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GET COOKING Month continues. This time I tested out features thousands of the best recipes and hundreds of menus from magazines and cookbooks you love and trust'??including Cooking Light, Southern Living, Sunset, Coastal Living, Real Simple, and more.

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I wanted to check out the Quick & Easy section since that fits my needs right now. I used the dinner countdown. Here's the deal: Start with 30 minutes and go all the way down to 5! I entered 20 minutes. Nothing intriguing. When I upped the ante to 30 minutes, I struck gold with KungPao Chicken. Pulled from a 2005 Cooking Light issue this recipe was a winner.

First of all, it fills a need. Ordering in Chinese may have been cut off the budget for many folks--this is a nice way to keep the tradition going. Next, I'll bet this version is a lot leaner than the restaurant version (just 239 calories per serving). With the clock ticking, I started the rice. Then I got to the recipe. The instructions were easy to follow and the meal turned out great. I have most of the ingredients on hand--but was a Little short on broccoli so I added some raw carrots and I chose to substitute cashews for peanuts.

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Here's the recipe: Yield 4 servings. See my picture left, their picture right. It did take me slightly longer than 30 minutes, but I think I can trim down the time on the next go.


* 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
* 4 cups broccoli florets (I added carrots too)
* 1 tablespoon ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World), divided
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips
* 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
* 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon cornstarch
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped salted peanuts (I swapped for cashews)

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Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and 2 teaspoons ginger to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add water. Cover; cook 2 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Remove broccoli from pan; keep warm.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan; add remaining 1 teaspoon ginger, crushed red pepper, and chicken. Cook 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned, stirring frequently.

Combine broth and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan; cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Return broccoli mixture to pan; toss to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.

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Tasty Tuesday on Balancing Beauty & Bedlam

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