When Will saw me starting to steam broccoli for this dish, he couldn’t help but let out a little cheer. It’s his very favorite vegetable — and has been since he was a toddler. Even though he’s loved it for much of his six years, I am always caught off guard by his excitement. When I was a child broccoli wasn’t high on my list. Unless it was drowned in cheese sauce, of course, but that kind of defeats the purpose. No?
But even though his enthusiasm for broccoli surprises me, I try really hard never to let my preferences color Will’s or Paige’s. I never ever want them to not try something — or worse, to dislike something — because I’m not as excited by it. I’d much rather they make their own decisions about foods — and they do.
These days though, I do like broccoli too. But I especially like it when it’s tossed with a delicious sauce like in this Baked Ginger Sesame Chicken and Broccoli. It’s a sweet-salty-savory dish with Asian inspiration. The marinated chicken soaks in all the flavors of the marinade, and then the steamed broccoli is enhanced by a quick toss with some reserved marinade, which really ties it all together.
This dish starts with an easy homemade ginger sesame sauce/marinate. You whisk the four simple ingredients together and reserve a little. Then the rest is used to marinate the chicken. You can grate your own ginger for this, or use some of this frozen crushed ginger. Either works great.
Marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Longer is better though. Then you bake it — it takes about 14 minutes in the oven, total.
Then you serve it over rice with the broccoli. It’s easy — and fairly fast to make. We like it as a simple school night dinner, but it works any night.
Time to switch gears … I just don’t have a good transition for this one. Let’s just pretend I do. Please?
On to Eat. Live. Be. … Earlier this week, I sent Cate a quick message asking her what this week’s theme was for Eat. Live. Be. Reboot. I was so relieved when she said online. I knew just what I would be talking about.
See, when Eat. Live. Be. was in full swing earlier this year, I gave myself a big boost by joining Weight Watchers Online. It was just what I needed right when I needed it — the accountability, the structure, the reality-view of what I was eating. But then summer came and tracking became a nuisance. Toward the end of summer, I canceled my subscription. Throughout that whole time, I kept my weight off — despite not tracking.
It’s amazing how quickly you can get off track though. For me, it started with my asthma acting up. I wasn’t exercising. I ate more. And then, I had to take a very necessary medication to fix my asthma problem — that causes two serious side effects in me: a huge, unstoppable appetite and sleeplessness. Then the holidays came and before I knew it, I had drifted far from my healthy habits.
When I made the commitment to reboot my efforts though, I knew I needed that kick in the pants to really get moving and back on track fast. Guess where I turned? Weight Watchers Online again. I like that the program is flexible enough to accommodate my unusual lifestyle — which includes testing at least a half-dozen recipes each week — but structured enough to create a boundary for me when it comes to eating. I really need boundaries. I have high hopes.
Be sure to check in on the Eat. Live. Be. For a Better 2011 Facebook page to see what all the ELB’ers are up to this week, and where they are finding inspiration and motivation online.
- 1½ lb raw chicken breast tender pieces
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- sesame seeds (optional)
- white rice, cooked
- Rinse the chicken under cool water and then place in a large bowl to marinate.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil and ginger. Reserve 2 tablespoons of marinade and then pour the remainder over the chicken. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to marinate.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet, discarding any used marinade. Bake for 7 minutes then flip and cook for another 7 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, steam the broccoli until tender (about 10 minutes). Once it's cooked, remove to a medium mixing bowl and toss to coat with the reserved sauce/marinade.
- Serve the chicken and broccoli over rice.