Orange chicken is pictured in Bloomington, Indiana on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (Photo by James Brosher)

Healthy Orange Chicken

This sweet and spicy orange chicken is served over a bed of cauliflower rice. It’s a protein-packed meal that tastes just as good as takeout!

When I was a kid, getting Chinese takeout was a real treat. It wasn’t something my family did often, so my brother and I always got really excited when my parents decided to pickup dinner from our favorite local spot. Our tastes weren’t very sophisticated back then, so we always opted for orange chicken. While it’s very much an Americanized Chinese food, the sweet and spicy sauce is still one of my favorites.

I wanted to make a healthier version of that childhood favorite when I found myself craving Chinese food Monday. I decided to serve this chicken over cauliflower rice, which is an easy way to get some veggies in. I love how mainstream veggie pastas and rices have become; I used to make my own cauliflower rice in the food processor, but now I can find riced cauliflower in the frozen vegetable section at the grocery store. I’m willing to spend a little more for convenience foods that will save me time and cut down on dirty dishes!

My husband can be a picky eater sometimes, so I know a recipe is good when he goes back for two more bowls. This is a recipe that the whole family will enjoy, just omit the Sriracha from the sauce if you’re worried about it being too spicy.

I also picked up some frozen veggie egg rolls to serve alongside our orange chicken. They completed the healthy and delicious weeknight meal!

Healthy Orange Chicken

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Tamari
  • 1 Tbsp. Sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. pepper, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 scallions (white part only), thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 12 oz. frozen cauliflower rice

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together marmalade, hoisin, Tamari, Sriracha, cornstarch, garlic, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Set aside.
  2. Coat a large skillet with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and scallions and cook until soft and fragrant, stirring frequently, for about four minutes. Sprinkle chicken with remaining salt and pepper then add it to the pan and cook until browned, about three minutes on each side. Add sauce to pan and bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and let sauce simmer until thickened.
  3. While chicken simmers, coat a medium skillet with 1 Tbsp. sesame oil and place over medium heat. Add cauliflower rice and cook until heated through, stirring frequently, for about five minutes.
  4. Once the sauce for the chicken is thickened, remove it from heat. Place 1 cup of cauliflower rice on a plate or in a bowl, then top with 1/4 of the orange chicken.

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