Welcome my friends, your big warm bowl of Healthy General Tso’s Chicken awaits you. Please join me as we go on this journey of making our very own Asian food right at home, AKA take-out-fake-out.
My love for Asian food runs deep, all of the fresh vegetables and intense, exotic flavors really gets me. Paul and I have our favorite restaurants around town: an Indian place that we literally start drooling over just at the thought of, a Chinese restaurant 3 blocks from our house – let’s be real though, we all know that Chinese food in America is very different than Chinese food in China, or so I’ve been told (sorry if I just broke your heart), and an Asian place called Mandarin Spice that has a little bit of everything. Guys, my dad who doesn’t like Asian food (except Chinese, which may not even truly count), is hooked on the Manderine Spice restaurant. It totally converted him into an Asian food lover! All he wanted for Christmas was for us to take him out to eat there – it’s that good and I so wish I could share it with you! But wait, look what I just did, I made you Healthy General Tso’s Chicken so that you can make it in your very own kitchen and it’s pretty much like you’re at the restaurant! How exciting is that?!
This Healthy General Tso’s Chicken might not look exactly how you expected it to look. Normally you think of pieces of fried chicken in a spicy brown sauce over rice, right? This dish was inspired by Mandarin Spice’s version of General Tso’s chicken, instead of being fried the chicken is sauteed in a pan and loaded with sauteed vegges and cooked in a super tasty sauce. When I first ordered this dish I knew I must recreate it at home and share it with you! That sauce is what makes this dish taste like General Tso’s chicken, and guess what we made it ourselves! Aren’t we just rockin’ it today?! The General Tso’s sauce is sweet, tangy, salty, and just the right amount of spice. The ingredients for the sauce may seem a bit long but I bet you’ve already got most of the ingredients on hand.
I know you’ll love this Healthy General Tso’s chicken as much as we did. It’s got sauteed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, tender chicken and all of that is cooked in that salty, sweet, spicy sauce that clings to every piece of food. Roasted peanuts are stirred in at the last minute for some crunch and texture that somehow brings everything together in perfect harmony.
What’s great about Healthy General Tso’s Chicken is that it only takes 30 minutes to make from start to finish – gotta love those quick cooking stir fries! Plus we are using quick cooking brown rice so that we can be chowing down on our dinner in no time! Bring it on Monday night, we are prepared for you!
Why is this Healthy General Tso’s Chicken healthier? Let’s break it down:
- The chicken isn’t fried which saves on calories and unhealthy fat. TBH I don’t miss the fried chicken one bit because of all the tasty veggies and the crunchy peanuts!
- The dish is loaded with veggies, making it a balanced meal
- The sauce is made with coconut sugar instead of your typical refined sugar meaning it is lower on the glycemic index
- I serve mine with brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice is packed with more fiber and nutrition which helps our bodies absorb the carbs slower and keeps our blood sugar levels stable.
Healthy food FTW!
Guys, my new goal is to learn to make more of my favorite Asian foods at home – because I NEEDZ more if those super flavorful, exotic flavors in my life! And so do you! 😉 Indian food, you kinda scare me with all of your spices – CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!!
Here are some more tasty Asian inspired dishes for you to try: Butter chicken (<- one of our fave recipes on the blog!), Eggplant Green Curry, Thai Sweet Potato Soup with Shrimp, Asian Citrus Salad with Marinated Salmon, and Thai Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Peanut Sauce. So much goodness!
- 4 cups cooked brown rice (I like to use quick cooking rice for this recipe)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Onion, cut into 1 inch slices
- 6 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 2 green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 4 green onions, chopped
- ⅔ cup roasted peanuts
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce/tamari (can sub coconut aminos if avoiding soy)
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons chicken stock (or sub water)
- ¼ cup coconut sugar (or more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 inches ginger, grated (for a short cut you could use the tube of minced ginger found by the herbs)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha (optional)
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 8 small dried red Chinese or arbol chilies (found by the herbs in your grocery store)
- Prep your veggies: Stir fries tend to cook fast, which is awesome so get all your veggies and chicken prepped and chopped according to specifications above. Set them aside.
- Cook Rice: Get your rice cooking so that it can be done and out of the way. I like to use quick cooking rice for this recipe (10 minutes). If you aren't using quick cooking rice than get your rice cooking before you prep your veggies (40 minutes). Follow the package instructions.
- Cook Chicken: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Melt the coconut oil and add the chicken. Cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Once cooked, remove into a dish and cover with foil, set aside.
- Cook the Veggies: To the same pan add another tablespoon of coconut oil only if needed and add the onion. Saute the onion until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Ten add the peppers saute for 3 minutes, or until slightly tender but still crunchy.
- Mix up the sauce: While the onions and veggies are cooking add all of the saute ingredients except for the corn starch and chilies to a small bowl. Whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. Stir in the chilies and set aside.
- Cook the sauce: Once the veggies are cooked pour in the sauce and the chicken and bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer for 3 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly reduced. Add the corn starch and a small amount of water to a small bowl, whisk together to remove any lumps. Stir in the corn starch. Allow to thicken on the heat for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts and green onions.
- Serve: Serve the Healthy General Tso's Chicken over the brown rice and top with extra peanuts and green onion, if desired. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 7 days.