I fed this exact meal here (including the gluten free noodles) to Ilya and he had no clue the noodles were gluten free until I told him (he doesn’t pay much attention to what’s going on in the kitchen, he just enjoys eating the outcome!). I do think the GF noodles may have a slightly different consistency (it seems to me that they’re always more firm than regular noodles would be, even when completely cooked) but they taste just fine and work great with this dish. The kind I buy are “Tinkyada Pasta Joy Ready Brown Rice Pasta, Spaghetti Style”, found at Wegmans, seen here. The package doesn’t lie, as they do not get mushy at all! They do take quite a bit longer than traditional spaghetti or lo mein noodles, which is kind of a pain, but geez… what’s wrong with me? I mean, we should really be basking in the fact that there are gluten free noodles that aren’t mushy and taste great! If they take a few extra minutes, so what?!
When I make this, I do not mix everything together before serving because I find it’s too hard after doing that to figure out the proper serving size. But I’ll explain that a bit more below (see final step of “For Serving” section). I just love this recipe so much and can’t wait to make it for Ilya and his brother on their next hangout session over at our house. When they have those, I always cook up delicious things for them (pre-IBS/GERD was usually dinner and dessert… but dessert is an area I haven’t even bothered trying to venture into yet for the IBS and GERD friendly foods). We’d all have dinner together and then they’d go off to watch their netflix show or whatnot. Typically in the pre-IBS/GERD days, the food of choice was always Chinese food of some kind (usually either my sesame noodles, peanut chicken, teriyaki chicken casserole or some such thing). These days, I can’t be trusted to make the “real” stuff and refrain from eating it (and in turn getting sick from it). That will no longer be a problem, though, now that I have this awesome recipe up my sleeve!
So the next time you’re feeling bummed you can’t order from your favorite pre-IBS or GERD/Reflux Chinese restaurant, or you are someone without dietary restrictions who just wants a healthier version of this takeout classic, just hop into the kitchen for 30 minutes and whip this up and I hope you love it as much as I do. 🙂
Skinny Sesame Chicken w/Veggies & Noodles
- 6 oz gluten free spaghetti (uncooked) - For IBS/Low FODMAP, avoid any that are whole grain (insoluble fiber). I use Tinkyada Pasta Joy Ready Brown Rice Pasta, Spaghetti Style which work great for this! - if you're not gluten free or following a Low FODMAP diet, you can use whatever kind of noodles you want
- 120 g carrot (washed and peeled, ends trimmed - weight is of the weight of the rinsed/ends-removed carrot), cut into ~3-4 inch sections, then each section halved or quartered, depending on size
- 68 g snow peas (washed, ends trimmed off)
For Sesame Chicken:
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts (uncooked) - pounded into even size, then cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/3 cup gluten free flour (I use King Arthur Gluten Free Multi Purpose Flour)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (it must be pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup, or it will not taste right)
- 3 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (it needs to be low sodium or the dish will be way too salty)
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 Tbsp. oyster sauce (read labels and find one that is gluten free, or skip this ingredient)
- 2+1/2 tsp. brown sugar (level, unpacked teaspoons - very important for IBS and/or GERD)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chives (chopped) - plus more for garnish, if desired
- Begin by putting the pasta on to cook according to the package directions. While the water is heating up and the pasta is cooking, you can work on starting the vegetables steaming and getting the chicken ready/cooked.
- Place the prepped carrots and snow peas in a medium-sized saucepan with ~1/4-1/3 cup water (you want enough to cover the bottom of the pan, but not to have the veggies soaking in water).
- Cover the pan and cook, over medium-high heat, for ~10 minutes, until the veggies are fork-tender but not mushy (add additional water as needed during cooking if it evaporates). While these are cooking, work on making the chicken.
- When the veggies are done cooking, remove from heat and from the pan and place on a cutting board. After they cool for a minute or 2, chop them up into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
For Sesame Chicken:
- Place the sesame seeds in a dry, medium-sized skillet over medium heat and heat (yeah, this recipe has you using 3 burners at once but it's not bad!), stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes until the seeds are lightly browned. Remove from heat and reserve the toasted seeds in a small dish.
- Place the flour in a large ziploc bag, then add the chicken, seal the bag (leave air in the bag), then shake the bag around until the chicken pieces are coated with flour.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat, spray with non-stick cooking spray and then add in the floured chicken pieces (try not to get any excess flour in the pan).
- Cook the chicken pieces for ~4-5 minutes per side, until they have browned and the internal temperature of the larger pieces has reached at least 165 degrees F. *Note: When I had to flip them over, the cooking spray had pretty much disappeared. So I moves the pieces over to one side, sprayed the pan, flipped some in the sprayed part, then kept doing that until I made it all the way across the pan and all the pieces were flipped and on a spot with some cooking spray.*
- When the chicken is done, transfer the pieces to a plate or baking sheet, then set the skillet aside (off the burner) to cool down for a couple of minutes. Once cooled down a bit (but still hot), carefully wipe it out with some slightly wet paper towels (you don't want any of the burned bits in there or the sauce will have a weird taste).
- While the skillet is cooling down a bit, place the maple syrup, soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar and chives in a small dish and mix together until combined.
- Once the skillet has cooled down and is wiped out, return the skillet to the burner and add in the maple syrup/soy sauce mixture, starting to stir immediately and continuing to heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens up quite a bit (this only takes ~20-30 seconds). *Notes: It's important to have waited for both the burner and pan to have cooled down before adding in the maple syrup/soy sauce mixture, otherwise the mixture will burn when it hits the pan. Also, the sauce will thicken more after the chicken pieces are added in (from the flour coating) and also once it cools, so don't leave it going too long. You do want to end up with a decent amount of sauce for the chicken pieces, especially if you serve the chicken over rice or noodles.*
- When sauce has thickened, remove from heat, add in the chicken and sesame seeds and stir to combine. By this time, your noodles and veggies should be done, so you'll be ready to put plates together.
- For IBS/GERD/Low FODMAP, I find the best way to serve this is to plate up each serving one at a time, in order to make sure you're getting the correct weight/quantity of each item. Snow peas are a pretty restricted food for Low FODMAP, so it's important to only get 17g or less per serving, and due to fat/sugar in this dish, you want to make sure for both IBS and/or GERD that you only have 3oz worth of chicken and a little extra sauce.
- So, to do this I set the plate on the scale, weigh out 75g of noodles, then as much as 30g of carrots and no more than 17g of snow peas. Mix those together, then weigh out 3oz of the chicken (not drenched in sauce yet, just grab the chicken pieces). Then, drizzle some extra sauce on top (eyeball it, I can't say for sure how much your end result sauce will weigh, as it depends on how hot your burner/pan is, how long you cook it, etc. Just be careful and only use as much as you need). You can mix the chicken in with the noodles or leave set on top to serve.
- Garnish with some additional chopped chives for color, if desired.
- This dish is relatively high in both fat and sugar. It shouldn't give you problems on its own, but you will need to be careful with what you eat the rest of the day you eat this. Choose fat free or very low fat options for your other meals, and skip yogurt and other foods with high sugar content. This is only for those with IBS and/or GERD. Anyone without digestion issues would be fine.
- When serving, See step No. 2 in the "For Serving" section above.
*The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.*
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