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Chicken Chop Suey
Ellie Krieger’s recipe for Chicken Chop Suey. Renee Comet / USA WEEKEND. Food Styling by Lisa Cherkasky.

For a quick, tasty and healthy meal, you can’t beat a good stir-fry. It is chock-full of fresh vegetables and high-impact flavors, it doesn’t take much oil, and it all comes together fast in one big pan. Chop suey (which loosely translated means “assorted pieces”) was in regular rotation at my grandma’s house, where the dish was her attempt at something more “exotic.”

Here I have hit the refresh button on Grandma’s recipe, keeping the retro comfort appeal but making it healthier by using fresh mushrooms and napa cabbage, with low-sodium soy sauce, and serving it over whole-grain rice. For that essential crunchy topping to contrast the tender, saucy vegetables, I crumble baked wonton skins. This dish is a great way to use leftover roast chicken, and you can swap in any vegetable “pieces” you have in the fridge.

Crunchy Chicken Chop Suey

• 1 Tb. sesame seeds
• 1½ tsps. cornstarch
• 1 Tb. dry sherry
• Eight 3-inch square wonton skins, separated
• 1 Tb. plus 2 tsps. canola oil
• ¼ tsp. salt
• 2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, sliced
• 4 cups cored and thinly sliced napa cabbage
• ¾ cup thinly sliced celery
• One 8-ounce can bamboo shoots, drained and cut into thin strips
• 2 cups (about 6 ounces) fresh shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean, stems discarded, and caps thinly sliced
• ¾ tsp. sugar
• 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
• 1½ Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
• 2 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
• 2 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken or turkey
• 2 cups hot cooked brown rice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Toast the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until lightly colored, about 2 minutes; set aside. In a small cup, dissolve the cornstarch in the sherry; set aside.

Brush a baking sheet and the wonton skins lightly on both sides with 2 tsps. of the canola oil. Season with the salt and bake until browned and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack and set aside.

In a large heavy skillet or wok, heat the remaining 1 Tb. canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, garlic, cabbage, celery, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms and stir-fry until the cabbage is soft and wilted, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the sugar, ¾ cup of the broth, the soy sauce, and sesame oil and cook for 3 minutes. Add the sherry-cornstarch mixture and, if the mixture is a little dry, the remaining ¼ cup broth. Add the chicken and heat through.

Serve over the cooked brown rice and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and crush the wonton skins on top.

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 470 calories, 47g carbohydrates, 30g protein, 18g fat (2.5g saturated), 6g fiber, 61mg cholesterol, 568mg sodium

Recipe reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Taunton Press Inc., from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life, by Ellie Krieger. Copyright by Ellie Krieger.

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Ellie Krieger is host of the The Food Network’s hit show “Healthy Appetite,” which airs on The Cooking Channel. The author of three cookbooks, her latest is Comfort Food Fix: Feel Good Favorites Made Healthy. A registered dietitian, Ellie has helped out with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and has teamed up with New York City SchoolFood initiative, where she created healthy, delicious menu items for students citywide.