For the last two years I have been trying to get my family on track for more healthy eating habits. I didn’t start out by changing everything all at once, for fear that everyone would just completely freak out and go crazy on me. I started it a little at a time and changed things slowly so that everyone would get used to eating better a few things at a time. It is hard when you have kids and especially when one of them is a very picky eater. I buy organic as much as possible and when choosing meat, I do my best to buy organic and/or grass fed meats. I have tried to reduce the use of anything that comes in a can and stay away from everything that has high fructose corn syrup, but mostly I don’t buy anything that is already processed. To accomplish this, it means that you have to pretty much make most of what you want from scratch. I am not perfect with this by any means and there are still things that we eat that we probably shouldn’t, but we are a whole lot better off than where we were two years ago.
Eating organic and eating better is definitely more expensive which is just unfortunate. It should be the other way around. One way that I cut corners is by not going out to eat anymore. It is amazing how much money you can save when you skip the restaurants and eat at home. We will still go out for the occasional sushi meal and sometimes for a special occasion to support our chef and server friends.
One of my favorite meals is sesame chicken. I don’t really know why I like it so much, but I do. I decided this past week that I was going to try and make it on my own and see what happened. I gathered a few ingredients from the fridge and pantry and this is what I came up with. Even my daughter, Princess Picky Pants, ate an entire bowl full for dinner. She actually thanked me for cooking and hugged me. This was priceless to me, because normally she just eats PB & J. She runs screaming at the sight of vegetables. I just keep hoping that one day she will appreciate a mama who makes gourmet meals every night.
Seriously though, this turned out much better than I actually expected it to and we loved it. There is just something about the hint of sweetness from the honey, the bite of the ginger and garlic and the mixture of soy sauce and cider vinegar. I absolutely loved this meal. It will be making the rounds in the regular rotation around here. I hope that you will enjoy it too! It is actually really easy to make and once you have the prep work done it goes really quickly.
**This recipe is gluten free as long as you use a gluten free soy sauce.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (preferably organic, cage free chickens)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup coconut oil (or enough to cover the bottom of a large skillet)
- 1/2 a red pepper (or about a cup), finely diced
- 4 green onions, sliced thin
For the sauce:
- 3/4 cup of raw honey (or regular honey)
- 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 6-7 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar (or regular cider vinegar)
- 3-4 tablespoons sesame seeds (I used both black and white sesame seeds)
- 4 large cloves of garlic, pressed or grated
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
For the batter:
- 1 1/2 cups corn starch
- 3 teaspoons dried minced onion
- 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
- 2 egg whites, whisked
I served this chicken over Jasmine rice. You can use whatever you prefer.
In a large measuring cup combine all of the ingredients for the sauce and whisk until all of the flavors have combined. I ended up adding just a touch of cornstarch at the end, just to thicken it up just a little bit. Please feel free to play around with the honey or the oil to make it the perfect consistency for you.
Cut the chicken breasts down the center in a filet so that you end up with 2 breast pieces cut out of the one piece. Cut each of those pieces into 3 strips and then each strip into 4-5 chunk pieces. Season generously with salt and pepper and set aside.
In another large bowl mix the cornstarch, powdered ginger and minced onion and whisk to combine well.
Take each piece of chicken from the egg whites and dredge in the cornstarch mixture. Make sure each piece is coated thoroughly and set aside on a large plate.
Pre-heat coconut oil in a large skillet (or wok) over medium-high heat. Once it is hot enough, add the chicken pieces in a single layer to cover the pan. I have a large skillet and was able to cook all the chicken in just two batches. Cook chicken for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. Set cooked chicken aside and repeat until you have cooked all of the chicken pieces.
Once all the chicken is cooked and removed from the pan you will add the red pepper and green onion to the skillet. I ended up needing to add a little bit more coconut oil to the pan for this stage, maybe 2 tablespoons more. Saute until peppers are soft and caramelized.
Then place all of the chicken back in the pan. Give your sauce a good whisk again and pour over all the chicken in the pan making sure that each piece is coated with the sauce. I stirred mine around for a couple of minutes making sure that everything was coated nicely.