Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sesame-Orange Chicken or Tofu/be-lated Meatless monday post

So I missed my Meatless Monday post this week…can I blame it on too much Mother’s Day fun and excitement?

It’s kind of the truth, honestly. I had a very busy and tiring weekend, then on Monday I was still recuperating since Lily woke up twice Sunday night then got up at 7:30 am (an hour earlier than usual) when Mommy wasn’t quite ready to greet the sun yet. I basically took it easy yesterday and dealt with her teething crankiness (hence the waking up at night) as it came, but luckily I got a better-than-good night’s sleep last night.

And, I made this really tasty, low-fat Asian-inspired dish last night that could be easily made with or without meat. It contains vitamin-infused sesame, a variety of yummy vegetables, and a tangy sauce loaded with vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C, manganese, amino acids and raw soybeans which I explained the benefits of in my last post. So, read on and try it out!

Orange-Sesame Chicken or Tofu
(adapted from Prevention magazine)


¾ cup OJ
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce (reduced-sodium suggested)
1 tbsp honey or brown sugar or 1/2 tbsp agave syrup
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 lb thinly sliced boneless and skinless chicken breast or 1 14 oz pack of tofu, drained and cut into strips or triangles (or cubes if you prefer)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger or 1 ½ tbsp powdered ginger
1 tsp red pepper flake
3-4 ribs celery thinly sliced
3-4 carrots thinly sliced
1 cup peas or soybeans
1 cup sugar snap peas
Approximately 2 tbsp sesame seeds, preferably toasted

Whisk the OJ, cider vinegar, soy sauce, honey (or sugar or agave) and cornstarch together in a bowl until smooth, then set aside. Heat 1 tbsp of the sesame oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat then add the chicken or tofu, garlic, ginger and pepper flake until chicken is slightly browned. Once chicken is browned, add peas (or soybeans) and snap peas to the pan.

Meanwhile, cook the carrots and celery in about 1 inch of water on medium-low heat in a separate pan until they are tender but still crisp, about 5 minutes. Once they’re ready, drain and add to the pan with chicken plus remaining sesame oil. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring a little, then add the sauce and cook for about 2-3 minutes more, stirring every so often to keep the sauce from settling. Serve with sesame seed sprinkled on top.

I had it the other night with a fresh green salad with mesculin from my garden (!), but it would also be really good over brown rice or noodles.

For baby:

2-3 tbsp pureed carrots or peas

For tots:

¼-½ cup steamed peas, carrots and/or soybeans
¼ cup brown rice or chopped noodles

Sauce to top with, if desired:

1 tbsp OJ
¼ tsp cider vineger
¼ tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp honey

Warm in microwave for about 15 seconds then allow to cool for a minute before serving over the veggies and rice or noodles. 

If your tot is a picky eater, they may not like this sweet sauce with a tangy edge, but if they have more developed taste buds that they got from Mommy’s eclectic diet while they were in the womb, then this sauce should give their normally bland veggies a sweet and tangy kick.

Also, I must admit, this sauce did not get Lily to eat her broccoli. It worked for the carrots and peas, but not the broccoli. The only way she’ll eat that vitamin-packed superfood is if it’s covered in cheese! So, if your child is still a picky eater after trying a few different variations of this sauce, don’t fret, and remember to keep in mind that their taste buds are still developing as well as changing all the time, so if they throw it on the floor one day, they might be more willing to try it next week or in a few weeks.
 I’m no baby-diet expert, but Lily is a very good eater and actually prefers things with a stronger flavor opposed to bland, but she still manages to surprise me with what she will and won’t eat.

I will blog about my Mother’s Day adventures in my other blog, Garden of Jessica  soon, so check there if you want to know what kept me so blahhhh post-M Day.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you are enjoying all the recipes I post! I promise to stay on top of things next week and post a Meatless Monday recipe before Monday, but remember, Monday doesn’t have to be the only day you go meat-free!

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