It’s Quick, It’s Spicy, It’s Delicious!

On my journey this past year to a healthier ZouZou, I often turned to my Weight Watchers cookbooks for ideas and inspiration. I have discovered oodles of healthy and delicious recipes and several are now my family’s faves. One of our absolute favorite dinner entrees is Szechuan Chicken with Noodles from the Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook.

One of my biggest food temptations is “bad” carbs, especially in the form of pasta! This dish satisfies that craving with whole wheat spaghetti. My family absolutely hated whole wheat spaghetti until they tasted this dish. With the combination of crispy broccoli slaw, crunchy pine nuts and flavorful tossing sauce, my hubs and kiddos don’t even notice they are eating an uber healthy pasta. In fact, they love it so much that I double the recipe!

I rarely follow a recipe exactly and this is one of those that you can modify to suit your taste. Instead of using 2 teaspoons of canola oil, I used my olive oil mister instead. I also did not coat the chicken pieces with cornstarch this time and nobody noticed. This recipe gives you the option to add a red or orange bell pepper. The wonderful sweetness and vibrant color of a red or orange bell pepper is excellent in this dish, but I didn’t have one on-hand, so did not add it this time.

This dish is quick and easy to make and requires few ingredients — many that you might have in your fridge and pantry right now! A little bit of prep work cutting, slicing and mincing, and you will be cooking in no time!

 

After misting olive oil on the bottom of my large skillet and heating it over medium-high heat, I browned the chicken breast pieces for about 3 minutes. I added the minced garlic to the pan and sauteed it for about 1 minute. I then removed the chicken and garlic from the pan and set it aside.2015-02-03 08.36.43

While the chicken was browning, I cooked the pasta according to the package directions. The original recipe directs you to break the spaghetti into three pieces, but I like to keep it whole. When the pasta was al dente, I drained it and set it aside.2015-02-03 08.39.06

Because I did not coat the chicken pieces with cornstarch, I was able to skip wiping the pan with a wet paper towel as called for in the recipe. I misted the pan again with olive oil and added the broccoli slaw to the pan.

Broccoli slaw is a mix of raw, shredded broccoli stems, carrots and red cabbage. It is usually sold in 12-ounce packages in the produce section near the bagged lettuce and salad kits. Because I used significantly less oil than the recipe calls for, it took longer for my broccoli slaw to become crisp tender. I sauteed it for about 6 minutes, rather than 4, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. 2015-02-03 08.50.32

I then added the sliced scallions and red pepper flakes and sauteed for an additional 2 minutes. If you like your food spicy, you can increase the amount of red pepper flakes. The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, but my family likes spicy food, so I increased it to a full teaspoon.2015-02-03 08.52.17

I returned the chicken to the pan and added the cooked spaghetti.2015-02-03 08.57.35

I stirred all of the ingredients together in the pan, lowered the temperature to medium, and cooked for several minutes until the spaghetti and chicken were well heated. 2015-02-03 09.00.54

To make the tossing sauce, I stirred together the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl until the sugar was dissolved. I added it to the skillet, tossing and cooking until the dish was mixed well and heated through, about 2 minutes. If you love pine nuts, sprinkle them over the dish and serve hot.

Szechuan Chicken and Noodles

That’s really all there is to it! Quick, simple, spicy and delish!

Would you cook this recipe as written or would you modify it? Let’s dish.


Szechuan Chicken with Noodles

From the Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook

Serves 4

8 WW PP

Ingredients

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut on diagonal into thin strips
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10 ounce) package of broccoli slaw
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced (optional)
1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti, broken into thirds and cooked
2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Instructions

1.  Combine chicken and cornstarch in a large zip-close plastic bag. Squeeze out air and seal bag. Shake until chicken is coated evenly with cornstarch.

2.  Heat wok or large deep nonstick skillet over high heat until a drop of water sizzles in the pan. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and swirl to coat pan.

3.  Add chicken and stir-fry until cooked through, about 3 minutes.

4.  Add garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

5.  Transfer chicken and garlic to a plate.

6.  Remove pan from heat and wipe clean with a wet paper towel to remove any cornstarch.

7.  Set pan over high heat and add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil. Add broccoli slaw (and optional bell pepper) and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

8.  Add scallions and pepper flakes and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

9.  Return chicken and garlic to pan. Add spaghetti and stir-fry until heated through, about 2 minutes.

10. Add soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Stir-fry until mixed well, about 1 minute. Serve sprinkled with pine nuts.


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