Well Fed Review & Sticky Orange Sunflower Chicken with Sesame Broccoli


With all of the celebratory meals we've been making around here lately with the launch of Celebrations, I've been looking for some new easy weeknight meals. Melissa Joulwan is known for having super simple paleo meals so her new book, Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less totally came in handy.

Unfortunately, I've only been able to make one recipe from the book so far as I've been traveling for tour, but I know there are some other great recipes in there. We had some pastured chicken thighs to use up so I knew I wanted to use one of Mel's recipes that uses chicken thighs. We opted for the Sticky Orange Sunflower Chicken with Sesame Broccoli as it sounded like a super family friendly meal and one that I already had the ingredients for. The sauce was super tasty and the chicken was extremely tender. The only thing I would do differently next time was reduce the arrowroot just a bit, as my boys found the sauce a little too thick but the flavor was great and perfectly accompanied the sesame broccoli.

I love that “Cookup Tips” or make-ahead tips are included in this book. Not only are the recipes in this book perfect for those nights when you're on a time crunch, but there are even extra tips to make your listed time extra efficient. Mel also includes a “You Know How You Could Do That?” section for many recipes in the book, where she lists some go-to substitutions you could use. I love that this book outlines how to eat a restrictive diet simply, and that Well Fed Weeknights shows you don't have to forsake flavor and spice in a simple and everyday meal.

Grab a copy of Well Fed Weeknights HERE.

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Well Fed Review & Sticky Orange Sunflower Chicken with Sesame Broccoli



PREP TIME: 30 minutes mins

COOK TIME: 15 minutes mins TOTAL TIME: 45 mins


Sticky Sauce:


Sesame Broccoli:


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Make the sauce. Zest the orange and set the zest aside for garnish. Use a sharp knife to peel the orange, removing all of the white pith, then separate the sections and place in a pint-size Mason jar. Smash and peel the garlic and add to the jar, along with the rest of the sauce ingredients; whirl the ingredients with a stick blender until smooth. Set it aside.
  3. Toast the sesame seeds. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, 2 minutes. Add the sesame seeds and stir-fry until toasted, about 3–5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  4. Prep the chicken. Combine the ginger, garlic powder, salt, coriander, and pepper in a large bowl and mix with a fork. Add the chicken thighs to the bowl and toss to coat the pieces in the spices. Add the oil to the pan you used for the sesame seeds and reheat the pan over medium- high heat, 2 minutes. Add the chicken in a single layer and brown it, undisturbed, 3–4 minutes. Flip the chicken and brown the other side for 1 minute, then transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.
  5. Thicken the sauce. Pour the sticky sauce into the pan you used for the chicken and heat it, scraping up any brown bits in the pan, until it’s thickened a little, 1–2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and place the baking dish in the oven. Roast the chicken for 15–20 minutes, until the sauce is caramelized. While the chicken cooks, slice the scallions for the garnish and set aside, then cook the broccoli.
  6. Cook the broccoli. Place the water in the skillet you used for the chicken and bring it to a boil. Add the broccoli, cover, and steam it until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and allow any remaining water to evaporate. Turn off the heat, drizzle the sesame oil over broccoli, toss to coat.
  7. To serve, plate the broccoli and chicken, then top with extra sauce and garnishes.



Replace the chicken thighs with chicken breast or pork chops. Use almond or cashew butter instead of sunflower seed butter.



Prepare the sauce and store it in the jar in the fridge. Brown the chicken and steam the broccoli; store both in separate airtight containers in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, simmer the sauce and pour over the chicken in a baking dish. While the chicken cooks, stir-fry the broccoli in a nonstick skillet with the sesame oil until hot.

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