Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
Sweet but Wholesome
So, it turns out that we are pretty drawn to sweet dishes. As we have gone over our regular meals time and time again, and I have updated my list of my husband's favorite recipes of mine, we noticed that we were always drawn back to the sweet dishes. That doesn't necessarily mean meals loaded with sugar, or even desserts, but meals with fruit, peanut sauces, honey sauces, and teriyaki sauce.
Some of the simple meals that seem to catch our attention incorporate pineapple, orange, sweet pepper, and even sweet onion. I think, as a society, we have gotten so used to all of our dishes having refined sugar that we have been trained to like sweet. Thank goodness that there are tons of wonderfully healthy ways to incorporate that sweetness into our dishes without having to add sugar.
On our homemade whole wheat pizza, we add Parmesan to the crust and tons of delicious homemade tomato sauce to the pizza. To my fried rice, we add fruit and sweet vegetables to the mix, and then garlic and teriyaki to the rice. I even make a delicious pineapple chicken that gets a huge boost of sweetness from my home-canned pineapple and bell peppers. It's almost too sweet, if that's possible.
You can tell my little one was excited. He asked for this orange-sweetened dish by name and was so thrilled to finally be able to sit at the table with a plate of it. I think he had his nose practically in the dish the whole time we were preparing it. You know I had to include a precious picture of him and his plate of orange chicken. This is a favorite of our littlest, as well. Let me show you how I made it, and hopefully, you can get that same reaction from your kids, too!
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
5 adult servings
- 2 cups rice
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups water
- 1 pound raw chicken breast, chopped
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Dash white sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup organic orange juice
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup organic ketchup
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Start by getting your rice going. Whether you make it in a rice cooker, Instant Pot, or on the stove, it should take about 30 minutes. In that time, you can prepare the chicken.
- Melt your coconut oil in a small saute pan on the stove over medium to medium-high heat.
- Chop up your chicken breasts into small bite-sized pieces and toss them in with your oil. Cook, stirring periodically, until all of your chicken is cooked through.
- While your chicken is cooking, mix up all of your sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Once the chicken is finished, turn the heat down to low and pour your sauce over the top. Cook, stirring slowly until your sauce has thickened.
- Turn off the heat and dust the entire pan with your sesame seeds. Serve with rice and veggies. For this meal, I chose to make my garlic zucchini spears. Yum!
Step-by-Step Photo Guide
A Family Favorite
This was such a delicious meal. What's not to love? Rice and chicken are just about every kid's favorite food items, and I'm just smothering them in a sweet and tangy sauce and tossing in some garlicky zucchini spears. Anything with rice and chicken as the main ingredients are a huge hit in our house. My little ones love veggies but seem to prefer them raw versus cooked.
If you are in need of a quick but healthy meal for your family, this is one of the best, next to my Beef and Broccoli (using hamburger) and my Thai Chicken and Rice. I admit that there are some weird ingredients like sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds in this recipe, but there's nothing to worry about. You can buy them from any grocery store for super cheap and then you have them on hand for whenever you need them in the future. I use such small portions of each of them every time that I'll have them forever. But they really make a big difference in my Asian-themed meals.
Honestly, we made this dish a couple of times in a row. I thought I had made tons of extra the first time we had it, but then everyone had seconds and thirds for dinner. The next day we all wanted leftovers for lunch and there wasn't enough for everyone, so I made it for dinner again. My husband and little ones were so glad I did because we all got some more orange chicken the next night. Thankfully, this happens often in our home, where everyone enjoys the meals I'm making so much that we make them again the next night, just so everyone can enjoy it again.
© 2019 Victoria Van Ness