Scrambled Tofu with Portabellas


This recipe comes from my lovely mom, who conceived of and photographed the dish. When I decided to become a vegetarian at age 11, both my parents were very obliging, and the whole family started eating a lot more tofu and veggie-centered dishes. My ever-inventive mom came up with a million different ways to nourish me. Scrambled tofu was my Sunday brunch favourite, but it’s great for dinner too! I’m a big fan of portabellas, which are really the star of this dish. A little sesame tahini goes a long way in giving this scramble its unique flavour, though can make this dish sans tahini if you wish; it will still work.

Last summer, I decided to get to the bottom of the decade of mysterious stomach problems I’d been dealing with. Having known a few people with an intolerance to dairy and/or wheat, I was worried that I’d discover that the same problem was at the root of my troubles. After an extensive project that involved removing possible offenders from my diet and documenting the experiment in a food journal, I discovered that neither dairy nor wheat was giving me my stomach aches; it was tofu! I now manage to stay away from anything that includes soy protein, but I often crave my fave tofu dishes, so you’ll have to enjoy this one for me!

Ingredients:
3 tsp olive oil, divided
½ c chopped onion (or more, to taste)
½ c chopped red & green bell pepper (or more, to taste)
1 clove garlic
½ lb sliced portabella mushrooms
1/3 c sesame tahini
2½ to 3 tsp low-sodium tamari to taste (sub soy sauce if you don’t have it)
1 lb light silken or firm tofu
Salt & fresh-ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat ½ tsp oil in non-stick frying pan. Add pepper & chopped onion and sauté, adding garlic after a few minutes, until the vegetables just begin to get tender. (Don’t overcook; they should still have a slight crunch.)Remove to bowl & set aside.

2. Heat 2 tsp oil in same pan without washing, add mushrooms. Sprinkle lightly with salt and fresh-ground pepper. Sautée until tender, drizzling with a small amount of oil if necessary to keep them moist. Remove from heat & add to cooked vegetables.

3. Drain tofu, place between several layers of paper towel, and press to remove extra water.

4. Pour tahini into same pan without washing, stir in tamari. Add tofu and over medium heat, mix into tahini & tamari, chopping tofu into small pieces without mashing.

5. Add vegetables and mushrooms, turn gently with spatula until heated through. Serve at once with crusty whole grain bread and a favorite green vegetable.

Variations: try adding any lightly-cooked vegetables, chopped nuts or pine nuts– but portabellas are the key ingredient, adding a full, deep flavor that can’t be beat.

Chili Chicken Salad

Scrounging for salad ingredients in my pantry and fridge (and sometimes freezer!) always makes for a fun experiment. This salad, with its avocado, roasted corn and spicy chicken, is Mexican-inspired. Take advantage of the warm weather and try grilling your chicken! Or, if you’re cooking it on the stove, steal my boyfriend’s trick of mixing a little olive oil with a plentiful dose of your favourite hot sauce (we like Trader Joe’s chili sauce–it’s smoky and tangy without being over-the-top hot) and cook the chicken in this delish mixture. This salad would be delicious with black beans for some extra protein or as a substitute for the chicken if you don’t eat meat. I added sunflower sprouts, which make a great addition to any salad–they’re crunchy and full of minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium.

Ingredients (makes 2 salads):
1 package salad greens
1 package sunflower sprouts
2/3 avocado, thinly sliced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 small or medium tomatoes
2/3 lb. chicken breast
hot sauce and dressing of your choice to taste (I like Annie’s Organic Cowgirl Ranch)

1. Preheat oven to 400º. Wash and dry veggies. Slice tomatoes and avocado.
2. Spread corn onto a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes. You can heat it in the microwave instead to save time, but roasting gives the corn a wonderful flavour.
3. Slice chicken into bite-size pieces and cook. Top greens with corn, chicken, tomato and avocado. Top with a little dressing and enjoy!

Easy-Peasy Pesto Shrimp Pizza


I have been on a major pesto kick lately, and I’ve been brainstorming new ways to get my fix. I made this tortilla-based pizza for lunch today, using some multi-purpose staples I like to keep around: mushrooms, tomatoes, a whole grain tortilla, parmesan cheese (strong enough to add flavour in small, low-fat doses) and frozen pre-cooked shrimp (you can buy a bag for about $6, thaw ’em in 5 minutes flat and throw them into salads, soups, pasta dishes, quesadillas, omelets–anything, really!–for a big boost of lean protein.)

This pizza is satisfying without being too filling, thanks to the nice balance of protein from the shrimp and fiber from the tortilla (make sure you use whole wheat or whole grain to avoid filling up on nutritionally useless simple carbs.) Tomatoes are high in vitamins A, C and K; they’re also a good source of lycopene, a cancer-fighter that the body absorbs best along with a little fat (like the olive oil and nutty pesto in this dish.) Mushrooms are densely packed with minerals like selenium, riboflavin, copper and niacin. Add a salad of fresh spinach and mandarin oranges to this already well-rounded meal, and you’ll be feelin’ great all day long!

Ingredients (makes one single-serving pizza):

1 whole grain tortilla
1-2 TBSP pesto
1 vine-ripe tomato, thinly sliced
about 8 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 TBSP parmesan cheese
a handful of medium frozen shrimp, thawed

optional:
1/2 cup frozen spinach for an extra veggie kick (make sure you drain it well!); crushed red pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Place shrimp in a colander and run cold water over them to thaw while you slice your tomato and mushroom.
2. Throw the mushrooms into a non-stick pan and cook until semi-soft. You can drizzle them with a tiny bit of olive oil if you like, but it’s not necessary.
3. Place tortilla on a baking sheet and spread it with pesto. You need very little to give it that yummy herb-garlic flavour, but if you’re a pesto nut like me, load it up!
4. Add tomato, mushroom, and shrimp, and sprinkle your pizza with a little parmesan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until melty and crisp!

Note: juices from the tomato and mushrooms (and shrimp too, if they’re not drained super-well) might collect a bit in the corner of your pizza like they did on mine. Just dab them up with a napkin–or leave ’em be if you don’t mind getting a little messy!

Vegetable Fried Bulgar


Hello gorgeous, I’m bulgar. Have we met? No? Oh honey, are YOU in for a treat! I may be wholesome, but I’m also known for my exotic streak (like when I strut my stuff Lebanese-style in tabouli.) I’m adventurous, and I’ll try anything once…

Listen, I know you’re tired of plain old rice; besides, she hasn’t got half the protein and fiber I have! Couscous? Puh-lease, why would you waste your time (she’s not even a whole grain, you know–she’s a PASTA!) And sure, my sister quinoa is my nutritional rival, but she’s old news! Why don’t you put a little bulgar in your bowl, and I’ll show you what it’s all about. Winkie face!

Ok, I see you’re being shy; why don’t we get to know each other a little bit? Call me if you’re in the mood for a little stir-fry, and I’ll show you a good time!

Ingredients:

1 cup bulgar, dry*
1 zucchini
1 summer squash
1 head broccoli
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1″ piece fresh ginger, finely grated (or 1/8 tsp. dried ground ginger)
1 tsp. olive oil
soy sauce & siracha (Asian hot sauce) to taste
optional: sliced grilled or pan-fried chicken, tofu or tempeh

*Using two parts water for each part bulgar, fill a pan with both and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, cooking until bulgar has absorbed water and has a soft texture with a hint of crunch.

1. Cook bulgar; this takes 20 minutes or less depending on the quantity. I recommend making a big batch; you can set some bulgar aside to use in salads, soups and other recipes all week long!
2. Chop up your veggies and throw them in a large frying pan with a little water. Cover and steam (this is my favourite way to cook veggies on the stove top–it’s a super quick and fat-free method!)
3. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger. When veggies are soft, pour them into a colander and give the garlic & ginger a turn in the pan, sauteeing them with the olive oil until they become aromatic.
4. Return the veggies to the frying pan and add bulgar. Mix well, adding soy and hot sauce. Throw in some chicken or soy protein if you wish. Voila, y’all!

Treat Your Ticker: Almond-Encrusted Flounder with Pomegranate Sauce


This recipe is inspired by my dad’s heart-healthy diet. Over the past few years, he has made pomegranate and unsweetened grape juices, red wine and oatmeal his everyday staples (the first three are known for being incredibly rich in antioxidants; oatmeal’s high content of soluble fiber, along with its anti-inflammatory properties, help keep the heart in tip-top shape.)

As far as choosing seafood goes, wild-caught Alaskan salmon delivers the highest dose of omega-3’s, an important inclusion in everyone’s diet, but particularly necessary for those actively trying to prevent cardiovascular disease. Because salmon can have a high mercury content–particularly the farm-raised and Atlantic varieties–it’s important to limit your consumption and supplement your omega-3 intake by eating things like ground flaxseed (add it to your oatmeal, Daddy!) and walnuts.

I had hoped to use halibut for this recipe because of its high potassium content (an essential nutrient for the cardiovascular system) but I wasn’t able to find any. Halibut is easily interchangeable with other mild white fish like cod, tilapia and flounder, and we found a locally caught version of the latter (bonus points if you can tell me why it’s important to buy local!!) Lean white fish like these varieties may not be as high in omega-3‘s as fatty fish, but you still receive some of the benefits.

Next up: pomegranate juice, the fruit world’s biggest celebrity in recent years. Besides containing several times more antioxidants than green tea and other juices, pomegranate juice has been found to play a role in lengthening the time it takes for cancer to develop in those who already have it, and it also seems to increase blood flow to the heart, reduce arterial plaque and inhibit the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol.)*

Almonds add the finishing touch to this heart-tastic meal. The major heart-healthy nutritional component in almonds is their high level of monounsaturated fat, which is associated with cardiovascular health.* Have you heard of the Mediterranean diet? It’s based on this type of fat, which, in addition to eating plenty of fiber and protein, helps keep you satiated so that you’ll be less likely to overeat.

Though this recipe has a fancy-schmancy title, it’s easy to make and can be done without breaking the bank; I spent $22 on ingredients and fed three people.

Sauce:

1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups pomegranate juice
1-1/2 TBSP honey
juice of 1/2 lime
zest of 1/2 lime
dash of olive oil for sauteeing garlic

Fish (makes 3-4 servings):

1 lb. flounder, halibut, cod, tilapia, or orange roughy (you can find the latter in the frozen foods section)
1/2 cup crushed almonds
1 cup panko (use crushed rice crackers for a gluten-free version) **
salt & pepper to taste

**A box of panko (Japanese bread crumbs) runs between $2.50 and $3.50. Most brands keep their recipes simple, making panko a healthier option (as it contains a significant amount of fiber, some protein, and minimal sodium, sugar & additives) than other types of bread crumbs. Not to worry if you don’t already have some in your pantry and don’t want to spend the extra bucks; I made a few pieces of fish using only crushed almonds and they were still yummy.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large deep frying pan, sautee garlic in a drop of olive oil. When garlic begins to brown, add juice, honey, lime and lime zest (if you don’t have a zester, you can use the fine side of a cheese grater to grate the lime over the pan.
2. Cook sauce over medium heat, letting it simmer but not boil. When it has been reduced to about half of its original quantity (10-15 minutes,) turn off the heat. Set aside about 1/4 cup of sauce and add the fish to the pan with the remaining sauce. Allow it to soak for a minute or two.
3. In a large bowl, combine crushed almonds, panko, salt and pepper. Arrange your dipping station; you’ll need the pan of fish, the panko-almond mix, and a baking sheet spread with a large piece of aluminum foil.
4. Coat each piece of fish with the panko-almond mix and transfer it to the baking sheet. Spoon the remaining sauce over the fish (keep the 1/4 cup you reserved separate.) Spread a second piece of foil over the fish and pinch the sides of the foil pieces together (this prevents the fish from drying out in the oven.)
5. Baking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish. My flounder filets–which were very thin–took 15 minutes. To test for doneness, slice into the center of a filet; the fish should be white and flake easily. Spoon a little bit of the reserved sauce over each piece if you want an extra pomegranatey kick!

Healthy Girl Says: Serve this yummy fish over a bed of rainbow chard sauteed in garlic and a drop of olive oil. Chard is a dark leafy green that deserves more attention than it often receives; it is absolutely PACKED with fiber, calcium, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A & C.

*This information comes from Dr. Jonny Bowden’s “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprisingly Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why,” which is a great source of inspiration as well as a fantastic reference book. I highly recommend it!

Katie’s Feel-good Applejack Quesadillas


Havin a bad day? Me too, girl. I have a whole routine dedicated to tackling this problem, and it involves a lot of Mariah Carey, an empowering inner monologue (which often becomes an outer monologue if I’m home alone) and quesadillas!

I was having a bad day for most of 2003. Luckily, my downstairs neighbor, Katie, served as a live-in shoulder to cry on and on-call snack-maker. Our routine would go a little something like this: I would let myself into Katie’s house via the back door, we’d chitchat about our day, I’d mention that I was hungry and accept her offer to make us a snack as if the idea never would have occurred to me. I’d offer the contents of my kitchen cabinet–which was usually two or three kinds of hot sauce and some celery salt–but the magic of the bad day snack cure was all in Katie’s creativity. She’s especially good at inventing new twists on the classic quesadilla, so I asked her for her favourite combo to share with y’all. Try it with a side of guilty-pleasure pop music, and your day is guaranteed to get better!

Ingredients (serves one; screw everyone else):
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/4 onion, sliced as thin as possible
1 granny smith apple, coursely chopped
1/2 a 6-oz. bag of spinach
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella or monteray jack
1 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp sugar

optional: diced chicken, light sour cream, and maybe a little guacamole? mmm!

1. Caramelize your onions. This is usually done with tons of butter and sugar, but Katie suggested using olive oil, and I found it worked well (and we all know olive oil is better for your heart.) Throw onions, oil and sugar into a pan and stir ’em up. The caramelization process takes at least 10 minutes and requires pretty frequent stirring, but you can leave ’em long enough to chop up your apple and wash your spinach.
2. When the onions have started to become translucent and the first sticky brown edges that characterize caramelization are beginning to form, throw your apples into the pan “just long enough to get them acquainted; they’re not movin’ in or nothin!” (says Katie.)
3. Set the apple-onion mixture aside and let the spinach have a turn. When it’s wilted, add it to the apple and onion mixture.
4. Lay your quesadilla in the pan, sprinkle one half with cheese, add the veggie mix and fold the top over. Fry each side to your preferred melty crispness. Keep the music playing and sing away your troubles with your mouth full of quesadilla goodness!

Baked Pasta for Amy


My friend Amy has some crazy stomach problems going on, and she has to be very careful what she eats to prevent a seriously painful episode. She’s trying to stay healthy and put some variety into her diet, so I’ve been coming up with yummy things her sensitive tummy can handle. Bread, cheese and veggies with low acidity get the go-ahead, so I threw together a simplified version of lasagna that anyone can enjoy. Feel free to experiment with the content of this dish–try adding your favourite veggies and maybe some veggie sausage or ground turkey (got some left over from Turkey meatloaf?)

I can’t talk about Amy during Homage Week without mentioning her fabulousness, so as a serving suggestion for this Amylicious meal, I recommend throwing on some bling and donning your 4″ Louboutin booties.

Ingredients:
1/2 box whole wheat spaghetti*
1/2 large eggplant, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 bag frozen chopped spinach
1/2 bottle tomato sauce (omit if you’re Amy)
1 bag shredded mozzarella (I used reduced fat, and it tasted alright but the consistency after baking was kinda weird)
1 tsp olive oil for cooking the veggies
salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste

*Go ahead and make the whole box of spaghetti if you like; in the next week, I’ll feature 2 recipes you can make easily with pre-cooked spaghetti.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and boil water for the pasta. Cook the spaghetti until it just barely turns al dente; you don’t want it to get overcooked in the oven.
2. Thaw the spinach & chop up your veggies. You can either sautee or roast them while you wait for the pasta to be ready (I prefer roasting, both because it gives the veggies a nice flavour and it doesn’t require standing at the stove.) If you do roast them, drizzle no more than a teaspoon of olive oil over the baking sheet, then mix the veggie pieces around to coat them on both sides. If you sautee them, use a non-stick pan and 1 tsp or less of olive oil (in either case, it is possible to omit the olive oil completely.)
3. Drain pasta and return it to its pot. Add cooked veggies and spinach to the pot along with a little tomato sauce and all the spices, and mix everything well. Transfer your concoction to a lasagna pan and top with shredded cheese.
4. Cover the pan with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and brown the cheese for another 5-10. Reapply your Chanel lipstick and enjoy!

Katyana’s Salmon Salad


My friend Kat is famous for making amazing salads. In honour of her, I’ve thrown together a crudité-inspired feast that should please any seafood lover (instead of salmon, feel free to try shrimp, tuna, tofu, tempeh, chicken breast, or even 1/4 cup of hummus, depending on your dietary requirements and cravings.)

I like to top my veggie-rific salads with a tablespoon or two of thick, tangy scrumptiousness like Goddess dressing (mmm, tahini!) Yes, it adds a notable amount of fat, but when 5 servings of fat-free veggies topped with lean protein lies before you, a little fat ain’t no thang, especially if it’s coming from a dressing made from real food rather than chemicals (see my note about choosing healthy dressings at the bottom of the Roasted Veggie & Quinoa Salad entry.) Today, my lonely fridge shelf was very much without my favourite salad topper, but it DID boast a variety of this-and-thats from recent culinary experiments, so I decided to attempt a variation of Green Goddess Dressing (the tahini-less kind.) I was pretty impressed with myself, being a first-time dressing maker and all, but in the future, I think I’ll make sure to stock up on my trusted Annie’s version.

Salad (serves 2):
1 6-oz. bag mixed salad greens
1 small head broccoli, chopped
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
about 12 cherry tomatoes
8 ounces wild Alaskan salmon filet (boneless & skinless)
optional garnishes: jalepeños, olives, crumbled low-fat feta cheese

Garlicky Goddess Dressing (makes 2 servings):
1/4 cup light of fat-free sour cream (leftover from Turkey Meatloaf)
2 TBSP canola oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 TBSP chopped green onions (leftover from Orange Chicken a la Emma)
1 clove garlic, minced
squeeze of a lemon slice or two
black and crushed red pepper to taste

1. Place salmon in a non-stick pan and cook over low heat until salmon is cooked through. Meanwhile, wash, dry, and cut up your veggies. Assemble them on plates, all pretty-like.
2. Throw all of your dressing ingredients into a food processor (I tried it in my blender first, but it just wasn’t doing the trick.) Whirl it up real good. Play with the ratio of ingredients, and if you have other fresh herbs, try throwing them into the mix! Don’t add more oil, however, unless you’re planning to feed more than 2 people.

Healthy Girl Says: This recipe kicks off Homage Week, during which I’ll be honouring people I love who tear it up in the kitchen all healthy-style, and in some cases, whose dietary needs or interests have inspired me to experiment with something new. Stay tuned for upcoming recipe-story combos!

Turkey Meatloaf


My boyfriend’s return from a week in California definitely called for a celebration, so I asked myself, “What would Noah want as a welcome-home gift?” One word came to mind: Meat.

Relationships are based on trust, right? So would it be terrible if I DIDN’T tell him that the saturated fat-fest he was looking forward to was not made of beef, but ground turkey breast? The psychology student in me began to wonder: will the role of expectation work in my favour, or will it backfire? Will he be put off by a taste he’s not expecting, or will he be pleasantly surprised? I only had one shot at testing my theory in the meatloaf lab, and tension was running high.

In the end, it didn’t matter; turns out turkey meatloaf has a whitish color after it’s cooked, making it difficult to disguise (which I tried to do anyway with a layer of mashed potatoes spread like frosting atop the loaf-o-meat.) Though he saw right through me, (“Is that…turkey meatloaf?”) I needn’t have worried, cause it turned out to be a delicious experiment!

I also had an experiment going on the mashed potato front. I wanted to come up with a butter substitute that would add flavour and creaminess without all the fat, so I tried mashing them with light sour cream. Not a bad idea, if I do say so myself. Alone, these potatoes are not my proudest invention, but as a topping for the meatloaf, they really shine! I definitely suggest serving them together.

A couple of notes for other first-time turkey meatloaf makers: make sure you buy ground turkey BREAST rather than plain ol’ ground turkey. I almost made this mistake before I realized that ground turkey actually has MORE fat–including the saturated kind–than lean ground beef (presumably because all the fatty parts that you’d pick over at Thanksgiving are thrown into the mix.) Also, when your meatloaf looks ready, cut into the center to test for doneness. The ends of my meatloaf were ready before the center was cooked through, and it’s more difficult to tell if turkey is cooked sufficiently than it is to tell if beef is done. You want it to be white rather than pink, and the center should be about as firm as the edges.

Finally, a note about the time commitment involved: though you’ll probably only spend about 15 minutes actively preparing this meal, the meatloaf will require about an hour in the oven. This is a great meal to make if you’re able to start early; the bake time will give you plenty of time to mark things off your to-do list, play with the kids, browse Healthy Girl for tomorrow’s dinner, whatever. This meatloaf is great reheated for lunch, or served with a gooey egg overeasy on a weekend morning!

Meatloaf:
1.25-1.5 lbs ground turkey breast
1 cup crushed whole wheat crackers (put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin–it’s extremely satisfying)
2 TBSP worcestershire or A-1
2 TBSP ketchup
1/2 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 TBSP parsley flakes, if you have them
2 eggs
a few grinds of kosher salt & fresh pepper

Potatoes:
Approximately 1 lb. of red potatoes
1/2 cup light or fat-free sour cream
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika, if you have it
salt, pepper, & crushed red pepper flakes to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the meatloaf ingredients together using your hands (this will get messy!) and transfer your concoction to a bread pan. I used a glass pan, which requires a longer baking time and I think may have contributed to the middle of my meatloaf taking so long to be done. If you’re using a metal pan, the baking time should be about 50 minutes to an hour; for a glass pan, allow an hour and 15 minutes.
2. Peel your potatoes if you wish (I usually leave the skins on mine.) Chop them up, throw them into a big pot and cover them with about 1″ of water. Cook until they’re easily mashable with the back of a spoon.
3. Mash up your potatoes and add sour cream and spices. Cover the pot to keep your potatoes warm until the meatloaf is done.
4. If kitsch really lights your fire like it does mine, spread your mashed potatoes over your meatloaf like you’re frosting a cake. Decorate the top with ketchup swirlies and serve it to your loved ones.

Orange Chicken a la Emma


To my delight, my darling friend Emma joined me for a midnight dinner party last night to break up the monotony of my exam week. We agreed to experiment with orange chicken, which neither of us had made before, and it turned out WONDERFULLY! I attribute this dish’s utter deliciousness to her wise and calming presence in the kitchen, so if you have an Emma (or someone like her) I would definitely recommend throwing her into the mix.

Now, we firmly believe in making recipes accessible to everyone, no matter how stocked your pantry may be. There have been plenty of times that I’ve found a good-lookin’ recipe that gets me all excited, only to realize I’m either gonna have to shell out $50 for random stuff I’ll never use again, or make a half-assed version that can’t possibly compete. To prevent this from happening here, we’ve marked the use-if-you-have, but don’t-worry-if-you-don’t ingredients with an *. Let us know how your version turns out, what was awesome and/or what may have been lacking…our final product was thrilling, and I hope yours is too!

P.S. This recipe allows for plenty of leftovers. I’ll let you know what I did with mine tomorrow!
P.P.S. Try this dish with tofu instead of chicken for a vegan delight!

Ingredients (serves 4, plus extra chicken):
2 pounds, 8 oz. frozen chicken tenderloins (boneless & skinless)
1 head broccoli, chopped into bite-sized trees
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup brown rice (uncooked)

sauce
2 cloves garlic
1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled (you can substitute 1 tsp ground ginger if you have it)
2 green onions, chopped (the white parts are for sauteeing and the green parts are a garnish)*
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar*
1/4 tsp white pepper*
1/2 tsp garlic chili paste or siracha hot sauce (this addition depends on your threshold for heat)*
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
2 TBSP canola oil
1 TBSP light brown sugar
1 11-oz can mandarin oranges in light syrup (don’t drain–you want the syrup too!)
juice of 1-1/2 oranges (or about 3/4 to 1 cup of store-bought orange juice, depending on how sweet you want your sauce)
zest of 1/2 orange*

garnishes: bean sprouts, crushed red pepper,green onion, orange slices (you can use the remaining 1/2 of an orange that you didn’t juice)

1. Thaw chicken. You can do this by placing it in the fridge for about 6 hours, or submerge the package in a sink full of water for 30-45 minutes. When the tenderloins are thaw, slice them into one-inch cubes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat water for rice and follow directions according to package. It will take about 40 minutes to cook the rice, giving you plenty of time to prepare the rest of the meal.
3. Gather your ingredients, wash & dry your produce, and chop up your garlic & veggies. Steam the broccoli and peppers in a steaming basket, or covered in a frying pan with about 1/2” water.
4. Sautee garlic, green onions & grated ginger (if you’re using powder, add it at the end) in a BIG POT with 2 TBSP canola oil til garlic is slightly browned and everything smells AMAZING. Turn off heat.
5. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients to the pot. Add the chicken and coat well.
6. Transfer the chicken to a baking pan at least one inch deep, and pour all the extra sauce over the pieces. Bake for about 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
7. Create a base of rice and veggies on each plate. Add chicken and drizzle with extra sauce. Garnish with crushed red pepper, green onion, orange slices, and bean sprouts if you have them. MMMMMMM!