Dear mom who is tired of eating microwaved frozen chicken nuggets off of her kid's plate and calling it lunch, I feel your pain.
I have tried eating them with honey and hot sauce, but it really just doesn't cut it. Without a nourishing and satisfying lunch, I inevitably snack all afternoon on things that add guilt to the cycle of over-indulging my "needs" and under-indulging my needs. For the mom that loves to go out for lunch with a girlfriend, but is in a current season where that is near impossible...this post is for you.
This is a super simple post about how I make Asian cafe quality lunches for myself or a friend (or even for my kids) when I'm craving something other than a sandwich...and when chicken nuggets just won't do.
1) Always keep some frozen potstickers in the freezer. (I like Trader Joe's chicken potstickers, and Ling Lings at Costco.)
Here's how to have quick and perfectly pan-fried potstickers:
- Heat a tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet .
- Dip the "bottoms" of each potsticker in the oil and place around the entire skillet bottoms down. (Obviously pick a skillet that matches the quantity of potstickers you care to fix.)
- Heat the pan up to medium-high, and when the potstickers begin sizzling, add enough water to cover 3/4 of the way up the potstickers in pan.
- Cover with a tight fitting lid.
- Cook for 5 minutes or until tops of potstickers are thoroughly steamed and cooked through. Then take lid off and let the water cook off.
- When water cooks off fully, let the bottoms brown, then turn off heat.
- Gently loosen edges of potstickers on the outer edge.
- Place large plate over skillet like a lid. Flip entire pan over with plate secured with your hand, and potstickers should come out bottoms up in your plate, ready to serve!
2) Keep soup starters on hand for individual bowls of Asian soups:
- Miso soup packets from Trader Joe's
- Dry Thai Chili Paste from Trader Joe's (use a few teaspoons in boiling water to taste)
- Better Than Boullion- chicken, beef, vegetable
3) Favorite add ins to soups:
- Frozen wontons (chicken-cilantro ones from Trader Joe's are great)
- Leftover panfried potstickers
- bean sprouts
- handful fresh spinach
- cilantro, thai basil, lime
- rice noodles, bean starch vermicelli, udon noodles
- frozen shrimp (keep a bag in freezer just for this, and it will last you forever, but make ever bowl special)
- canned tuna
Not every day will call for a little something special or a little extra effort, but you and I both know: sometimes a soothing meal and mid-day break does so much for the soul.
Hope these ideas help!
Because of grace,