Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Healthy Orange Chicken

I was inspired this past weekend while visiting my parents....they LOVE orange chicken from The Cheesecake Factory.  In their defense, they like to split the entree and have it as their cheat meal...perfectly ok for a once in a blue moon occurrence.  But at 1800 calories, over 50 grams of fat and triple your daily sodium needs - this dish is a big no no for a regular meal. 

So, of course, I had to research and create my own version.  And let me just say - there was not once ounce of food left on anyones plate!  With less than 400 calories per serving, less than 4g of fat and almost 2,500mg less sodium - it's ok to clean your plate with this meal!!

2 Whole oranges (juiced...I just squeeze them into the mixing bowl)
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1 TBS reduced sodium soy sauce (also comes in gluten free low sodium found at Whole Foods)
1/2 TBS Stevia (2 packets)
1 tsp corn starch
4 chicken breasts, sliced
1 garlic clove chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2-3 chopped bell peppers (I like to use red, orange and yellow for color and a bit of sweetness)
1 TBS sesame seeds

Bake the chicken in a 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes (I like to use just a few drops of soy sauce on each piece for added moisture).  Once cooled, chop into small cubes or strips.

While chicken is baking, combine orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, stevia and cornstarch in bowl until smooth.  In a separate bowl, combine garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes.
Spray a large pan with Pam Olive Oil cooking spray and add peppers and peas.  Cook until peppers soften (3-4 minutes).  Add dry mixture of garlic, ginger and pepper flakes and cook 1 minute longer.

Once chicken is cooked, add to pepper mixture in pan and pour juice mixture overtop, then add sesame seeds.  Cook on high heat 2-3 minutes.

Serve overtop brown rice (1/2 cup servings) or 2 ounces brown rice noodles or whole wheat noodles

Nutrition Info Per Serving (Makes 4 Servings)
1 Serving with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice

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