Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
Tip: Invest in a good nonstick skillet. (12 inches is perfect for cooking 1 to 11/2 pounds of meat.) To make it last, clean with a soapy sponge and do not use cooking spray.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound skinless chicken breasts, cut in 4 pieces and pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1/4 cup orange juice
1. Heat the oil over medium high in a large nonstick skillet.
2. Add chicken and cook 3 to 4 minutes without moving, or until the chicken is golden brown on the undersides and lifts easily off the pan. Turn, and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Remove chicken from pan and remove the pan from the heat.
3. Add the hoisin, marmalade and orange juice to the skillet and stir constantly for 1 minute as sauce thickens. Return pan to low heat, add the chicken breasts and cook 1 minute on each side until chicken is coated with the sauce. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 197 calories, 24 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 264 mg sodium
4 (6- to 7-ounce) loin pork chops, each about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon very coarsely crushed or ground black pepper (see note)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 finely minced shallots
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add chops, cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked to desired degree of doneness. (At an internal temperature of 140 degrees, chops will be pink in the center, juicy and tender). Remove from pan.
3. Add the shallots to the pan; stir 1 minute until softened. Add the vinegar and broth; cook until sauce is thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the chops back to the pan, turning once to cover them in the sauce. To serve, spoon any sauce remaining in the pan over the pork chops. Makes 4 servings.
Note: The pepper should be crushed or ground until pieces are about one-fourth to one-eighth the size of a whole peppercorn. To crush peppercorns, place them in a sealed plastic bag and roll with a wine bottle, heavy can or rolling pin.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 255 calories, 31 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 12 g fat, 3 g sat fat, 370 mg sodium
CHICKEN WITH GREEN BEANS AND CASHEWS
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound thin sliced boneless chicken breasts, cut in 1/2-inch wide strips
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1/2 cup cashew pieces
1. Combine chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar and cornstarch in a bowl, stirring until the cornstarch is dissolved.
2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add the green beans and cook 2 minutes. Stir the sauce and add it to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cashews. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 299 calories, 29 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 14 g far, 2 g saturated fat, 829 mg sodium