Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Recipe Round-up: Um...yum!

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'll just say it: I love food. I love it. I love trying new foods (so long as they're not spicy. I do not like spicy food.), I love making new foods, I love food. I wonder daily if I'm instilling that love for food into my boys, especially my younger son, the dreaded Picky Eater! (Dun, dun dun...)

Now, I should say that I know Devin does love food. He really does. He just loves the wrong foods. Cookies, chips, crackers, candy--the four Cs of doom. We'll add some breads, pastas, butter, jam, peanut butter and for some strange reason, veggie corn dogs and veggie 'chicken' nuggets. I hate to be so cliché, but it really is like pulling teeth to get D to eat anything remotely healthful.

Due to D's penchant for junk and the large plastic tub of junk food wrappers that my husband brought downstairs recently, our house has gone on a near complete junk food ban. If it's not healthful, it's not in the house. This means that I need to rethink my recipe arsenal some too as those convenience foods were a big part of how I'd even get D to eat at all.

So what's a mom to do, right? Research! I know, I know...research means work. Research means experimenting. Experimenting can mean failure, lots and lots and lots of failure. Ask me, I know. Too many nights of, "I don't liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike <<insert any food here>>!" tend to grate on the nerves of even the most patient parent. Now, what I'm about to share with you is no guarantee. Your child may hate it. Your child may throw it at you or stop speaking to you for a week. I don't know. My child, my super picky hates everything that touches his lips that isn't mostly carbs, gave this one the highest praies he gives to anything. He saves this praise for his favorite treats: ice cream, slushies, junk...But this time, and maybe only this time, Devin gave a healthful dish an "Um, YUM!!!" when asked what he thought of it.


3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup salted cashews
3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 medium mango, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
Sesame Rice, recipe follows


In a large bowl or re-sealable plastic bag, mix together 2 tablespoons of the oil, the soy sauce, and the honey until well combined. Add chicken and toss to coat well. Place in refrigerator to marinate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add nuts. Toast nuts, shaking pan a few times, until nice toasted, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. (Can be made up to 3 days in advance.)

When chicken is ready, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken and marinade juices and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned on all sides and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in mango and cashews and cook until heated through, about 
1 minute. Taste and adjust seasoning, as necessary. Serve immediately over Sesame Rice.

Toasted Sesame Rice:
3 1/2 cups water
2 cups long-grain rice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
Bring water to a boil. Add rice and salt and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, to finish cooking, about 5 minutes. Stir in oil and sesame seeds and serve.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ease of preparation: easy

Notes: I added in some sliced zucchini and sugar snap peas just a couple minutes before cooking was done.

Enjoy!! I'll be adding this one into the rotation for sure!!

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