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Serve up healthy meals in no time

Little time is no excuse to head out for fast food. A healthy and flavorful meal can be prepared in 30 minutes or less with the help of Food Network's Rachel Ray and her new cookbook, "Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals: Eat Healthy Without Going to Extremes."  In her world, carbs and other goodies that are lately out of fashion are still allowed in moderation. She was invited on "Today" to s
/ Source: TODAY

Little time is no excuse to head out for fast food. A healthy and flavorful meal can be prepared in 30 minutes or less with the help of Food Network's Rachel Ray and her new cookbook, "Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals: Eat Healthy Without Going to Extremes."  In her world, carbs and other goodies that are lately out of fashion are still allowed in moderation. She was invited on "Today" to share her recipes.

There are many flavors of sharp Cheddar out in today’s markets to choose from, so go plain or go wild! Among the choices out there in sharp Cheddars: five-peppercorn, smoked, dill, garlic and herb, roasted garlic, horseradish, chipotle, habanero, jalapeño — on and on!



Chinese Chicken Lettuce WrapsRachael Ray

4 servings

Remove the tough stems from the mushrooms and brush with a damp towel to clean; slice the mushrooms. Chop the chicken into small pieces.

Preheat a large skillet or wok to high. Add the oil to the hot pan. Add the chicken to the pan and sear the meat by stir-frying for a minute or two. Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute or two. Season with salt and pepper, and then add the garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute more. Grate the orange zest into the pan; add the bell pepper bits, water chestnuts, and scallions. Cook for another minute, continuing to stir-fry the mixture. Add the hoisin sauce and toss to coat the mixture evenly.

Transfer the hot chopped barbecued chicken to a serving platter and pile the quartered wedges of crisp iceberg lettuce alongside. Add the wedged oranges to the platter to garnish. To eat, pile spoonfuls into the lettuce leaves and squeeze an orange wedge over. Fold up the wrap and eat.

912351260481340822915360662 mushrooms2cup2 cups (4 handfuls) fresh shiitake mushroomschicken breast or chicken tenders2pound1-1⁄3 to 1-1⁄2 pounds thin-cut chicken breast or chicken tenderslight-colored oil2tablespoon2 tablespoons light-colored oil, such as vegetable or peanut oil(2 turns of the pan)Coarse salt and coarse black peppergarlic 3clove3 garlic cloves, choppedgingerroot11-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped or grated (optional)orange 11 orange (you’ll use the zest)bell pepper0.51⁄2 red bell pepper, diced smallwater chestnuts1can1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained and choppedscallions33 scallions, choppedhoisin sauce 3tablespoon3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (Chinese barbecue sauce, available on Asian foods aisle of market)iceberg lettuce2head1⁄2 head iceberg lettuce, core removed, quartered boston 1head1 head of Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves separatedWedges of navel orange, for garnish





Excerpted from “Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Get Real Meals: Eat Healthy Without Going to Extremes,” by Rachael Ray. Copyright © 2005 by Rachael Ray. Published by Crown Publishing Group. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt can be used without permission of the publisher.