Tag Archives: sesame

Pressure Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

So this makes the third recipe in a row that requires a pressure cooker. But I feel like almost everyone has an Instant Pot at this point (or is getting one for Christmas). I actually don’t, but I do own a stove top pressure cooker.

The awesome part of pressure cookers is how quickly things come together. I love using mine to make brown rice in about 30 minutes, much faster than the hour suggested on the package.

Meat dishes are a little trickier since you can’t know if it is “done” without opening it. But the chicken pieces in this dish cook quickly so that isn’t a concern.

This dish is as good as take out. And can be made very quickly, if you are in a rush (which who isn’t this time of year?). Enjoy!

Pressure Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken (Serves 6)

Pressure Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
½ tablespoon canola oil
½ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup ketchup
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoon sesame oil
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water
2 green onions, chopped
4 cups cooked brown rice

1. Preheat pressure cooker. When hot, add the oil, onion, garlic, and chicken to the pot. Sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens.

2. Stir in the soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes. Lock the lid in place. Once the cooker comes to pressure, cook for 3 minutes.

3. When the cook time ends, a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid. Add the sesame oil and honey to the pot and stir to combine.

4. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Add to the pot. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the green onions. Serve over rice

Recipe Notes: I really like to serve this with a cooked bag of stir fry vegetables as well. Really rounds out the meal.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving):

Calories: 531
Protein: 47 g
Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 132 mg
Carbohydrates: 66 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 945 mg

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

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Sesame-Peanut Zoodles

We are almost halfway through January. Have you given up on your New Year’s resolutions already? I hope not. I’m still in the trenches with you. While not my resolution, I know many people choose to cut back on carbs. I am too attached to my carbs to make that leap, especially since we try to not eat a ton of meat. But I understand the logic behind the decision and many people find success with carb restricted diets.

One of my many carb hang-ups is pasta. I’d seen all the recipes for “zoodles” out there, and I was skeptical. Could zucchini really taste like pasta? I finally tried it. The answer: sort of. It definitely doesn’t taste like pasta, but you don’t miss the pasta either. And it definitely doesn’t taste like you are eating a giant pile of zucchini. I liked these with a side of salmon (and rice, even I’m being honest). Enjoy!

Sesame-Peanut Zoodles (serves about 2)

Sesame-Peanut Zoodles

3 small zucchini
½ red bell pepper, shredded or julienned
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter peanut butter
½ tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon sriracha (or to taste)
½ teaspoon ginger powder or 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1. Spiralize zucchini, or make into “noodles” with a vegetable peeler. Toss with bell pepper and red onion.

2. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until well combined. Microwave about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then stir again to incorporate better and it reaches a “sauce” consistency. Let cool for 3-5 minutes.

3. Toss vegetables with sauce. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 246
Protein: 12 g
Fat: 17 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 17 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sodium: 684 mg

Recipe Notes: I know the nutrition looks a little crazy on the fat. But that is from the peanut butter, and the saturated fat is low.

Source: adapted from online

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Sesame Noodles

Have you ever made a dish you thought was really delicious but no one else could remember it?  It has happened to me a few times, including the first time I made these noodles.  I remember making them for a picnic dinner date we went on.  I even remember my husband saying he liked it.  But anytime I asked him about them, he couldn’t remember what I was talking about.  Partly because the only way I could describe them was as “peanut butter noodles” which would usually remind him of the Thai Style Chicken and Noodles I shared before.   That is one of his favorites, so the discussion would end.  So, these gradually drifted off my radar for about two years.

Wow, those two years were really missing something.  When I rediscovered this to take lunch to a friend, I was reminded of how easy, quick, delicious, and versatile this dish is.  And the fact that it is cold makes it perfect for summer.  It can be a main dish or a side dish that is easy to transport wherever you need it.  I recently made a big batch right before we went hiking, and it made an awesome dinner after a long day of hiking and lugging around a toddler.

Enjoy!

Sesame Noodles (Serves 4-6)

Sesame Noodles

1 small eggplant, cubed
½ teaspoon salt
1 (13.25 ounce) box whole wheat spaghetti
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
½ tablespoon canola oil
1 chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieces
1 clove of garlic
1 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger
½ cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
¼ cup hot water (as hot as your tap will go)
½ cucumber, sliced (peeled if it isn’t a hothouse cucumber)
¼ green cabbage, shredded
6 green onions, sliced into 2 inch chunks

1. Sprinkle eggplant with salt. Let it drain in a colander for 30 minutes. OR Place eggplant on several layers of coffee filters or paper towels. Microwave for 10 minutes, or until beginning to look slightly shriveled.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting oil and salt. Drain and rinse under cold water. Place in a large bowl and toss with sesame oil (if using).

3. Heat canola oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Saute eggplant until browned, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add to pasta. Saute chicken in same pan until cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Add to pasta.

4. In a blender or food processor, process garlic and ginger until well chopped. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, red pepper, and hot. Process until smooth. (The sauce may be a little thick. If it is overly thick, add more water).

5. Toss the pasta, eggplant, chicken, cucumber, cabbage, and green onions with the peanut butter sauce. Chill until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 473
Protein: 23 g
Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 21 mg
Carbohydrates: 66 g
Fiber: 11 g
Sodium: 713 mg

Recipe Notes: Feel free to mix it up on this dish. I’ve made it without the chicken and without the eggplant. All the combinations have been good. I like the crunch the cabbage gives to this, but I have also omitted that. A hothouse cucumber works really, really well in this. But I’m usually too cheap to buy one, so I just half peel a regular cucumber with good results. Also, you could substitute garlic powder and ginger powder and mix the sauce by hand. It takes a fair amount of muscle, but can be done.

Source: Adapted from Food Network Kitchens’ Making It Easy Cookbook

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Sesame Chicken

A recipe for fried food seems out of place on a website for healthy recipes.  But I’m sharing this recipe for several reasons.

1) You can enjoy everything in moderation. We love sesame chicken, but we only make this two or three times a year as a special treat.

2) If you are careful about the temperature of your oil, you can really minimize the oil absorbed in frying. It isn’t health food now, but it doesn’t have to be horrible for you.

3) Making this at home is better than ordering take-out. You can control the ingredients in the sauce. You can control the frying temperature and oil absorbed. You can add a ton of veggies to lighten it up.

This recipe is in my husband’s top five favorites of food I make. It tastes as good or better than a restaurant. Enjoy!

Sesame Chicken (Serves 4-6)

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3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Batter:
6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil, optional
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon baking powder

Sauce:
½ tablespoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 teaspoon sriracha or chili garlic sauce
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch

1 ½ quarts vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
4-6 cups cooked brown rice (1 cup per person)
1-2 (10 ounce) bags frozen stir fry vegetables, steamed on top of rice cooker while rice was cooking
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, optional garnish

1. Cut chicken into small, bite sized pieces.

2. Combine batter ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth. Add chicken pieces, tossing to coat. Set aside while you make sauce and heat oil.

3. For sauce, heat sesame oil in bottom of small-medium saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; cook until beginning to become fragrant. Combine remaining sauce ingredients in a bowl, whisking to dissolve cornstarch. Pour into pan, stirring constantly to prevent clumping. Keep warm over low heat and sauce thickens.

4. Heat oil to 375 degrees in a large, heavy bottomed pot.

5. Working in batches, fry chicken, removing excess batter before placing in the oil. Fry until golden and crispy, 3-5 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

6. Serve with sauce over cooked rice and vegetables. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving with 6 servings)

Calories: 740
Protein: 37 g
Fat: 26 g
Saturated Fat:13 g
Cholesterol: 83 mg
Carbohydrates: 90 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sodium: 964 mg

Recipe Notes: I often omit the sesame oil in the batter. I often substitute vegetable oil for the sesame oil in the sauce as well. You could probably use only one bag of vegetables if serving four people, but it will be tight.  I included all of the batter in the nutrient analysis, but you likely won’t use all of it. I added ½ cup oil (about 10%) to the nutrient analysis for frying. I know the nutrition doesn’t look great on this, but imagine what your take-out restaurant’s nutrition looks like? And, like I said above, we only eat this a few times a year.

Source: slightly adapted from Tyler Florence

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