In a dream world my weekly shopping trips would look like this: Hit up the farmers market on Sundays where I intuitively pick up all of the produce we’ll need for the week; head to Whole Foods where I fill in the gaps with some organic protein, dairy, and whole grains. Each night I effortlessly scan the contents of the refrigerator and pantry and seamlessly know how they fit together. Then, miraculously, I have everything I need in the kitchen to whip up delicious meals full of layered flavors throughout the week.
This meal right here is the closest I’ve ever come to that dream scenario and it was every bit as fulfilling as I imagined it would be. Wax beans, squash, jalapeno,and bell pepper: Farmers market finds. Organic boneless skinless chicken breast, limes, and cilantro: Whole Foods. Coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, and other ingredients: Pantry staples. The icing on the cake? Fresh organic basil from our patio garden! Dream. Come. True. The best part, of course, is that it was absolutely delicious.
It has all of the healthiness you get from a stir-fry–lean protein and veggies–with the sweet, creamy flavors of a Thai curry (except, uh, there isn’t actually any curry in here.) There’s also the juice of two limes in the sauce, which delivers the right amount of zesty brightness–perfect for summertime.
While I used vegetables I happened to have from the farmers market (at the time I had no idea they would become Thai stir-fry), you could definitely switch them up with whatever you have on hand. In fact, all of the items I had–wax beans, squash, and bell pepper–happened to be yellow (certainly didn’t score in the color-variety department), but you could easily add more hues with green beans, squash or zucchini, and any color bell pepper.
Who knows when the next time a kitchen miracle like this will happen, but I couldn’t keep this cooking unicorn to myself a moment longer. Enjoy!
Thai-Style Chicken Stir-Fry
1 can light coconut milk
2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
Juice of 2 limes
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp sesame oil
2 big handfuls (about 1 lb) yellow wax beans or green beans, ends removed
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 shallot, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 small yellow squash or zucchini
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized chunks
6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
In a small bowl, combine sauce ingredients (coconut milk through sesame oil), whisk to combine and set aside.
In a pot of boiling water, add wax beans. Boil for two minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, jalapeno, and garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate and set aside.
To the skillet, add the bell pepper and squash. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add wax beans to the skillet. Add chicken. Give the sauce another whisk to make sure it’s combined and pour into skillet, stir. Increase heat to high and cook until sauce just starts to simmer.
Garnish with fresh chopped basil and cilantro. Serve over brown rice or quinoa.