Friday, December 17, 2010

Stir-Fried Chicken & Noodles

Proper Nutrition is a huge part in what makes a successful wrestler.  Wrestlers who are constantly cutting large amounts of weight because they allow they're weight to bounce way back up in between tournaments suffer from being tired, hungry, thirsty, and cranky.  I've been helping Whirling Dervish stay within a pound or two of his weight class, by offering up nutritious meals that stay within the bounds of 1/4 starch, 1/4 protein, 1/2 vegetables.  This way when his shoulder is completely healed up and ready to go, he won't have 8lbs to drop. 
The trick here is that all the stuff that makes food tasty - salt, fat, sugar - are off the meal plan.  Salt can cause water retention which to a wrestler can be the difference between making weight and forfeiting.  While the body needs some fat, laying on the bacon grease for flavor is not something advised during the wrestling season.  As for sugar, well, those syrupy sauces can be calorie bombs.  And significant calories that don't have vitamins attached are out.

So what's a mom to do who doesn't want to feed her family food that tastes like cardboard?  Bring on the spices.  My half asian children can handle a bit of heat in their food.  CG, not so much.  But a large glass of milk gets him through.  I also make sure the veggies have texture.  Veggies shouldn't be cooked down to mush.  They should still have a bit of snap in the mouth.  Crunch makes a meal tastier.  Here's what we ate last night - A quick & easy Chicken & Noodle Stir Fry.
 Start by boiling a pot of water for the noodles.  I used Hodgson Mills gluten-free Spaghetti.  It's made from Brown Rice and Flax Seed Meal.  I love the addition of Flax Seed for the Vitamin E boost.  One package is only 8 oz.  That 1/2 pound is just the right amount for my quarter, quarter, half ratio.  I love that the starch portion is also high fiber with a vitamin boost.
Meanwhile, I chopped all of my veggies and placed them in ramekins.  Stir frying should be super fast over high heat.  Low heat for longer amounts of time will cause your veggies to steam and lose their crispness.  For this meal I chopped 1 onion, 2 large carrots, 2 stalks celery, 1 red pepper,  1/4 head of cabbage, 1 pkg fresh baby corn, 3 cloves garlic, 1 1/2 tbsps ginger, and opened up a can of sliced water chestnuts.  If you can't find fresh baby corn, you can use canned, but you may want to rinse the corn a few times to reduce the sodium.  I also sliced 1 1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts thinly.  Start up your wok over high heat.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tbsp seseme oil.  Add onions.

Stir-fry the onions for a minute or 2 then add the ginger, garlic, and chicken.  You don't want to add the ginger and garlic right away, because allowing them to burn will create a pungent flavor that's too strong for most dishes.
Stir-fry for another couple of minutes then add the carrots, celery, baby corn, and water chestnuts.  Stir-fry for a minute.  Add the red pepper, and cabbage.  Stir-fry for 30 seconds.  Add 1 tbsp of black bean-chili-garlic sauce(found in the asian section), 1 tbsp of horseradish mustard, and 1/8 cup of the pasta water.  Add the drained pasta.  Mix thoroughly.  Finish with 1 cup fresh bean sprouts.

A note about the pasta:  Brown Rice pasta is very starchy which is why the pasta water works as a thickening agent vs using a cornstarch slurry.  Cooking brown rice pasta can be a bit tricky if you're accustomed to cooking wheat pasta.  It will stick and clump up if you let it.  Here's how to cook it without clumps.  Use a huge pot with way more water than you think you need - even for just a half pound.  Don't just drop the pasta into the boiling water in one big clump.  Fan it out around the pot.  Keep moving it around.  Get in there with your chopsticks or tongs.

Thanks for popping in and cooking with me.  I'm linking this up to Lisa's Gluten-Free's Health Food Carnival, Designs by Gollum's Foodie Friday and Remodelaholic's Recipe Swap Party.


  1. This is such and informative post, thanks for all the information. This dish looks awesome. I have to be careful of the heat in the food I prepare because my husband can't handle it.:D We like the veggie el dente too! Yummy!

  2. That looks delicious whether I was feeding a wrestler or just hubby. I don't think I could handle all that heat but I'm sure I could adjust it some. Thanks for a keeper.

  3. Looks amazing. I'm another one who is trying to get more veggies and less fat and carbs into a hubby. And our kids have good friends who are wrestlers and it drives me crazy the way they eat, or don't, to try to make weight.

  4. I suppose the healthy eating has been good for all of us. I know my jeans are fitting better. :)

    I agree, Rhome. The way some wrestlers eat, or don't, drives me nuts.

  5. This does look SO good! I will definitely have to try this!


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