The breast of the West -- and East


March 01, 1995|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

Now, don't think of this recipe as anything so exotic that it couldn't possible qualify for a weeknight supper -- even if it is so speedy that dinner prep and cooking takes less than 30 minutes. The chicken carries a hint of the Asian in the soy sauce and sesame seeds -- otherwise, it is Americanized enough to suit the kids.

Ramen noodles are recommended as the starch, but use them as a quick-cooking pasta rather than a soup. Three minutes in boiling water is all it takes. The flavor packet doesn't contain anything of nutritional value, so if you want to flavor the noodles, sprinkle with a bit of the spice blend. The reduced-fat variety is every bit as good as the original; in fact, it's hard to tell the difference.

Frozen vegetables have always been considered to be a convenience food since the cleaning an chopping has been done for you. I was sold on them when I learned that frozen vegetables retain more nutritional value than produce that is available out of the height of its season. Serve a vegetable medley that has a hint of such Oriental vegetables as snap peas, water chestnuts and mushrooms.

A simple dessert is fresh sliced oranges that have been tossed with a drizzle of Amaretto, then topped with crunchy toasted almonds. The toasting brings out the nuts' flavor, and this can be done quickly in a toaster oven with a single toasting session.

Items you should have as staples are: nonfat plain yogurt, soy sauce, fresh bread, raspberry preserves, horseradish, frozen vegetable blend, oranges, almonds, Amaretto.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list:

4 (4-to-6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup sesame seeds

2 (3-ounce) packages low-fat Ramen noodles

East Meets West Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

4 (4-to-6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup nonfat plain yogurt

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs (from about 2 slices whole grain or white bread)


1/2 cup raspberry preserves

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon horseradish

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a flat baking sheet with a baking rack.

Flatten chicken breasts so that they are even and are no thicker than 1/2 inch.

Mix yogurt and soy sauce in a shallow bowl. Mix sesame seeds and bread crumbs on a small plate. Dip each chicken breast half in the yogurt-soy mixture and then roll in the bread-crumb mixture to coat. Place on baking rack.

Bake for 15 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, in a small bowl, mix the raspberry preserves, soy and horseradish together. The sauce may be served at room temperature or heated until warm in the microwave (about 45 seconds on 100 percent power.)

To serve, place a chicken breast on each plate and drizzle with the raspberry sauce.

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