Mom brain. It’s a real thing. The stories I am about to document are not fabricated or falsified. The stories are real, from the real person who experienced them. It’s ok to laugh, and it’s ok to trust that this 20 minute Whole30 orange chicken is easy enough for all those suffering from mom brain.
I thought I had missed the brain fog so common after having a baby. I was doing fab, trucking along, busting out recipes and posts, toting two little ones around for all my daily errands. Then BAM.
What day is it? What’s my name? Did I pay that bill? Where am I? This.Is.Mom.Brain. It hit like a ton of bricks. Suddenly my brain was mush. Simply daily tasks became a clown show of chaos and forgetfulness.
Examples: (cross my heart these are true accounts of mom brain)
1. used nail polish remover as eye makeup remover (OMG ouch) 2. forgot to buckle my toddler in the carseat after 30 minutes on the interstate 3. burned everything that came near a stove for dinner 4. lost my keys eight bajillion times 5. put a toddler-sized diaper on the baby 6. went on a 15 minute search for olive oil that was in the same spot it always is 7. washed clothes without detergent 8. put diaper rash ointment on my toothbrush 9. got lost driving home 10. forgot to feed the dog for the hundredth time…
And the list goes on…
Are you laughing? I sort of am, yet sort of crying too. Motherhood dummified me. My heart is big, but my brain is nonexistent. One other thing I forgot – adding cashews to this 20 minute Whole30 orange chicken.
So the whole grand plan to title this “Whole30 orange cashew chicken” = BUST. I made this masterpiece, found that small window of time to photograph it, then realized I FORGOT THE CASHEWS!!!
Now instead of swearing (what good would that do?) or re-shooting it (BAHAHAHA what? The children will be up soon), I just rolled with it. I can come up with a different title, I can tell peeps to add cashews if they please. But I can’t lose my sanity over this dish – I’m hanging on to it by a thread.
But in those glorified moments of ‘palm-to-the-face’, I realized this meal was so flippin’ easy to make, that shouting to the rooftops “ONLY 20 MINUTES” was a far better description than cashews. BOOM.
Where was I going with this? Oh yeah, easy Whole30 dinner….
Like, so easy and so quick that even moms with 4 kids and brains now the size of a pea can make this and not screw it up. It’s not a full disclaimer, but close. Let me break it down: 1. cook chicken 2. puree sauce 3. pour & heat 4. eat. WHAAA?!
If you’re craving takeout while on your Whole30 journey, if you can’t wrap your head around making a decent meal without messing it up, or if you just want an easy, healthy meal your family will love, this is it mommies, this is it.
20 Minute Whole30 Orange Chicken
Three medjool dates are used to sweeten the sauce, but you always try using two to see if that’s sweet enough for your palate. I served this over cauliflower rice, but this dish can be served over regular rice as well. AND you can even add cashews – that is, if you remember.
Quick and easy is the name of the game for this squeaky clean meal. Craving others like it that are still Whole30 compliant? Try Whole30 sloppy joe bowls, easy paleo Greek chicken skillet, or A1 inspired slow cooker beef roast.
Time Saving Tips
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and slice the pepper beforehand and refrigerate (separately) until ready to cook. Peel the orange to take it a step further, and watch in amazement as this meal takes merely minutes to make!
- 4 chicken breasts, sliced into bite-sized pieces or strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large red pepper, sliced
- 1 large navel orange, peeled
- 3 medjool dates, pitted and at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Optional: cashews, cauliflower rice, green onions
- Pour olive oil into a large pan and turn heat to medium/high
- Add strips of chicken and cook throughout - roughly 5 minutes. Add the sliced bell pepper and cook an additional 3-4 minutes
- In a blender or food processor, add the peeled orange, dates, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, and salt. Blend or pulse until fully combined and creamy
- Pour the sauce into the pan of chicken and peppers and lower the heat to medium. Let sauce simmer a few minutes
- Add cashews if desired
- Serve on top of cauliflower rice and garnish with green onions