Make us your home page

Weekday dinner inspiration: Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry and more

Mon | Meatless meal

Risotto tends to get a bad rap as fussy and time-consuming. But Mushroom Risotto is actually a fairly easy meatless meal, and its earthiness is welcoming when the temperatures start to dip. First, saute a pound of sliced mushrooms, along with a diced small onion, in olive oil in a large skillet. Season with salt and pepper. When done, set aside. You'll need two saucepans. In one, bring 8 cups of veggie stock to a simmer. In the other, lightly brown 2 cups of arborio rice with 2 minced garlic cloves in olive oil. When coated with oil, start to add the hot broth, stirring until absorbed. Repeat until stock is gone. Finish risotto with cup each white wine and shredded Parmesan. Stir in sauteed mushrooms. Done.

Tues | Mix and match

Ramen and Meatballs fuses together a couple of cuisines that will likely be welcomed by the kids. Make three packets of ramen noodles (without the flavor packets) according to package instructions, then mix with thawed and heated frozen Italian meatballs, plus a 14-ounce can of seasoned diced tomatoes. Top with some shaved Parmesan, along with chopped flat-leaf parsley. Try broccoli florets sauteed in olive oil and finished with a squeeze of lemon on the side.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

How about a dry-run Thanksgiving side dish to go with your chicken tonight? (Close enough to turkey for now.) Get a container of mashed sweet potatoes and thaw. Scoop into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Spread into a shallow casserole and top with pecans and a handful of mini marshmallows. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Thurs | Take-out, done in

Why order Chinese takeout tonight when you can make your own Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry (recipe below) just as spicy or mild as you want it? The recipe calls for a jalapeno pepper that you can toss in or not. Don't forgo the fish sauce — buy a small bottle and plan to use it in other Asian dishes. Leave it out and you just might wonder why your stir-fry tastes a bit bland.

Fri | Go grills

Some nights, nothing will do but a piece of red meat. I like grilled New York strip steak, liberally seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve with an ice-cold iceberg wedge with blue cheese dressing and crumbles, plus sliced scallions. And red, red wine.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at or (727) 893-8586. Follow @roadeats on Twitter.


Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Kosher salt

1 bunch broccoli (about 1 pound), cut into florets

1 (8-ounce) package rice noodles

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into ½-inch chunks

1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced (optional)

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for topping

Freshly ground pepper

2 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for topping

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl. Add the rice noodles to the water and return to a boil. Remove from the heat and let soak while you prepare the chicken, stirring occasionally.

Combine the sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Cook, undisturbed, until the mixture is dark amber, about 3 minutes. Carefully stir in the vegetable oil and garlic and cook until the garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and fish sauce and cook, stirring, until the chicken is no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the japaleno, cilantro and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Drain the noodles and add to the bowl with the broccoli. Add the scallions and chicken and toss. Divide among plates and top with more cilantro and scallions.

Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: 435 calories, 6g fat, 573mg sodium, 63g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 27g protein.

Source: Food Network

Weekday dinner inspiration: Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry and more

10/28/13 [Last modified: Monday, November 4, 2013 5:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  2. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  3. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador


    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25


    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 24


    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth …

    Thousands line the streets of Central Ave. during the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg.  [Saturday, June 25, 2016] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]