[FHCx16] National Fig Newton Day/International Hot and Spicy Food Day

Today we celebrate two very different holidays!


First up, Fig Newtons. They’re tasty. Named after Newton, Massachusetts, as opposed to Sir Isaac. You’d kind of imagine a corporate giant like Nabisco making a PR gesture with one of their less popular items – so much less popular that they’ve dropped “Fig” from the name – just so they can justify putting these out on shelves. In my (SP) classroom, I doubt you’d get 20% of the students to recognize what a Fig Newton is. Sad days we live in.

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“Made with real fruit Newtons No High Fructose Corn Syrup” just seems harder to say.

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Personally, I’d prefer a larger fig-to-cookie ratio

One thing to note is that the regular Newtons vs the reduced-fat Newtons are the same in WW points. So we went for the real thing. Currently, they are now all bagged up in small servings to have at a later time if we should so choose.

But that isn’t what today is REALLY about. To me, at least. Today is a day not recognized by the folks at the National Day Calendar (who knows why not, since they do include other international days) but is one that I could not pass up as I looked through the days of the year. Spicy food is amazing. It’s my lifeblood. Make something spicy with a hell of a lot of garlic, and you have found your way into my heart.

Today we made what we call our Banyan Beef Stir-Fry. It’s loosely based on the Banyan sauce you can get at the Bengal BBQ in Disneyland. We’ve tried many recipes of people who claim to know the actual secrets, but they’ve all been wrong. Nothing compares to a jalapeno-cheese pretzel dipped in that spicy sauce.

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When you wish upon a sauce…

So here is our stir-fry, complete with recipe! First up is the sauce, which is the most crucial part.

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1T black pepper, 2T brown Sugar, 1t crushed red pepper, 1t cayenne pepper, several cloves of fresh garlic, 1T lemon juice, 3T sesame oil, and 1 cup of soy sauce. Mix it all up and bring to a boil.

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Separately, mix up 1.5 cups of water with 3T corn starch and make a slurry. As the sauce begins to boil, slowly add the slurry. Once it’s all mixed and boiling, bring it down to a simmer and leave it alone for a while. It’ll thicken up reeeeal good.

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Hot wok, chili oil, more garlic, and 2 lbs of beef. I cook it and then set it aside in a bowl so I can…

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Cook up 1 onion, 8oz mushrooms, can of baby corn, can of bamboo shoots in the beef juice that’s in the wok. Add the beef back in.

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Steam some broccoli (I usually do two 12oz packs) and then add it to the stir fry. THEN you can add the sauce into the whole thing. We’re gonna need a bigger wok.

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Serve over rice with some sriracha. Happy International Hot and Spicy Food Day!

What’s amazing about all of this is how low in points the whole thing is, despite the 1/4 cup of oil and 1 cup of soy sauce used in making it. When you think about it, though, several pounds of veggies with a couple pounds of lean beef should make for a healthy meal. You could have 5 cups of this for the same value as a 1/2 cup serving of Beijing Beef at Panda Express. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When you make food at home, for some reason, it’s healthier. The equivalent dish when you eat out is going to be at least twice the calories.

Anywho, today was weigh in day!


SP: -3.4 pounds, total lost: 87.4

AK: +1.0 pounds, total lost: 26.2

For SP, this has been a really good week. I’ve been able to keep to my plans of what I’m going to have and, even with some dining out adventures, I managed to make some good choices. AK wasn’t too bummed about the gain, and knows exactly what she needs to kick ass for next week.

Tomorrow is Hot Buttered Rum Day! Here’s hoping it goes over better than Hot Toddy Day