This is my husband, Joey:
Joey is a pretty typical American guy when it comes to food. He likes his meat & potatoes, he prefers chicken over chocolate, he would put hot sauce on everything if I didn't remind him it was a bad idea, and I am pretty certain he'd eat at Wendy's at least 5 times a week if he was still a bachelor. Despite all that, one of his very favorite meals is my IC Friendly Honey Garlic Chicken.
Joey and I had only been dating a few months when I got my first severe IC flare. Although it took awhile for me to be properly diagnosed, I was aware that I needed to be careful about what I was eating and I could tell that acidic food made everything feel much worse. I started changing my diet a little on my own right away, expecting that it was temporary and that I'd go back to my normal regiment once someone finally figured out what was wrong with me. Then, about 5 months later, I found a urogynecologist who put me on the IC diet within 5 minutes of meeting me. The permanence of the change obviously devastated me, and I know that it affected Joey immediately as well. Suddenly, we couldn't eat at many of the restaurants we had previously enjoyed, and he felt guilty eating anything that I could no longer have. "Get ready for a lifestyle change," is what the doctor said to me. She wasn't kidding.
I would estimate that it took at least a year for us to get used to the diet change. Now he has learned that it is okay for him to still enjoy foods that I can't have because it doesn't mean he is rubbing it in my face, and I have learned how to prepare meals that we can both enjoy. I know that if I asked him to, he would never eat another piece of chocolate and he would only eat tomato-based products when I wasn't around. But for me it was never about taking anything away from him; it was about learning to cope so we could both be happy. Sometimes this means preparing our dishes slightly differently, other times it just means adapting old recipes that we both liked so that they are safe for me. We used to get bummed out about food together all the time; now we get excited about eating and trying new recipes on a regular basis.
This dish, in particular, is a big hit on both ends.
First I get 1 cup of organic long grain brown rice cooking. The kind I use takes about an hour so I start with that.
For the 2 of us, I use:
1/2 cup rice
1 cup spring water
1-1/2 tsp. Olivio butter
1 tsp. organic garlic salt
I cook it all together, covered, for 50 minutes and then let it sit in the covered pot for another 10 minutes.
Next, I set the oven to 350° and get out my ingredients for the chicken:
8 organic boneless, skinless chicken tenderloin strips
3 tbsp. organic orange blossom honey
2 tsp. organic garlic powder
1 tsp. garlic pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. turmeric
Organic sesame seeds
First I cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. I put all the ingredients in a Ziploc bag and shake them up.
I cover a pan with aluminum foil and spread the chicken out. Then I sprinkle the sesame seeds over the chicken. Finally, I drizzle it with a little more honey, just because I love honey oh so much.
I cook the chicken for about 40 minutes, monitoring it between 30-40 to make sure it doesn't overcook.
For the vegetables, I use:
1 bag Steamfresh frozen broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, & water chestnuts (no seasoning)
In my opinion, this is the best possible veggie option for this meal. I prefer to heat the veggies in a separate dish or on the stove and not in the plastic bag.
Bringing it all together:
I take a large skillet and heat a small amount of organic sesame oil to medium high (but I have to be careful because it gets hot fast and has potential to burn and ruin the night, trust me).
I add the other items to the oil, one at a time, starting with the vegetables, then the chicken, and finally the rice. I'll usually add a little more honey to the mix at this time, but that might be overkill for some!
I saute it all for a short time and then it's ready to be served and enjoyed by IC patients and regulars guys alike!