As a little girl, my parents almost always poked fun at me on Thanksgiving. I served myself a nickel-sized piece of turkey, two bites of cranberry salad, three green beans, and devoted the rest of my plate to mashed potatoes. (My two homemade rolls sat on a separate bread plate.) After adding a small pat of butter and a sprinkling of salt and pepper, I politely placed my napkin on my lap and ravenously dug in to my starchy feast.
Even now, I look forward to Thanksgiving (and Christmas and Easter!) mashed potatoes. Sometimes on chilly winter days, I buy a small potato at Safeway just to mix up a single serving for myself. But why do we almost exclusively mash potatoes? Why not give a different vegetable a chance?
Looking inside my fridge, I grabbed the first one I saw—peas—and vigorously beat them with a fork. Even a shower of garlic couldn’t mask their sweetness as I took a taste. And just in case my parents read this, I cooked a bit of protein to serve with my new delicious mashed veggie.
Chicken with Gingered Soy Sauce and Garlicky Mashed Peas
This recipe can easily be doubled; use either two tenderloins or one breast. Increase (or decrease) the amount of garlic in the peas to suit your tastes, or use fresh for a more poignant taste.
chicken and sauce
1 chicken tenderloin
¼ tsp ground ginger
⅛ tsp cornstarch
½ tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp water
garlicky mashed peas
⅔ c. frozen peas, thawed
⅛ – ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Lightly coat a small pan with olive oil spray, and preheat over medium-low heat. Cook the chicken for 4-5 min on each side, or until the skin begins to turn golden and the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove from the pan and slice into ½”-thick strips.
- While the chicken cooks, pour the peas into a small, microwave-safe bowl, and roughly mash with a fork. Add the garlic powder, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Microwave for 40-50 sec, or until hot, and plate. After slicing the chicken, place the strips on top of the mashed peas.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients for the sauce (ginger through water). Turn the heat down to low, and add to the pan. Cook for 4-5 min, stirring frequently, or until it thickens and reaches the desired consistency. Pour over the chicken and serve hot.