This past week, Selma has been out of town for a number of reasons so I have been left to my own devices in terms of feeding myself. Now, i know what you’re thinking…”Alex you’re such an incredible and attractive person! Of course you can feed yourself just fine.” Wrong. Even a simple trip to the store alone ended disastrously. I walked around Trader Joe’s aimlessly for about an hour not knowing what I wanted to eat while throwing random things into the cart that I had no idea how to cook or if they were even edible (see picture of brussels sprout stalk below).
However, the night is always darkest before the dawn (it actually isn’t, it’s definitely darker in the middle of the night…what a stupid saying).
Anyways, because cooking for one is very time consuming and not exciting, I decided to go with some frozen options that looked intriguing. I ended up going with the BBQ Chicken Teriyaki and the Kung Pao Chicken. And no, I didn’t pick these because I’m Asian. I apparently just had a craving for white-people Chinese food at the time.
I also keep a stock of these chicken dumplings on hand at all times in case of an emergency or a zombie apocalypse. You never know these days.
I also had to balance out all of this sodium with some greens so when I walked pass this ridiculousness I just couldn’t resist. I’ve never seen brussels sprouts on the stalk before so I was titillated at the idea of cooking this.
Because I was only making dinner for myself, I cut this bad boy in half.
My recipe suggestions said that it was a good idea to wrap it in cling wrap and microwave for 4-5 min before putting in the oven to roast to help speed along the cooking process. After it comes out of the microwave, brush with a mixture of maple syrup and olive oil (weird I know but it actually comes out amazing) and season with pepper and salt. Bake in oven @ 350 for 35-40 min.
In the meantime, I made some potstickers just because they are a wonderful addition to any meal (and life in general). These are super simple to make. First, fry them for a few minutes in oil before adding a little bit of water and covering them with a lid to allow them to steam for 5-10 min.
Next, the BBQ Chicken Teriyaki was actually the easiest of the two entrees to make because it was all microwavable. You simply pour the chicken in a bowl and heat it up. When it’s nice and hot, you dump the sauce on top and heat a little more and then you’re done.
The Kung Pao Chicken was also a breeze to prepare. You basically pour the chicken, veggies, sauce and peanuts in a skillet one after another until everything is properly cooked. And no I didn’t make all of this in one night. I had to survive for a few days on my own so I made these two dinners on two separate nights but I thought I would write about them in one post to save time.
Finished dumpling! They are the best.
Now the brussels sprouts actually turned out really well. The maple syrup really brings out the flavors of the sprouts and provides a delicious twist on ordinary sprouts.
Of course I still technically had dinner with Selma over Skype. She just couldn’t enjoy my delicious creations in person.
And the best part about these meals is that they are only $4.99 each at Trader Joe’s and you have enough leftovers for lunch the next day. They are really affordable (especially for 2+ meals) and can easily pass as restaurant quality Chinese food.