at work during the day. Yesterday I tackled ‘Health Promotion Principles & Planning’ and ‘Socioeconomic Status & Health’ and today I plan on conquering ‘Biochemistry’ & ‘Principles of Nutrition’. I’m basically doing the last 3 weeks worth of work in just 2 days, but at least then I will be caught up and then it will be easier to keep up for the rest of the semester. Well, that is the theory anyway!
I brought down this weeks (more like months now!) Cookbook Challenge book ‘Off the Shelf’ by Donna Hay and FINALLY managed to cook something from it. I am so glad to be finished with this book and be able to change the picture in the sidebar to a brand new one. Well, the first few weeks the LibraryThing widget loved the old cookbooks, now it seems to have a thing for Donna Hay, with next weeks book being ‘The Instant Cook’. I don’t think I have cooked from this one before, I will have to check when I get home tomorrow.
Anyway, on to the recipe I made last night. Let’s just say that Aaron doesn’t cook all that much so cooking in his kitchen is a bit of a challenge. Ever tried to slice pumpkin with a tiny (not very sharp) knife? Been so stuck for a lid for the frypan that you had to use the smaller frypan as a make-shift lid?… then you know the kind of challenge I am talking about. I won’t even mention the fact that I had to use the sesame oil from this recipe to cook eggs this morning, or maybe I just did. I think I am going to have to bring some of my excess kitchen supplies down here to have a vacation from my cramped cupboards and drawers, there is plenty of stretching space for them here, and they would only have to work every couple of weeks so I think that they would be very happy!
OK, enough talk about the emotions of inanimate objects. This dish was really quick to make and delicious. I changed it up quite a bit because the supermarket didn’t have any chillies left (plus we aren’t really spicy food kind of people) or peanut oil (hence the sesame oil) and I am not a fan of fish sauce, so I used the much sweeter and less fishy tasting Oyster sauce, which is one of my favourite sauces of all time – even though I generally don’t eat seafood. I also served it on hokkien noodles instead of the suggested Jasmine rice, for two reasons. Firstly, Jasmine rice has one of the highest glycemic indexes for rices which means that it causes large swings in blood glucose levels. These swings in glucose levels are obviously a problem for people with diabetes (either type), but it actually isn’t great for everyone else as well as it will leave you feeling hungry again soon after eating. Secondly, I just prefer to serve stir-fries on noodles, rice just seems odd to me, it is more of a curry thing or at least something with a lot of sauce.
Chicken & Pumpkin Stir-fry (Serves 4)
Slice 4 skinless chicken breasts and season with pepper. Heat 2Tbsp sesame (or peanut) oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 sliced red onions and cook for a couple of minutes until soft. Add sliced chicken and cook for 3 minutes or until browned. Add 600g peeled, thinly sliced pumpkin, 2Tbsp oyster sauce & 2Tbsp soy sauce, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is just soft, Stir through 1/4C roughly chopped basil leaves and serve with 440g pkt hokkien noodles prepared according to packet directions.