I’ve decided to give clean eating a try… I’ve heard a lot of people talking about it lately and one of my friends has posted pictures of some of the most beautiful food I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m not going all clean (after all, I had In-N-Out for lunch today and there’s no way in hell I could give up pasta), but am going to try to incorporate it into three or four dinners a week. I like the general idea – consuming food in as close to its natural state as possible. Here’s the general guidelines to clean eating – I like it because it’s not a diet plan, you can still treat yourself (seriously, I’m not giving up pasta), and it makes you think about what you’re putting into your body:
Eat the foods made by nature, not man.
Plan to eat five or six meals and snacks throughout the day.
Avoid processed foods (in other words, anything in a box with a label).
Use healthy cooking methods.
Eat before you become super hungry.
Stop eating when you’re satisfied, not stuffed.
Don’t count your calories, fat grams, or points.
Enjoy and appreciate its flavor.
That said, I made a trip to my local Whole Foods and got lots of yummy stuff to cook “clean” dinners over the next few nights. The first up was Orange Chicken Stir Fry, from Clean Eating Magazine’s online recipe bank. The one thing that I did not include was the chickpeas – I bought them dry, not realizing that they needed to be rehydrated and that process takes like twelve hours. So we’re having chickpeas in our salad tomorrow night. This whole healthy cooking thing is harder than it looks!
Mike and I both really liked this meal – brown rice and all. I normally don’t like it because it tastes chewy, but I barely undercooked it and it was delicious! This is definitely going into my recipe book! Enjoy!
2/3 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
7 1/2 oz BPA-free canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried
1/4 tsp sea salt
Pinch ground cayenne pepper
1 bunch broccoli, trimmed
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp rice wine or apple cider vinegar
16 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp ground ginger
1 orange, peeled, segmented and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 green onions, sliced
Cook rice according to package directions.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp oil on medium. Add chickpeas and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a steamer basket set over a pot of gently simmering water, cook broccoli until tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare dressing: In a small saucepan, heat 1 tsp oil on medium. Add garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, crisp and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and add vinegar. Set aside.
In a clean skillet, heat remaining 1 tsp oil on medium. Add chicken and sauté for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add zucchini, soy sauce and ginger. Sauté until chicken is cooked through and zucchini is tender, 5 to 7 more minutes. Stir in broccoli, orange, onions and dressing and heat through. Serve over rice and top with chickpeas.