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Sesame Chicken Skillet

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This recipe is the eighth in my month-long series of healthy, weeknight recipes from all around the web. This is stuff I make time and again, usually with some modifications, and still love! Check back (or follow this blog) to see all of the recipes I’ll be featuring this month!

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Let’s just pretend I didn’t take these pictures on the kitchen floor, at 8pm, in horrible lighting, okay?

After making a 20 minute meal for dinner tonight, and then looking at my less-than-ideal photographs of this Sesame Chicken, I’m reminded how important these quick, healthy dinners are in my life. I love cooking, so on the weekends I usually make more complex recipes, but my weeknights are filled with recipes similar to the ones I’ve been featuring this month. I don’t know what I would do without quick meals – takeout isn’t a great option for anyone eating GF, and most days it isn’t practical to spend an hour or so on dinner!

So, I love this Sesame Chicken from How Sweet It Is. It’s quick. It’s hands off. It’s doesn’t take a lot of effort or brain power to put together. Yay! It’s super delicious, too. I don’t think I’ve ever ordered sesame chicken at a restaurant, so I can’t say how this recipe compares in terms of flavor. But I think you’ll like it. I imagine it’s kid friendly, because it’s the kind of thing I would have liked when I was a kid and I was a super picky eater. So, go make this for your family and then enjoy eating it!

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Sesame Chicken Skillet

Recipe Source: How Sweet It Is (Thanks for the great recipe :))

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 T gluten free flour (I’ve successfully used rice flour and the Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF flour)
  • 2 T sesame oil, divided
  • 1 t garlic powder (or use a couple cloves of fresh garlic)
  • 1 T Bragg’s Amino Acids (or GF soy sauce)
  • 1 t sugar/stevia blend
  • 1 T distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 c chicken broth
  • 12 oz frozen green beans

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Combine the garlic powder, Bragg’s Amino Acids, sugar/stevia, vinegar, chicken broth, and 1 T sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil in an oven proof skillet over medium high heat. While the oil and skillet are preheating add the chicken and GF flour together in a bowl and toss until the chicken pieces are coated in flour.
  4. When the skillet is warm add the flour coated chicken in one, single layer. Stir after 3 minutes, spread into a single layer again and let cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. Add the already mixed sauce to the skillet, stir gently, and then place the entire skillet in the oven to bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and reaches a temperature of 165° F.
  6. When the chicken is almost finished, defrost the green beans in the microwave according to package directions (I always get the steam in the bag kind – love it!)
  7. When the chicken is cooked through remove from the oven and stir in the green beans. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Serve this with

  • White or brown rice, or quinoa
  • 2 T sesame seeds

Szechuan Turkey and Green Beans

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This recipe is the fifth in my month-long series of healthy, weeknight recipes from all around the web. This is stuff I make time and again, usually with some modifications, and still love! Check back (or follow this blog) to see all of the recipes I’ll be featuring this month!

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This recipe has been in my favorites list for quite a while now. I found it on The Lemon Bowl, and only had to make a few tiny changes to make it gluten free. What initially won me over was the flavor. It’s reminiscent of a stir fry and has the option to be spicy or mild. When I realized how quick this dinner was to prepare – 20 minutes from start to table – it became one of my busy night staples.

Of course, everything I make over and over needs to be nutritious, and this dinner definitely is that, too! I always use lean, organic ground turkey. The sauce is so, so tasty and it doesn’t use any sugar or oil. The turkey is cooked with a whole pound of green beans and a can of water chestnuts, so you are getting a good serving of vegetables, too. Just serve with some brown rice or quinoa and your meal is complete!

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Szechuan Turkey and Green Beans

Recipe Source: The Lemon Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey (I get the 95%-98% lean when it is on sale and store it in the freezer until I’m ready to use it)
  • 2 T ginger, minced
  • 1/2 c chicken broth
  • 1 T corn starch
  • 1/4 c Bragg’s Amino Acids (may substitute with gluten free soy sauce)
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T chili garlic paste (This is what I use – please start with less if you are not a fan of spicy foods, and increase if needed).
  • 1 lb. green beans (I’ve successfully used fresh and frozen)
  • 8 oz. can water chestnuts, drained

Cooking Directions:

  1. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add the turkey and minced ginger. As the turkey cooks, using a fork/spatula/spoon/ to bread up the turkey into small bits. Once it is cooked through let the turkey brown for a minute in the pan.
  3. While the turkey is cooking, combine the chicken broth, corn starch, Amino Acids, rice vinegar, and chili garlic paste in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Add the green bean and sauce mixture to the cooked and browned ground turkey. Stir to combine and reduce the heat to medium.
  5. While the turkey/green beans/sauce is cooking roughly chop the water chestnuts.
  6. When the green beans are tender add the water chestnuts to the pan and stir once more to combine.
  7. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

 

Chicken & Aspargus Stir Fry

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This chicken and asparagus stir fry is an excellent weeknight meal. It has a (fairly) short ingredient list and takes under 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Served with some brown rice or quinoa it is a healthy, well balanced meal, and it doesn’t sacrifice any flavor!

Why do kids hate to eat vegetables?

As I’ve been writing up this recipe and looking through the photos I keep thinking of the dichotomy of my eating life. As a child I hated vegetables. Like, really, really hated. I had some awful (well, awful in the mind of an 8 year old) dinners when my Dad decided to pull out his wok and do some stir frying.

My Dad, like me, enjoys to cook and bake. He used to have this bright red electric wok and boy was I unhappy when it came out of the cupboard. It usually meant I was going to be served up a big plate of veggies, and, like I said, I really hated veggies.

Now, I’m pretty good about eating my vegetables! I think this healthy stir fry recipe is a total winner. I can imagine though, that if my Mom found this recipe 20 years ago she probably would have been thinking “Yeah right, that’s not going to fly with my kids”.

I hope this is a meal your family would enjoy. If not, here’s to hoping your children end up like me and come around to vegetables eventually!

Chicken & Asparagus Stir Fry

Ingredients
  • 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce (or Bragg’s Amino Acids)
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, slice
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 Tbs sesame oil
  • sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. Before you start cooking cut the chicken and asparagus into bite sized pieces, mince the garlic and ginger, and slice the green onions.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix the soy sauce, honey, and sriracha. Add the chicken to the bowl and stir until the chicken is coated with the sauce.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot add the asparagus to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes (or until the asparagus reaches the desired level of tenderness), stirring frequently so that the asparagus does not burn. Remove cooked asparagus from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the chicken to the same skillet, along with any sauce left in the bottom on the bowl. Cook the chicken for 3 – 4 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked through.
  5. Push the chicken off to one side of the skillet. Put the garlic, ginger, and green onions in the empty space in the skillet and stir it around a bit so that everything gets coated with the sauce, then stir into the chicken.
  6. Stir the asparagus into the skillet again, and cook just a minute or two more, until the asparagus has heated up.
  7. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired. I serve this with rice or quinoa.

Crunchy Five Spice Chicken Tenders (GF)

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Do you like gluten free bread? 

Luckily, I’ve never been a big bread eater, even before I was diagnosed with Celiac, so I don’t often yearn for real wheat bread like many other celiacs do. I do use sandwich bread every once in a while for a tuna melt or occasional grilled cheese sandwich so I usually keep a loaf of GF sandwich bread around. I have a favorite brand (currently it’s UDI’s multigrain), but I tend to try new varieties when I have the opportunity. Sometimes, I love the new bread and other times I hate it. If you’ve been GF for very long I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience. 

This recipe utilizes one loaf I had sitting in the freezer which was particularly bad.  Have you ever had a slice crumble into bits as you tried to spread butter or mayo on it? That was what happened with this bread. Not great results for a sandwich but it was perfect for breadcrumbs! This chicken coating uses a few slices of the crumbly GF sandwich bread combined with the finer store bought breadcrumbs. The result is a really crispy outer coating on the chicken!

A hint of five spice powder gives it a unique, but not overpowering flavor. If you don’t have five spice in your pantry check the spice aisle at your local grocery store, or an Asian market. I like to serve this slightly sweet chicken with something spicy, for contrast. Pictured, are these stir fried snap peas from Kalyn’s Kitchen. We devour these; they are delicious! 

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As far as preparation goes, this recipe is fairly simple. I marinate my chicken overnight, but you could certainly do it for less time. Or, prepare the marinade, coat each piece of chicken in the marinade, then in the crispy coating mixture. Once you’ve done the breading just stick the chicken in the oven and wait for it to cook through. Your kitchen will smell great while this is cooking, too!

 

Crunchy Five Spice Chicken Tenders

 

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Ingredients (serves 2 hungry adults)

  • 2 chicken breasts cut into strips or 4-6 chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2c milk
  • 1 tbs + 1 tsp five spice powder (divided)
  • 1 tbs soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Amino Acids)
  • 1c crumbled GF bread (about 3 slices)
  • 1/3c store bought GF breadcrumbs
  • cooking spray/olive oil

Cooking Directions

  1. Prepare marinade by combing milk, soy sauce, and 1 tbs of the five spice powder.
  2. Combine chicken strips and marinade and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Prepare crispy coating by combining crumbled GF bread slices, store bought GF breadcrumbs, and 1 tsp five spice powder.
  4. Dip each piece of marinated chicken into the coating mixture and cover completely with breadcrumbs. Place finished pieces in a prepared (I sprayed with olive oil) glass baking dish. If you have coating left, spread it out on top of each piece of chicken.
  5. Bake at 400°F until cooked through, about 25-30 minutes.

Serve with stir fried vegetables of your choice and rice or quinoa.

 

 

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