Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 1

I’m soon-to-be 32 weeks pregnant and starting to feel every bit of it.

My stomach capacity is lessened due to the size of baby. I’ve been making my dinner plate, only to share half of it with Mr. Prevention. I wish it were more often that my eyes are bigger than my stomach, but that certainly seems to be the case as of late.

So it probably goes without saying that I’m out of breath nearly all of the time…or so it seems, and the back pain is still very much so present. I told my trainer today that I was ditching him next Monday in lieu of a massage. He didn’t even give me a hard time about it, either. A mama-to-be has NEEDS.

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 2

Speaking of needs, I continue to read about the importance of exercise in pregnancy. Exercise has many benefits, of course, but aiding in a successful delivery tops the list of perks for me…especially after attending our first child-birthing class last week. Tonight, the couples will be split up so the ladies learn all about breastfeeding and the guys are united with new dads to go through a “Daddy Bootcamp”. It should be interesting…

I digress. I’ve been keeping up with workouts quite well. A lot of core and strength workouts with my trainer, along with elliptical and biking for cardio. Walking continues to be the one workout that causes the most strain on my lower back and the less I can walk, the better I feel. Sadly.

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 3

Along with walking, we can add standing to the list of activities that wear on my back throughout the day. My job has me up and down all day long, which has been helpful in keeping me moving, but without excess. But by the end of the day, I’m ready to be a couch potato. Literally.

Dinner has to be quick and easy. HAS TO BE. Otherwise, take-out is sounding better and better all the time (and why I continue to crave lunch meat, I’ll never know…all I wanted yesterday was a Beach Club from Jimmy Johns and I probably haven’t had one of those since college).

Quick and easy dinners are something like this Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry — one pot meal that’s ready in 30 minutes or less. Yes…please! Of course the flavor was great, too…and healthy to boot.

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry 4

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken Stir-Fry
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 (not including rice)
 
A new take on classic stir-fry...plus, a meal ready in minutes!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 1 lb asparagus, woody ends trimmed and stalks cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small yellow squash or zucchini, sliced
  • Hot cooked rice, optional
Instructions
  1. In small bowl, whisk to combine the cornstarch, chicken broth, peanut butter, lime juice, dijon mustard, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper.
  2. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through; remove chicken and keep warm.
  3. In the same skillet, heat remaining teaspoon of oil. Once hot, add the asparagus and cook 3-4 minutes. Next, add the bell pepper and cook 2-3 minutes before adding the squash/zucchini. Cook vegetables until crisp-tender. Return chicken to pan and stir sauce; toss vegetables and chicken with sauce to coat; cook 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Serve over rice, if desired.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ recipe Calories: 308 Fat: 11.5 Carbohydrates: 18.0 Sugar: 8.8 Sodium: 351 Fiber: 4.3 Protein: 32.8 Cholesterol: 55

 Busy day…busy WEEK. But can’t wait for our baby shower on Saturday! :-D

Be well,

sig4

Meatless Monay: General Tso’s Tofu

General Tso's Tofu 1

Last week I had the honor of speaking at the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic Annual Meeting in Bay City (if you were there, make my day and say hi in a comment!). The whole 2 days was amazing — meeting RD’s from around the state, learning (because let’s face it, I’m a total nerd), and truthfully, getting away from the daily grind…if only for a few days. Who knew I could be presentable and on time with a mere 20 minutes in the morning? I factor in at least an hour of “other” time in my mornings and somehow, I don’t see how that could be less with the duties of home life.

I know, I know…that will be 2+ hours of “other” time once baby comes!

General Tso's Tofu 2

I presented with Colleen of Nutrition Rendition – she’s a Michigan State grad and going on to complete her dietetic internship. Our breakout session was very well-attended and there were people even lining the back wall. We were expecting 80, but it sure seemed like more! I don’t normally get overly nervous with presentations, but I was. Very much so.

But, the presentation went great. Attendees asked great questions. And best of all, I got to share with other nutrition professionals something I’m so passionate about: being a credible online voice for nutrition in the way of blogging and communicating nutrition messages online in general. It’s hard to believe I’ve been contributing to this little blog of mine for nearly FIVE YEARS. Time really does fly.

General Tso's Tofu 3

As I transition back into the work groove, you know, by the way of returning 241 voicemails and emails today (that was supposed to be an exaggeration, but…it very well may not be), I also transitioned back into this thing called cooking (sadly, the dishes, too). And with that, the endless questions regarding, “What’s for dinner?”

Per the usual, I was able to win over Mr. Prevention with the protein he “hates” most: tofu. With as much flavor (and sadly, sodium) that this dish encompasses, it’s hard to not love this one. Next time, I’m throwing some edamame in with the sauce mixture – I think it’d be the perfect, healthy touch to up the protein, stretch the calories, and add some color, too.

General Tso's Tofu 4

5.0 from 1 reviews
General Tso's Tofu
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • 1 brick extra firm tofu
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Drain and soak excess moisture from the tofu by placing it between several layers of paper towel and gently applying pressure. Repeat as needed. Once dry, cut tofu into ¾-inch cubes. Mist a baking sheet with olive oil, arrange tofu in a single layer on the baking sheet and mist tofu with remaining olive oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning tofu once. Tofu should be slightly golden.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients, sugar through ginger in a sauce pan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, whisking regularly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add baked tofu to the sauce pan and carefully stir to coat. Serve over rice and top with green onions, if desired.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Domestic Superhero

The amount of sauce in this recipe is adequate for serving over rice and adding flavor. As stated above, next time I'll add some edamame to up the protein and nutrition.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅓ tofu and sauce Calories: 340 Fat: 12.3 Carbohydrates: 44.0 Sugar: 38.0 Sodium: 943 Fiber: 1.7 Protein: 14.7 Cholesterol: 0

 Tomorrow looks to be much kinder than this Monday shaped up to be.

Be well,

sig4

Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes + Weekly Menu

Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes 1

The most productive thing I did today was make brunch. Easter requires brunch, correct? Totally.

Mr. Prevention started his morning with a pack of Poptarts. I gave him a raised eyebrow and a very snotty, “Seriously?” across the table as I sipped my too-small glass of iced coffee. It would never occur to my husband that it’s Easter Sunday, I love to cook, we have no plans for the day…and maybe, just maybe, Poptarts could be reserved for any other ordinary day? I can’t win.

But, darn it, I still had my brunch. Made for one. Well, two technically. Even though that “eating for two” business is far from factual. Quality over quantity is the name of that game. The additional 340 calories per day needed in the second trimester is a far cry from “eating for two.” (DARNIT!!)

Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes 2

I digress.

I made brunch and it was by far the most productive thing I did all day. Since we didn’t spend the holiday with family on account of Mr. Prevention’s late return from China on Saturday night, it was the perfect opportunity to enjoy the 70 (!!) degree weather. I watched Mr. P build a little garden as I plowed through a baby name book and had him reject 99.9% of every name I threw at him. If this baby is a girl, we’re gravy. If it’s a boy, there will be battle.

From there, we took Miss Lily to the park for some serious tennis ball chasing. We both played as she chased the balls like a maniac in every which direction. Her tongue was nearly to the ground in exacerbation after a mere 30 minutes. She was lights out the rest of the afternoon. Amen.

Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes 3

From there, I relocated from my hammock in the sun, to my bed with a cool breeze, to the front porch for outdoor shade as I made my way through the last 200 pages of Hopeless (whoa, great book – $3.99 on Amazon Kindle!). It was a really rough afternoon, let me tell you.

The evening was spent grilling burgers because who doesn’t eat burgers on Easter? And asparagus, because…$1.99/lb and yum-o. Our next move is to watch Magic Mike because Mr. Prevention has chosen the last 410 movies we’ve watched and they’ve all been horrible. He so owes me. Even he agrees ;)

While he pops some popcorn for movie time, I’ll probably nibble on another Lemon Chia Seed Pancake…because super healthy-for-you food is rarely this delicious. No lie.

Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes 4

Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 (3 pancakes each)
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat a griddle or electric griddle over medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the sugar and zest together until fragrant. To the bowl, whisk in the eggs. Next, add the buttermilk, butter, lemon juice, and vanilla extract; whisk well and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Fold in the chia seeds until distributed throughout. Scoop the batter bu ¼ cup scoops onto the griddle and cool 2-3 minutes. Once bubbles surface and the undersides are golden, flip pancakes and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Continue with remaining batter. Serve warm.
Notes
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 pancakes Calories: 336 Fat: 13.3 Carbohydrates: 43.2 Sugar: 8.2 Sodium: 630 Fiber: 9.0 Protein: 10.0 Cholesterol: 85

 Weekly Menu: April 20th – April 24th

I’ve got a case of the Sundays. :-/

Be well,

sig4

BLT Pasta + Weekly Menu

BLT Pasta 1

What is it about bacon? Everything, or nearly everything, is truly made better with bacon.

Kristen’s here visiting and eating good food is always on the agenda with the two of us together. We stayed in last night and what did we make? Beer, Cheddar, and BACON Risotto. It was delicious…though, not-so-healthy. We had a few scallops to go with it and a brussels sprout and dinosaur cabbage salad. It was divine. Diiiiiiivine.

BLT Pasta 2

Dessert? Her dad’s famous Peanut Butter Pie. It’s one of the guiltiest of pleasures, no doubt.

This morning, we treated ourselves to brunch, but couldn’t decide between sweet and savory. To go with our egg choices, we ordered candied bacon pancakes. CANDIED BACON PANCAKES. They were even better than they sounded. If that’s possible. Luckily, there were leftovers so I can enjoy them twice, at least :-D

BLT Pasta 3

Last week I made this BLT Pasta for Mr. Prevention and I. I’m not even sure where I ran across the recipe, but its simplicity is what drew me in…along, of course, with the bacon itself. And pasta? I’m sure it could be considered a pregnancy craving, of sorts…let’s go with that. I’ve definitely been enjoying pasta as of late. It always sounds good to me. But in fairness, there’s no off-putting foods, so I guess nothing has really changed.

I’m going on a bacon cleanse until later this week when I’ll use up the last few slices in my fridge to make Ultimate BLT Grilled Cheeses. I’ll endeavor to find a way to lighten them up some, but not everything with bacon has to be over-the-top sinful. This recipe, for example, comes in at 304 calories per serving and a respectable 7 grams of fiber. Nothing not to love about that!

BLT Pasta 4

BLT Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Simple, quick meal with lots of flavor. I added more tomatoes and a bit more pasta to stretch the bacon and portion size. Delicious!
Ingredients
  • 6 oz uncooked whole wheat linguine
  • 5 pieces nitrate-free bacon, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 plum tomato, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
Instructions
  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a medium pot; add pasta and cook 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Saute tomato and garlic for 1-2 minutes or until heated through in the drippings over medium heat. Stir in the bacon, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the cooked linguine with the tomato mixture in the skillet and sprinkle with cheese and parsley; toss to coat. Serve hot.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from Taste of Home
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅓ recipe (about 1½ cups) Calories: 304 Fat: 9.3 Carbohydrates: 45.7 Sugar: 2.0 Sodium: 573 Fiber: 7.0 Protein: 13.3 Cholesterol: 16

Weekly Menu: April 13th – 17th

I think my body is still playing catch-up from vacation, but I’m glad to be back to playing tennis :-D

P.S. I’m loving Hopeless on my Kindle. Love, love, love.

Be well,

sig4

Cashew Chicken and Pasta Salad

Cashew Chicken and Pasta Salad 1

Do you get into April Fools? Work was sending around some emails about having the directors color coordinate as a joke for the CEO during a meeting tomorrow…we were also all going to report “risk” in our departments to really try to cause her blood pressure to rise. Evil coworkers.

See, as someone who is far, far beyond gullible, this is just cruel. I’m quite the easy one to trick and doing so is just straight up MEAN. If you can say something with a straight face, I will believe whatever comes past your lips. This is one of the many reasons this Chicago born and bred lacks some “street smarts”. ‘Shame.

Cashew Chicken and Pasta Salad 2

But April 1 is a significant day for other reasons — both my mother and father-in-law share an April 1st birthday. That is no joke, parents, you’re another year older. Officially. Happy Birthday :)

I know this birthday isn’t as fun to celebrate as the time we all went to Vegas together, but you know, we should do that again soon. Birthday celebration or otherwise, a big family vacation is well over-due. Right? Right.

We hope your birthdays are everything you’re hoping for and more. Have a cocktail and a slice of cake, mmkay? :-D

Cashew Chicken and Pasta Salad 3

Truth: for your birthdays this year, I brought you 60+ degree weather. Totally, how cool was that? So thoughtful of me. Too bad it was yesterday and not today, but hey, 60 degrees is 60 degrees and there’s nothing not to love about that. Today, it all seems like a bad joke, I know. I’m sorry. But, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

When the weather comes around again, have your eye on this Cashew Chicken and Pasta Salad. Why choose pasta salad OR chicken salad when you can combine both into this perfect spring-y/summer-y dish that’s perfect for a cookout or family get together? We need to do that soon, too. No foolin’ ya with that statement.

Cashew Chicken and Pasta Salad 4

Cashew Chicken and Pasta Salad
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 8 oz dry whole wheat rotini
  • 1 lb rotisserie chicken, skin removed and diced
  • ¾ cup red grapes, halved
  • ¾ cup green grapes, halved
  • ⅓ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup + 2 Tbsp low-fat olive oil-based mayonnaise
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅔ cup cashews
Instructions
  1. Bring 2-3 quarts of water to a rolling boil; add pasta, stir, and cook 9-12 minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water until chilled; transfer pasta to a large bowl.
  2. To the bowl, add the diced chicken and grapes; toss. Add the yogurt, mayonnaise, and salt sprinkled over the top. Mix the pasta well, incorporating the mayonnaise and yogurt well. Fold in the cashews. serve immediately, chilled, or refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 heaping cup Calories: 312 Fat: 11.3 Carbohydrates: 30.5 Sugar: 6.4 Sodium: 230 Fiber: 3.6 Protein: 22.5 Cholesterol: 47

Happy Birthday again to you both :) Love you!

Be well,

sig4