Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chinese Orange Chicken

As I mentioned last week, Mike and I went on a Chinese addiction a last month. It also involved this new recipe - Chinese Orange Chicken. We revised the original recipe to make it gluten free and healthier (less oil and sugar, added veggies). The result was still delicious - sweet, but not too overwhelming; crunchy, but not coated in a greasy, fried batter.

While our Chinese addiction has ended for now, I'm sure it won't be long until we crave it again. What's your favorite Chinese dish?

Chinese Orange Chicken
Adapted from Cooking Classy

·1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 2” pieces
·1 cup chicken broth
·1 TBS orange zest
·½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
·⅓ cup white vinegar
·¼ cup gluten free soy sauce
·⅓ cup granulated sugar
·¼ tsp ginger
·¼ cup chopped onion
·2 tsp minced garlic
·1 tsp Sriracha
·Salt and pepper
·3 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
·3 TBS cornstarch
·2 cups broccoli, steamed
·Brown rice for serving, green onions and sesame seeds for garnish

Place chicken pieces in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine chicken broth, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, onion, garlic, Sirarcha and pepper. Whisk mixture well, then measure out ⅔ cup of the mixture and pour it over the chicken. Press chicken into marinade, cover, and refrigerated for 30 minutes.

Heat remaining sauce mixture over medium heat and bring just to a boil, stirring frequently. Stir in a few teaspoons of water if it becomes too thick, stir in a teaspoon of cornstarch if it becomes too thin. Remove from heat when thickened.

Heat EVOO in a large skillet or dutch oven. Stir cornstarch into chicken marinade. Carefully place marinated chicken pieces into hot oil, cooking for 5-7 minutes until golden brown – turning once or twice during cooking. Remove chicken from pan and toss with sauce.

Stir in cooked broccoli. Serve warm over brown rice garnished with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lighter Sesame Chicken

Finding gluten free Chinese food is difficult. I do enjoy it occasionally from P.F. Chang's or Pei Wei, but I prefer to make it from scratch at home. It's healthier and I have the flexibility to eat a wide variety of Chinese dishes. Mike made this sweet and crunchy Lighter Sesame Chicken for dinner a month ago, and we inhaled it.

It was so good it kicked off a solid few weeks of making Chinese for dinner at least once a week. (Confession, it also involved a trip to P.F. Chang's for dinner with my sister). Stay tuned next week for another homemade Chinese dish. In the meantime, here are some of older Chinese recipes:
  Beef and Broccoli
  Spicy Cashew Pork and Broccoli
  Cashew Chicken
  General Tso's Chicken
  General Tso’s Chicken (Crockpot)
  Kung Pao Chicken
  Orange Chicken Stir-Fry
  Spicy Chicken (P.F. Chang's Knock-Off)
  Sweet and Sour Chicken (Crockpot)
  Asian Edamame Fried Rice

Click here for recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Balance Bar Dark Review and Giveaway

BalanceBar contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I’d like to try their newproduct line - BalanceBar Dark and share it with my readers. To be honest, I didn’t know muchabout Balance Bar before I was contacted; I researched the brand beforeagreeing to do this review and giveaway. After learning that the new line of Balance Bar Darkis certified gluten free, high in protein, and are made with decadent darkchocolate (my favorite), I decided itis a product I would definitely love to try and share with you.

AsI shared last week, breakfast/snack/nutrition bars are my go-to breakfast as I driveto work during the week. What interested me in trying Balance Bar Darkbars is that not only are they decadentand indulgent, but they are also healthy and meant to boost energy and satisfy hunger.The new Balance Bar Dark bars are high in protein, certified glutenfree, an excellent source of antioxidants (Vitamins A, C, E),certified kosher dairy and contain 4 grams of fiber per serving.

I also learned a new nutritionprinciple that all Balance Bars follow (including the new Dark line) –40-30-30. Balance Bar claims 40-30-30 is a proven formula developed byscientists to help stabilize blood sugar levels that represents the caloricratio the body needs to enjoy lasting balanced energy and satisfy hunger forlonger; 40% of total calories from carbs, 30% from quality protein and 30% fromdietary fat.
My husbandwas just as excited as I was to receive the box of goodies in the mail fromBalance Bar two weeks ago. He couldn’t wait to try Dark Chocolate Coconut, andI couldn’t wait to try Dark Chocolate Peanut. To my surprise, we both absolutely LOVED the Dark Chocolate Coconutbar. The flavor reminded me of German Chocolate Cake, and the texture wasgooey and crunchy – a perfect combination!

I alsoenjoyed the sweet and crunchy Dark Chocolate Crunch bar. I was disappointedwith the Dark Chocolate Peanut bar – it tasted stale and didn’t have enoughpeanut flavor for me (I’m a peanut butter-holic). If you are looking for abitter dark chocolate flavor, I didn’t pick up on it in these bars. Instead,they have a deliciously sweet dark chocolate flavor.

All threeof the bars did keep my hunger satisfied throughout the morning. I’m hooked onthe Dark Chocolate Coconut bars and already have them on my grocery list. I’llhave to “hide” them in the pantry from my husband, as I know they’ll disappearquickly between the both of u

Just in time for Earth Month, BalanceBar Company, maker of one of America’s original nutrition bars, is excitedto share the new Balance Bar Dark line – the first nutrition bar line on themarket to bear the well-respected Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal with one lucky reader. The line is availablein three flavors -Dark Chocolate Crunch,Dark Chocolate Coconut and Dark Chocolate Peanut.

To enter the Balance Bar Dark giveaway, you needto like and follow Balance Bar on Facebook & Twitter. Then, leave a comment on this post with the flavoryou are most excited to try. Be sure to include your email address in yourcomment so I can contact you if you win.

Guidelines: One winner per household, email address or home address. If youhave won this prize on another blog you are ineligible to win again. Giveawayis open to U.S. residents only (sorry, international friends and readers).Giveaway will close on April 18, 2013. Winner will be notified by email and their namewill be updated on this page. Winner has until April 23, 2013 to respond, or anotherwinner will be chosen.

Giveaway is closed. Congratulations Manda!

Disclaimer: Balance Bar provided the product forme to review and is sponsoring the giveaway. However, my review and opinionswritten above are my own.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

In My Pantry: Van's Gluten Free Snack Bars


It's been way too long since I’ve shared new gluten free products that have made their way into my pantry. I’m really excited that I learned about Van's Gluten Free Snack Bars; my mom and brother introduced me to them and I absolutely love them!

I’ve been enjoying Van’s Snack Bars for breakfast during the week for the past month. They are perfect for me to eat during my commute into work with a glass of milk. The bars are chewy, flavorful, and made with ingredients that are good for you. All three flavors available taste great, but Peanut Butter Chocolate and Cranberry Almond are my favorites.

What’s your favorite breakfast when you are on-the-go?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!