Orange Chicken with Roasted Bok Choy

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Greg must have been 10, meaning I was about 12, and we were all crammed around our circular kitchen table in what seemed to be a who-could-eat-the-most-the-fastest competition. Mom and Dad had ordered take-out from our favorite Chinese place. My face buried in a bowl of pork fried rice and chicken fingers, I was hardly paying attention to Greg – until he starting screaming.

“Something’s happening in my mouth!” he yelled in panic, his eyes wide with fear. He had mistaken a hot chili pepper for an orange peel in his favorite dish – orange chicken.

You’d think our response would be concern – and initially it was. My mom went to his rescue, giving him a glass of milk to counteract the heat. But once we learned what was going on, we all started laughing. Something’s happening in my mouth? He couldn’t have come up with something more specific to say? Maybe, “I ate something too spicy!”

To this day, every time my family orders Chinese (which is often) the “something’s happening in my mouth” story comes up. Although we laugh at how funny it was and tease Greg for his over-reaction, we all take extra care to examine our plates and avoid those hot chili peppers. None of us want to be the family joke for the next 15 years (notice I skipped the peppers in this recipe!).

Orange Chicken with Roasted Bok Choy
Yield: 2 servings. Per Serving: $3.28, 477 calories, 18g fat, 60g carbs, 24g protein

Cook ½ cup quinoa according to package directions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine 2 tablespoons flour with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cut 2 chicken breasts into bite sized pieces and toss in the flour mixture. Cook the chicken over medium heat in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a nonstick frying pan (this helps reduce the amount of oil you need). Cook about 5 minutes on each side, until the chicken is lightly browned.

While the chicken is cooking, juice 2 oranges. Combine the juice, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and ½ tablespoon honey in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until bubbling, about 5 minutes. Add to the skillet with the (cooked) chicken and simmer on medium-low heat until the mixture sticks to the chicken.

Quarter 2 bok choy and remove the core by cutting the ends off at a diagonal. Put in baking dish in a single layer and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, flipping once, until the leaves are bright green and starting to brown.

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Meal Plan Monday: April 14, 2014

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I’m happy to introduce my new blog feature: Meal Plan Monday! Twice a month, I’ll post my meal plan and grocery list for the week. I chose to post this on Mondays because 1) alliteration and 2) I usually grocery shop on Sunday (giving me time to prep and write the post). If any of these meals or ingredients intrigues you, let me know in a comment and I’ll try to post them on the blog or explain in a response. 

My meal plan for this week is below – I’m super excited to try to recreate a take-out favorite, Orange Chicken. I picked up some really great looking organic bok choy at the grocery store to serve it with. I’m also looking forward to spending some quality time with my roommates, catch up with a few friends from college, and see my Mom and sister this weekend.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
B Bagel with cream cheese Cheerios with sliced strawberries Cheerios with sliced strawberries Cheerios with sliced strawberries Cheerios with sliced strawberries Cheerios with sliced strawberries Bagel & scrambled eggs
L Sandwich  Spinach salad with roasted asparagus, beets, and goat cheese Spinach salad with roasted asparagus, beets, and goat cheese Spinach salad with roasted asparagus, beets, and goat cheese Orange chicken with quinoa and bok choy Orange chicken with quinoa and bok choy Mom & sister visiting
D Chicken pot pie Chicken pot pie Out with the roomies Orange chicken with quinoa and bok choy Leftovers Dinner with friends from college Mom & sister visiting

Snacks this week

  • Banana
  • Yogurt
  • Goldfish
  • Blueberry Kind Bars

Grocery list

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Bok choy
  • Spinach salad blend
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Goat cheese
  • Chicken
  • Quinoa
  • Honey
  • Frozen vegetable mix
  • Chicken broth
  • Milk
  • Total bill: $46

What’s on your menu this week?