Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mazola Stir-Fry Chicken and Vegetables

It's been a while since I've been online, life has just gotten the best of me these last several months. I finally finished school and all my externships, then there was work while applying for jobs in the healthcare field, it's been a whirlwind.

But now, I have a lot, and I mean A LOT of free time on my hands.  Back in early October my husband and I quit our jobs and left our home of the last 6 years to move to Baltimore and in with his mother.  My MIL is in poor health and needs to have someone here in the home to really take care of her now, and that's where I come in.  My husband is working about 30 minutes away while I do my freelance gig and basically have become her caretaker.  I do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, help with her activities of daily living, etc.  That is in itself a full-time job.  I miss working outside the home and I want so bad to be working in healthcare after spending the last few years busting my butt, but for now, it's not to be I guess.

Anyhow, now I have time for more cooking, more experimenting and writing!  This particular post is about an activity I did this month for AllRecipes.  Our sponsor was Mazola and I chose to make their Stir-Fry Chicken and Vegetables, and I'm so glad I did!

This dish was super easy to whip up and took no time at all to cook, which I definitely needed this week. I thought this was a versatile dish that you could easily alter to suit your tastes.  It was slightly sweet, which I liked a lot, and the sauce didn't overpower the vegetables or the chicken.  I will say that I did add more chicken broth to the dish, once I added the sauce mixture to the chicken and vegetables.  The sauce tightens up pretty quickly and I like a looser sauce in my stir-fry.  I also increased the amount of soy sauce to taste.  The recipe calls for 3 tbsp. but I use the low-sodium because of my MIL's high blood pressure and I found it needed closer to 1/4 cup of soy sauce. However, don't take my word for it.  If using regular soy sauce you may not need to add any additional, just taste it along the way and you can certainly change it up to suit your pallet.

Everyone in the house loved this dish.  I've already had the husband ask if I can make it again tomorrow but with only vegetables this time, and then next week we're going to make it using shrimp. Feel free to swap out your proteins and mix up the vegetables, use what you have in your fridge and freezer.  It's a great dinner for a quick and easy meal!

Thanks so much #Mazola and #AllstarsMazola

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sweet & Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa thanks to Heart Healthy Mazola®

After a bit of a brief hiatus, thanks to school, work, the holidays and AllRecipes, we are back with some yummy heart-healthy recipes from Mazola®, our sponsor for the month of March. 

Both my husband and I have been diagnosed with high-blood pressure, and both of us are on medications to help lower it, but we have also tried to incorporate more heart healthy foods into our lives as well.  We have always primarily used olive oil for cooking but I didn't realize that Mazola® Corn Oil contains more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than other cooking oils.  It has 4x more than my trusty olive oil, 40% more than canola oil and 3x more than vegetable (soybean) oil.

What exactly are Plant Sterols?  Plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, are plant-based substances naturally present in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes and vegetable oils.  Clinical studies indicate that when consumed as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, plant sterols can help to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the gut, which in turn can lower LDL blood cholesterol.

So with Mazola® Corn Oil in hand, I set off to make one of their delicious recipes, Sweet & Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa.  For this recipe and more, check out the Mazola® collection on AllRecipes.

The rub for the salmon was nice and it had a little heat to it, which was tamed by the fruit salsa.  Because of the medications we take, we had to eliminate the grapefruit, but we used mango, pineapple and a little canteloupe as a substitute and we were not disappointed.  I've not done a sweet salsa on seafood before but this was a really nice change from citrus.

Paired with a cilantro-lime rice and some freshly steamed broccoli, it made a wonderful and heart-healthy Mazola® dinner!

To learn more about the healthy benefits of cooking with Mazola®, click here.