Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.

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Spicy Chicken Stir-fry with a Multitude of Green Vegetables

As I prepared this stir-fry, my 5 month-old son was in his play-table right next to me, so I showed him the vegetables before I chopped them; he loves feeling the texture of things right now, so he enjoyed touching the broccoli, a mushroom, and he really liked the pea pod! Why not start him young at knowing and loving his vegetables!

I’ve been craving Chinese food–it just brings comfort when things are quickly changing around you; the budget is tight, so I created a new recipe with what I had. Stir-fry melds wonderful meat with colorful veggies, and even though it is easy to call a Chinese place for take-out…why not make your own?

1 ½ lb of chicken or pork, cubed

2 Tblsp. regular soy sauce

1 lb. broccoli, chopped

6 green onions, white tops chopped, green tops cut into 1-in.

½ lb. green pea pods

1 lb. white mushrooms, sliced

1 small zucchini, sliced

1 green pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 tblsp. oil

Sauce ingredients:

1 ¼ cup beef broth (2 cubes and 1 ¼ cups water)

¼ cup sweet soy sauce

3 Tblsp. chili garlic sauce

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. salt

3 Tblsp. cornstarch

Mix the regular soy sauce with the meat and let sit for 10 minutes or until you have the vegetables chopped. Prepare the vegetables.

Mix together the sauce ingredients and have ready. Heat up a wok (if you need a wok, check out this one:   Specialty Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA-Free Jumbo Wok Cookware, 14-Inch, Black) over a medium heat, place 1 Tblsp. of the oil in the wok and then add the meat, the white onion tops and the stems of the broccoli (if you are using them!) and stir-fry for 7-10 minutes (or until the meat is cooked). Continue reading



Confetti Chicken Cumin Meatballs

Need a change from regular meatballs? Here’s a recipe to try. These chicken meatballs have the warm kick of coriander and cumin and the colorful hint of onion and peppers. I pulled some of the ideas for these zesty meatballs from a cookbook called Jerusalem: A Cookbook, but I also made them my own. You may use chicken or beef—it is your choice.

1 lb. ground chicken

½ cup finely chopped onion (1 small onion)

½ cup finely chopped red and yellow bell pepper

2 eggs

1 cup soft bread crumbs

½ cup chopped fresh parsley or 3 Tblsp. Dried parsley

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. coriander

¼ tsp. ground white pepper

1 tsp. salt

3 Tblsp. Coconut oil

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Thai Basil Chicken and Noodles

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You know those weeks when the grocery budget is tight? That’s when I decide to use what is in the pantry and freezer, and this recipe is what resulted from what was in my kitchen last night. My friend came over for dinner, and she helped me fry up these Pad Thai inspired noodles; what is different from regular Pad Thai is that it has more large vegetables, no onion or ginger (it wasn’t in the fridge!), and has more of citrus notes in the flavor.

Here’s the recipe! Watch out because my friend and I ate over half of the pan ourselves…

Makes 4 large servings


1/4 c. soy sauce

3/4 lb chicken breast, chopped (raw)

2 Tblsp. coconut oil

1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms

1 (6.35 oz.) jar bamboo shoots, sliced

1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, sliced

2 Tblsp. minced garlic

1/4 c. chopped fresh basil leaves

4.5 oz. (half a package) pad thai rice noodles

1/2 c. coconut milk

3 Tblsp. cornstarch

1/2 c. salted peanuts


Sauce ingredients:

1 1/2 Tblsp. soy sauce

2 Tblsp. lime juice

3 Tblsp. rice vinegar

2 Tblsp. fish sauce

2 Tblsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

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Mom’s Chicken and Orange Sauce

2 lb. chicken (5 chicken legs or thighs)
2-3 Tblsp. coconut oil
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt (and more to taste)

4 1/2 cup orange juice

Mix together the dry ingredients on a plate.
Heat the coconut oil in a 3-4 quart Dutch oven or pot with a lid.
Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture until coated (keep the leftover flour and put in a measuring cup for later); then brown on all sides of the chicken in the Dutch oven.

Add in 4 cups of the orange juice; cook at a medium heat (it can be boiling) with the lid on until the meat is tender (35-45 minutes).

Mix the leftover flour with the 1/2 cup of orange juice and stir into the chicken mixture. Simmer until thickened, and it’s ready to serve.
Serve with rice.

Serves 3-4. You can add more chicken and orange juice to make a bigger batch of this tasty main dish!

My Mom made this while I was growing up and taught me how to make it. If you desire, you may add orange segments and raisins. Enjoy!