Let’s talk about food in bowls. Little-known (although probably very obviously observed on the blog) fact about me: I adore eating out of bowls. If someone offered me a steak-in-a-bowl I would totally hit that. No shame!
Yesterday’s lunch was the final bits of the veggie-fied marinara and gemelli pasta dish I created on Sunday, but was still just as good as ever. Probably because it was in a bowl and that’s just what food in bowls does to me.
Since I worked out in the morning I decided to not risk a super rainy lunch walk and read in my car for an hour. I haven’t just read a book outright in forever! I am catching up on all of the half-finished ones I’ve collected over the past couple years and am hoping to start some new ones ASAP. I was such a voracious reader growing up…my dad would have my sister and I write book reports every week in the summer, but I never thought twice about it. I was always reading 2-3 books a week anyway!
Dinner was another version of food in a bowl using this spice packet:
I have to admit, sometimes I pull a Sandra Lee and just go crazy over spice packets! I just wanted a quick dinner that would be good, but I wanted to make sure it was healthy too. The directions on the back called for ZERO veggies, and recommended pan-frying the chicken in a bunch of oil. I decided to take my own route! Enter lightly sauteed onion and broccoli slaw:
After sauteing the vegetables I sauteed the chicken chunks in a plain nonstick skillet. Once the chicken was cooked through, I added the sauce (mix+soy sauce+sugar+water) and the veggies and cooked until the sauce thickened. I decided to serve with white rice because I didn’t have the patience to deal with brown last night:
It was so good! If I had only been making it for myself I would have added another pinch or two of red pepper flakes, but some people just can’t handle the heat so I didn’t 🙂 Totally kidding babe! Seriously though, I love taking dishes like General Tso’s Chicken and making them a little healthier without sacrificing any of the flavor. And sometimes I like the full-fat, full-sugar, full-of-life counterparts. Depends on Boulder County you know 😉
What’s your favorite way to health-ify your meals? What’s your best trick for sneaking veggies in and reducing fats? I think it takes a couple things:
- A great nonstick pan. You don’t need oil and fat as much for the cooking process. Not that it’s bad to add fat, but you only want a little for flavor.
- A full freezer of frozen veggies. This isn’t a MUST HAVE but it sure will help, especially if you’re in a time crunch! Add them to pastas, sauces, soups, or just warm and eat on the side.
- Reduce the amount on unnecessary ingredients. The recipe on the General Tso’s spice packet said to bread and pan-fry the chicken. I knew that it would take longer, be messier, and was really not needed to enjoy the flavor, so I didn’t do it!
- Substitute healthier options for the necessary ingredients. This is an example of subbing brown rice for white rice…which I didn’t do, but I was well aware of the OPTION. Know what you can use instead of not-as-healthy ingredients to up the nutritional value of the dish.
- HAVE FUN! I would never recommend eating something you hate simply because “it’s good for you.” That doesn’t mean we should eat fried chicken every meal (or does it…?) but try different combinations to find the things you love that make you feel good too. Food is an incredible art, and we are all artists. Have fun with it!