Spring Break Simple: Ginger Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans

April 13, 2015


minx in sunglasses

Hi, Readers!

I took last week off because The Minxes were finally (!!) on Spring Break, and I wanted to soak up every inch of it. Holy cow, break was late this year. Bad news: it was laaaaate. Good news: the girls now only have six more weeks of school until summer vacation. Bad news: lame-o mom hasn’t gotten her butt in gear and needs to figure out summer activities and camps ASAP. Gaaa, I suck! I suckity suck at researching camps and activities for summer, even when I know that those very things save my butt when summer boredom sets in. Why, oh why, do I never learn this lesson? And why, oh why, can I never reform?

I fear I am a lost cause.

Our Spring Break was packed with cool things like a trip to the Denver Nature and Science Museum, an early afternoon viewing of the movie Home (Miss M. rates this movie, on a scale of one to ten, a resounding eleven. She wants me to tell you, so you can hustle yourself to the theater to see it. Preferably with a third grader, but I think kids across a large age spectrum will like this movie and there is a very low scare factor. I did catch M. crying a couple of times, but she’s a human watering pot like me. Home is not sad at all by animated movie standards; I mean heck, I remember being wrecked by Dumbo and that total bastard of a movie, Bambi. What’s up with all the dead mommies, Walt? Jesus.)

Also on the docket: several birthday parties, many rounds of laser tag, trips to the neighborhood pizza joint and ice cream shop, some swimsuit/garden hose mischief (yes, it got that warm one day!), hours of swinging and trampoline jumping, popcorn and movie nights in the basement, and a gazillion TONS of dog walking.

cookie helper^^Whaa? It’s only the tenth walk of the day, yo?


The Mozz-man always loves his walks, but in spring? He’s practically manic. He tumbles into the warmer months full-throttle, tail wagging, little pink tongue hanging out as he gasps for breath, sniffing every tulip and bush. And it just so happens that spring=rabbits, y’all! Our neighborhood has had a spectacularly prolific rabbit breeding season, much to Mozzy’s delight. Every walk is peppered with little rushes of excitement and leash tug-of-war, in pursuit of white-tailed bandits.

bunny^^Hey, Little Dude. We come in peace. Sort of. We’ll chase your bigger brothers.

It’s kind of exhausting.

Cute, but exhausting. Mozzy may only weigh 10 pounds, but when he’s in hot pursuit of a cotton-tailed devil, he can pull me halfway around the neighborhood like a quarterhorse. After all of that running, I should be skinnier, but there’s that little thing such as leftover Easter candy…

It’s almost gone. I’ll do better then. For sure.

Anyways. We’ve been insanely busy this week, and it’s a happy kind of busy, but it’s also the kind of busy that results in l-o-n-g days, and by the time the dinner hour rears its head, I don’t have much motivation. I want to get in and out of the kitchen in as little time as possible, with little fuss. Kind of the dinner equivalent of a “quickie” in another area, you know?

This recipe fits the bill. It features ingredients that I always have on hand, it’s chicken-based (so it pleases most people at the table) and it’s adaptable to any vegetable in the refrigerator and any rice or noodle you’ve got on hand. I love recipes like that, because when there are rabbits to chase and teens to laser tag, you don’t want to be stuck behind a stove for hours. You can get this sucker on the table in under 45 minutes (under 30, if you’re a good multi-tasker) and it’s delicious.the-kitchwitch-recipes-ginger-chicken

Viva Spring! I’m ready for you.



Ginger Chicken with Mushrooms and Green Beans

slightly adapted from Cooking Light magazine

serves 4


2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger*

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

9 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 (10 ounce) package frozen thin green beans

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock

1 1/2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy saucee

1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

cooked rice or soba noodles


Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil and swirl around the pan. Add chicken in a single layer and cook until browned all over, turning pieces over after about 2 minutes, for a total of about 4-5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and salt and cook for 30 more seconds. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine sherry, chicken broth, soy sauce, Sriracha, oyster sauce and cornstarch. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet; swirl to coat. Add green beans and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and sherry mixture, stir fry another 2 minutes. Add chicken back to pan and warm through; the sauce should thicken slightly. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serve over hot rice or cooked soba noodles.


*this amount of ginger results in quite a gingery dish. If you aren’t an avid fan of ginger (I am), you might want to reduce the amount of ginger to 1 tablespoon.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Velva April 13, 2015 at 6:40 am

Happy Spring! Happy Spring Break! Looks like you are having a lot of fun Busy and tired come with having fun :-) Enjoy your time with the Minxes, its precious.



Tiffany April 13, 2015 at 7:37 am

I’m so glad you had a fun spring break!


Papa Guy April 13, 2015 at 10:05 pm

You did get that stove fixed or replaced ya?


Dana Talusani April 14, 2015 at 11:35 am

Papa Guy,

Yes, but it was THREE WEEKS.


Abbe @ This is How I Cook April 14, 2015 at 6:36 pm

I miss spring break. And I remember the summer planning! And I’m so glad we finally got rid of the little bunnies even if they are so cute! Our neighbor cut down all their junipers forcing the bunnies to move on. Maybe this year I will have some flowers!


Dana Talusani April 16, 2015 at 3:08 pm


I don’t mind the bunnies, but man, a few years ago, construction crews were tearing up the property next to us to build a HU-mongous church and we got an invasion of voles. It was a super snowy winter so we didn’t even know we had them until the snow melted and then it was vole city. Those little rodent shitters had torn up our entire lawn. So we had to invest in pretty little kill boxes. I’ll take bunnies any day.


elizabeth April 15, 2015 at 6:32 pm

It sounds like your spring break was an altogether very satisfying one, and Mozz-man seems like quite the adorable handful!

Given everything in this dish–which looks and sounds delicious save for the green beans–I have to send you David Chang’s recipe for pickled shiitake mushrooms. It is so up your alley you don’t even KNOW.


Dana Talusani April 16, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Did you say PICKLED shiitake mushrooms? I’mma gonna die.


Biz April 20, 2015 at 9:31 am

I am glad you had a great spring break, but that’s crazeballs to have it so close to the end of the school year!

About bunnies – my Mom’s hard has lots of them and they drive her crazy. She read that if you pick up baby bunnies while their Momma is still nursing them, the Momma senses the “smell” of a human, and won’t come back to take care of them and they normally die.

My Mom found a den of bunnies in her backyard and invited my sisters kids to go ahead and pick up a baby bunny! They thought it was so cool they were letting her do that, not knowing my Mom’s evil plot that they will all die!


Dana Talusani April 21, 2015 at 10:01 am

OMG, Biz, that is nuts! I can just see those kids thinking that was the neatest thing ever…


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