I have a confession. I really like Sandra Lee. Don’t stop reading, please! I know she is the love-to-hate of the Food Network, and I once thought I found her annoying. That is until I learned about how much charity work she does after growing up in pretty intense poverty. And then one day a couple of months ago, I was on JetBlue watching Food Network when I watched her show and found inspiration for a few great recipes that were fairly healthy, involved fresh ingredients, but that were not perfectly, completely, spend your whole evening in the kitchen homemade. Feeling pressure sometimes to do it all, I appreciate her 70/30 store bought/fresh combo every once in awhile
And when I found out her influence on her boyfriend, NY Governor Cuomo, helped to seal Marriage Equality deal for the state, I loved her even more. I am now officially a fan.
In that particular episode I was inspired by a recipe for sugar snap peas with red pepper, and Thursday night I used that inspiration to make a quick, healthy, and completely flavorful dinner.
I started by cutting the little end pieces off of the peas and pulling off those pesky strings.
Then I chopped up a small jar of roasted red peppers and got the ingredients for my sauce together. It was a spicy, salty, sweet mix of tamari soy, habanero hot sauce from Trader Joe’s (according to them 11 on scale of 1-10 in hot), honey, and sesame oil.
I quickly chopped two chicken breasts left over from the tortellini salad, and I tossed everything in a pan to get cooking.
Once the chicken was fully cooked, I tossed all of the ingredients and let them simmer in the shallow sauce for a few minutes. It thickened nicely and smelled of the nutty sesame oil in the pan.
Holy spicy! I can take the heat, but I may have overdone it with the habanero sauce. . . nah not really. I may have made the hubby sweat, but I love a dish that can make my mouth burn. It was perfect, the honey being a great balance to the hot.
I’ll be looking for more easy dishes like this as life keeps getting crazier, and a lot of my inspiration just might come from Sandra Lee.
Do you have a food tv show, book, or magazine that’s been inspiring your cooking style lately?