By Larry Levine –

Jennifer was in Sacramento for the birth of our grand daughter Alise when I came up with this recipe.

It was a very busy, pre-election time in my office – one of the few times of the year when food fades to the recesses of my mind. I didn’t feel like lingering over a meal, didn’t want to sit alone in a restaurant, didn’t feel like cooking some kind of elaborate dinner for one, and didn’t want a whole lot of clean up after.  

Instead, I rushed through the market on the way home and picked up the red bell pepper, mushrooms and chicken I needed for a stir fry. The rest of the stuff was already in my pantry and/or refrigerator. Because I was eating alone, I used half the quantities of the following ingredients. I skipped the rice because I just didn’t feel like it and it turned out to be plenty of food.

2 Tblsp light olive oil
1 red bell pepper
½ brown onion
4 large white mushrooms
½ tsp red pepper flakes
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
8 snap pea pods
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tblsp sesame seeds
Cut the bell pepper in half. Remove the seeds and ribs. Cut the pepper into pieces about 1 inch square. Cut an onion in half and then into quarters. Separate the layers. Clean the mushrooms, separate the stems from the caps, cut the stems in half lengthwise, cut the caps into quarters.

Trim the fat from the chicken and cut the chicken into bit size pieces.

Heat the olive oil in a wide frying pan. Add the bell pepper and onion and toss to coat with oil. Sauté over medium-low heat until pepper and onion are softened. Add the mushrooms and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat the mushrooms with oil. Add more oil if necessary. When the mushrooms are browned and softened, add the pea pods and chicken and toss to coat with oil. Stir mixture frequently until chicken is almost cooked through. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and toss well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serves 2.

This can be served as is or over one-half cup of steamed brown rice.

You may want to substitute shrimp for the chicken, or mix shrimp and chicken together. Also, you can add some bean sprouts if you have the inclination.

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