Over the past few weeks I have been switching things up in my life (after the pregnancy) to get back to my healthy eating habits. One thing that is so hard for me during pregnancy is the inability to stay on the healthy eating path, due mostly to the fact that I’m chronically sick for 80% of the time, and can only hold down what my body will let me… It is a sacrifice for sure, but not one that isn’t worth it. I would’nt trade my three sweet kids for anything! It was been a huge learning experience for me and I am better for it!
If feels so good to be back to myself again! I know I have a VERY LONG ROAD AHEAD in my efforts to attain optimal health. I feel like I was in a really good place (about halfway to my optimal weight goal) when I got pregnant with my sweet baby boy. I know I can get back to that good place, but it sure does feel like a struggle to start from zero again. I have decided to only focus on the positive!!! I have three beautiful babies. They are the absolute joys of my life! I feel like a pretty tough chick to have survived the trials that getting them here have brought me! I know I am strong enough to fight my way back to the healthy, fit me, ONE DAY AT A TIME. I have decided to cut back (significantly) the carbs I intake that come from white flour, rice or potatoes. I just avoid them if I can, and go for a more whole grain, plant based approach and let my body get most of it’s carbs from fruits and veg. I am still cooking some white rice and potatoes occasionally for my kids, because I don’t think they need to completely avoid them. But I am including all of my family in my more holistic, plant based, leaner protein style cooking. It has been really fun so far!
Today I am excited to share with you a super flavorful dish that really wowed my kiddies! They are always asking for me to take them to *cringe* Panda Express. I hate that place with a passion. It is so unhealthy! I am constantly telling my kids no, no, no… I decided it was high time I cook up a healthy alternative to their craving for orange chicken. It was a total hit! I love it too! I only ate the chicken and roasted vegetable portion of the meal and it was so filling and flavorful. I will definitely make this again.
I am excited to keep re-creating some of our family favorites in a healthier way! What are some of your family favorites that you wish were more healthy? I would love to help you find a healthier, more fresh way to serve it up to your family! Leave your ideas in the comments and I’ll try to help you out.
I am already feeling much better having cut out a lot of excess sugar, and “useless carbs” out of my diet! I have more energy, and have a great sense of control and accomplishment. Yes, it takes some planning and effort, but it is totally worth it! Join with me in my quest for a healthier life for myself and my family. You won’t regret it! xoxo
Here is the recipe:
For Light Breaded Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken tenderloins cut into pieces
- 2 inches vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 egg + 2 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Salt & pepper
- Pinch garlic powder
For Honey Orange Chicken Sauce
- 2 cups freshly squeezed (if possible) orange juice
- Zest of 2 oranges
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons garlic hoisin sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1-teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
For Roasted Veggies
- 2 bell peppers, cut into 1-½ inch pieces
- 1 onion, cut into large pieces
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Sliced green onions, sesame seeds, orange zest (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the egg, 2 egg whites, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, salt and pepper and garlic powder for the light breading. Whisk together well until it looks smooth and frothy. In a medium bowl toss chicken in light breading mixture to coat evenly. Cover and place in refrigerator.
- In a medium saucepan add all sauce ingredients except the water and cornstarch. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
- Whisk together water and cornstarch. Pour into sauce and continue to cook until it has reached your desired thickness.
- Chop bell peppers, onions, and carrots. Place in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Toss veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven and roast veggies for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.
- In a large skillet with a rim, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil over medium heat (about 350 degrees). When oil is hot, cook chicken in small batches until golden. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- Toss golden chicken pieces and roasted veggies in the honey orange sauce.
I hope you have a super restful weekend filled with family, friends and of course, good food!