Monday, March 21, 2011

Let Us Rap

Recently, I've taken on the arduous tasks of dieting and exercise to achieve the perfect body. Everyone knows that the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is making good habits. Ideally, I would get to a point where I don't loathe going to the gym and I don't miss eating duck fat. A week ago, after skipping dinner and getting black-out-drunk after three drinks, I woke up at 11am in my bed surrounded by baby carrots. Even my drunk self knows the rules. This is a good start.

While I was in CVS the other day I read an article about Taylor Lautner's broken heart and his strict diet of boiled ground beef before filming Twilight. Apparently, he carried it in plastic zip-lock bags wherever he went.

My diet is similar in that I am sticking to only a few key items. But in order to get a leaner, less indigenous-werewolf look, I am switching out the bagged ground beef for nothing but chicken breasts and lettuce. For the next 3 years.


Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Breast
Shrimp (1 pound)
Water Chestnuts
4 Shiitake Mushrooms
2 Large Oyster Mushrooms
Romaine/Iceberg/Butter Lettuce

As with any Chinese recipe, prep work is a nightmare. But the final product, and the abs, are worth it.

Begin by chopping one chicken breast into a fine mince just slightly coarser than ground chicken. It's easiest to do this in stages, dicing the chicken first, and then chopping it into smaller pieces.

This is my sister's hand.
Chopping a chicken breast by hand is a little more work but it's a lot more wholesome than buying pre-ground chicken, which may contain heads, feet, innards, and Taylor Swift's songwriting talent. None of which are things fit for human consumption.

Final product should look a little bit like this. Mix with a 
pinch of salt and a teaspoon of cornstarch.
Do the same with peeled, and de-veined shrimp.As you can see, this works best with a big, scary, Asian cleaver. But it can be done with a regular kitchen knife too, or better yet, a food processor. Using a knife helps you get out some pent up aggression against the accounting companies that won't hire you for no apparent reason.

Mix with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of 
After setting the proteins aside, clean your knife and cutting board and begin chopping the vegetables. This includes about a handful or half a can of water chestnuts.

Two unchopped water chestnuts, for comparison.
Shiitake mushrooms. If you can't find these, 
any Asian-sounding mushroom will do.
This is the beautiful mise en place.

Pour 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil into a hot pan. Cook the chicken first for about 5-6 minutes, making sure to break it up into little pieces. Remove from pan and cook the shrimp. This will take less time and you can take it out before it's turned completely pink. Next add all the vegetables/mushrooms and stir furiously. After five minutes, or when the mushrooms are soft, throw the meat back in and give it one final stir and a teaspoon of salt.

After letting the contents cool briefly, serve on top of a lettuce leaf with a few drops of chili oil. Wrap. Consume.


In terms of calories, I've lost count. I'm pretty sure the chili oil at the end added an extra 100 alone. So really, this is not diet food at all, but who am I kidding, food worth blogging about is never good for you. My real strategy is to indulge occasionally between long bouts of utter starvation. Kind of similar to the way I blog.

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