Walnut Asian Chicken Salad and Oh no he di-Int!


Hi everyone and please click on the title of this post to read more. Well, my video below really says it all, but for those of you with a blackberry that can’t watch videos….I hate cleaning the house. I don’t mind, once in a while, cleaning up the dust bunnies that seem to accumulate everywhere within hours, but to do it everyday? What a waste of time. I’m busy and housework sucks. It is beneath me to spend the inordinate amount of time it would take me to keep the house neat. That is, in my opinion.

You see, we all have our baggage keeping us from tolerating, doing or enjoying certain tasks. For me, I am happy to cook and feel it is my responsibility since I work from home. Maybe this is because my mother always cooked for all of us and never complained about it. As for housework, she tried to pick up after us, but since there were 9 of us (and a dog) in one apartment, it was almost impossible to keep up.

Someone (O.K., my Dad) didn’t quite seem to know what was involved in maintaining a neat home and did not, shall we say, do his part to help. Instead, being very much part of his generation, expected my mother to keep a neat home and had no problem telling her so. What a burden to listen to for my poor mother.

This is where my inner Gloria Steinem comes in (as well as myself as protector of and daughter identified with her mother-so deep); We all have our !#&@, and because of my personal background, I resent being expected to do housework. The problem is, however, that we really do need to get organized in our house so it does not look chaotic and so our children don’t grow up with terrible habits of disarray and mess. Yeah, I can blame it on my upbringing but I am now an adult and need to take responsibility for my lack of housecleaning priorities.

This is why I am so thrilled that I am teaching my son how to clean the house. My son is thoroughly enjoying vacuuming and I am encouraging it by paying him 25 cents a room. It is amazingly gratifying watching him learn these skills AND help me clean my house at the same time!

We shouldn’t have to do it alone if there are people around to help and what a good message to start the kids out young with all the household chores, no matter the chore or the gender. Now think about your baggage, communicate about it with the appropriate person, maybe it is yourself if you live alone, but then move on and get your husband,yourself, your child, wife, lovah, or roommate to get out and do the shopping, clean the bathroom like he promised he would do on a regular basis (Oh, did I say that?), and make this delicious salad that is a modified version of a salad my friend Linda served me. It is truly fantastic.

Also, Can you email me YOUR cooking baggage as a comment here? We would all be helped by hearing what we all have to say-post anonymously if it helps-thanks!:

Walnut Asian Chicken Salad:

2 chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips about one inch X 1 cm
1/2 small green cabbage chopped in inch size piece or smaller
3-4 scallions chopped into pea sized pieces
4 Ramen brand seasoning packets
4 TBS toasted sesame seeds
1 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
2 tsp olive oil

Dressing:

4 TBS honey
6 TBS white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1/2 TBS Ramen noodle powder

Whisk all above dressing ingredients in a med. sized bowl until fully combined. Set aside.

In a med. sized glass bowl, marinate the chicken with one TBS of the Ramen powder. Make sure that the chicken is fully coated with the powder. Marinate at least 2 hours (this will also force you to plan ahead so you have less to do later :-))

In the 2 tsp olive or canola oil, saute chicken until cooked through-it should be opaque inside, not pink.

When chicken is cooked through, set aside in a large bowl. Add all other salad ingredients except the sesame seeds and walnuts, stir, and then pour the dressing on. Stir until fully coating vegetables and chicken. Add sesame seeds and walnuts at the end so they stay crisp. Yum!

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4 Responses

  1. This walnut asian salad looks delicious. I might even give it a try!

    As you know, I have lots of cooking baggage — mostly, I just feel inept in the kitchen. But I'm taking small steps to try to gain confidence.

    Cooking something is better than cooking nothing at all, right?

  2. My mom cooked delicious dinners every night and I loved it but man did I hate growing up in that messy freakin' house. So I guess my baggage was that if I was going to pick one thing it would be OPPOSITE of my mom and be a great housekeeper and not so great at cooking. Oh, and my dad criticized half of my mom's dinners so I think that was my baggage too–not wanting to be criticized. But life is about balance, right, so I taught myself to cook and my husband is so grateful for every single meal. (All those years of my refusing to cook makes my efforts now seem that much better.) The kids picked up the cues and everyone thanks me for every dinner and it is just LOVELY. A little gratitude goes a long way. Boring but YOU asked.

  3. cooking meat… i've done it millions (or more) of times and mostly successful but never without angst and never with certainty or innate how to. when can you just walk into a supermarket or butcher, pick up a piece of meat, recognize the cut, figure out how to cook it and do it without consulting a cookbook, mother, friendly and competent cooks, internet and whatever other resource is around?

  4. I can relate…I'm the youngest of 12 from a traditional mom-does this, dad-does-that household.

    On the housekeeping side: with 14 people in a house, that's a lot of shoes that pile up near the door, etc. My father was an active volunteer in several organizations (the nut doesn't fall far from the tree) and had a small business in addition to his regular job as a letter carrier. Papers, shoes, school books, — but we always cleaned everything up when the parish priest was coming over for dinner. And it's not like my mom was sitting around twiddling her thumbs — she never sat down! As an adult with my own cluttered home, I sometimes have to remind myself: oh yeah, I'm supposed to keep the house clean! (A young neighbor whose parents keep a pristine house once asked me, "why is your house so messy?" I nicely told him volunteering at school was more important to me.)

    On the food side: 12 kids in an Italian household on a letter carrier's salary – we ate a lot of macaroni – my father loved rigatoni — when I grew up and moved out, it was years before I could eat that pasta shape! In our house, since my husband is the picky eater, he does the creative stuff. But when we have to feed a crowd, I'm the organizer.

    And I hope the vacuuming thing works out for you — the novelty of it was lost on my kids after about two times (but they empty the dishwasher — the key to life, as far as I'm concerned).

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