Kung Pao Chicken | A healthy riff on a classic take-out dish - quick, healthy and satisfying in under 30 minutes!

This was quick, light, and a satisfying riff on a classic take-out dish; but, infinitely healthier!

The broccoli was an interesting accompaniment and I am looking forward to experimenting with this and serving it again in the future.  As for the Kung Pao – if I made it again, I would almost double the brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and sub the chili flakes for some sambal oelek, because the recipe was lacking that strong sass like the corner Chinese cafe.  But, it was still quite tasty for such a low cal dish – a whopping 275 calories for 1/4 of the recipe.

Anyways here is the deets on our stay-in meal:

Kung Pao Chicken | A healthy riff on a classic take-out dish - quick, healthy and satisfying in under 30 minutes!

KUNG PAO CHICKEN

  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced ginger
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (about 1 large pepper)
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

DIRECTIONS: 

1. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken; sauté 3 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.

2. Combine 3/4 cup water and the next 5 ingredients (through crushed red pepper), stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves. Add water mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Add bell pepper and snow peas to pan; cook for 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and sauce thickens. Sprinkle with nuts.

Kung Pao Chicken | A healthy riff on a classic take-out dish - quick, healthy and satisfying in under 30 minutes!

As for our new side dish experience:

Roasted Chile-Garlic Broccoli | The bold flavors of chile paste and dark sesame  oil amplify this healthy veg, with the help of the oven and a bit of charring

ROASTED CHILE-GARLIC BROCCOLI

  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS: 

1. Place a small roasting pan in oven. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Place broccoli in a large bowl; drizzle with oil. Toss to coat. Add sambal, salt, and sugar to broccoli mixture; toss. Add broccoli mixture to hot roasting pan; toss. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes; remove from oven. Add garlic to pan; stir. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until broccoli is lightly browned.

Kung Pao Chicken | A healthy riff on a classic take-out dish - quick, healthy and satisfying in under 30 minutes!

Here is to cute boxes, chopsticks, and my house smelling like take-out!

ApronClad

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