So, I’ve stuffed your faces with a lot of dessert here lately. Boozy tarts, rich and creamy ice cream, speedy no-bake treats, a refreshing popsicles.
Whew! I don’t know about you, but that sugar coma is definitely setting in for me. You’re probably thinking that’s all we eat! If we don’t shape up around here, our angry mothers will be banging on our door wielding piles of green things prepared to hold us down and shove them down our throats. Let’s switch gears and take a look at a healthy and delicious dinner we had recently. Contrary to what shows up in the blog, this IS the typical weeknight meal in my house….lean protein, fresh veggies, and whole grains. Balanced and tasty.
Okay…so THEN I have a bit of all that other stuff (portion controlled, of course) But I clean my plate first.
As I was making these honey-teriyaki chicken skewers, I couldn’t help but think about my one and only other experience with teriyaki chicken. My dad will remember this too…and laugh about it. It’s a perfect day to share a memory of my wonderful dad seeing as it is Father’s Day and all!
When we were all just little things with teeth missing from our smiles and poufy bangs, the local Girl Scout council would put on a Daddy/Daughter Dance and invite a bunch of the troops from the area. It was a dress up affair, naturally. All of our dashing dads wore ties and jackets. The attire of choice, for us girls, was poodle skirts. I’m not really sure who decided we should all wear poodle skirts, but you just HAD to have one. Seriously. EVERYONE was doing it. Lucky for me, my mom was pretty handy with a sewing machine and she made me a lovely royal blue skirt with a white poodle on it. It had a rhinestone collar and a loopy white “leash” made out of a braided cord. And it twirled like a dream.
It was all about the twirl. You know what I’m talking about. Mmm hmm.
So all of us girls in our poodle skirts and our dads in their ties, headed for the dance. Occasionally we’d dance with our dads but mostly we just twirled in aimless circles to watch our poodle skirts flair out. I remember thinking I was extra lucky because I didn’t have to SHARE my dad with anyone else. Other dads had multiple daughters to escort to the event…not me though. I got my dad all to myself. I thought that was pretty special. At 8, I couldn’t think of many reasons why having a brother who was bigger, stronger and older than me was much to get excited about, except when it came to Daddy/Daughter dances. Brothers were not invited.
This event involved dinner, of course. A banquet style feast where sullen teenagers in black vests wheeled out carts of mystery meals hidden underneath those silver dome things. Well, one year, after the skirt twirling had settled for the time being and we took our seats at the table, the meal under the dome proved to be a disaster of epic proportions.
The gasp was audible. The faces priceless. As a this plate of slimy chicken covered in a runny, unidentifiable brown sauce perched in front of each unsuspecting girl, everyone looked so horrified you would have thought we were being served a slab of mud crawling with worms.
With faces twisted in absolute horror, a room full of hungry girls, famished after all that skirt twirling business, looked up into the faces of their smiling fathers and concluded loudly “Daddy, I don’t LIKE this!”
Plates skirted across the table as they were pushed away with an “EWWWWWW!”
There may or may not been a few sniffles and tears. Clearly those Girl Scout people were trying to starve us to death.
I don’t think the dads were all that thrilled either, although I think they had the manners to not shout GROSS at their top of their lungs. Good job, Dads!
So we all pushed this chicken slop around on our plates for a few minutes, maybe managed a couple gag-inducing bites. Then they took away all that nastiness and brought out cake or something. All was right with the world after that. We were not about to starve to death. Cake was better skirt twirling fuel anyway.
Despite the meal horror, I always had fun with my dad at our dances. The song “My Girl” will always reminds me of poodle skirts and feeling like a princess. Thanks for being such a great date, Dad! And happy Father’s Day!
For the record, I think they switched to chicken fingers and fries after that.
Theses skewers are not at all reminiscent of The Worst Meal Ever. They are light, tasty and totally satisfying. And healthy to boot! Served up with a side of green beans and healthy, scallion and garlic studded brown rice, it made for a balanced and delicious meal!
When I made these, I came home from work, got my brown rice going, cubed up the chicken, tossed it in the marinade and stuck it in the fridge to hang out for a few while I worked out for a half hour. I like the veggies and meat on the same skewer on the grill, but if you’re worried about the veggies getting overdone, you can do them on a separate skewer. I liked how the tomatoes got all wilty and concentrated and I’ve said before how much I adore bell pepper. The chicken had great flavor for just a few ingredients…a little sweet and a little salty, all delicious.
HONEY TERIYAKI CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH SCALLION BROWN RICE (Recipe adapted from: Great Taste, Low Fat – Time Life Books)
For the Chicken:
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into two inch pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 clove of garlic, pressed
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into one inch squares
- 24 grape tomatoes
For the Rice:
- 1 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 to 3 scallions, finely chopped
- Start the rice: Bring broth, olive oil and salt to boil in a large saucepan. Add rice and stir. Cover and reduce heat to low. Allow rice to simmer for 45 to 50 minutes without lifting the lid or stirring. The broth should be mostly absorbed when it’s done.
- Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, honey, ginger, sesame oil and garlic in a shallow bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat. Alternately thread the chicken, bell pepper and tomatoes onto 8 skewers. Grill over indirect heat, for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Just before serving, stir scallions into the finished rice. Plate rice and place skewers on top of rice. Serve. Serves 4.