Weekly Recipe #213: Orange Chicken & Vegetable Stir Fry

by April Harding, Dietetic Intern [University of Minnesota Medical Center –Fairview ]

Ever have a craving for Chinese takeout during the middle of the week after a long day? It’s easy to call up the neighborhood Chinese restaurant and order your standard stir fry. However, it is also easy to make your own stir fry at home!

This chicken and veggie stir fry will satisfy your craving and is quick, easy, and delicious. You can switch up the veggie options to keep it interesting. Half of the battle is chopping up and preparing the veggies for this recipe. Try prepping the veggies the night before so it takes less time to prepare when you’re ready to cook. Once the veggies are chopped, it takes less than 15 minutes to complete!

This stir fry is packed with lots of nutrients from the juicy chicken and delicious veggies, including protein, whole-grains, fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. The brown rice and veggies in this dish provide good fiber content per serving, which helps our bodies maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract and keeps us fuller longer to avoid overeating and late night snacking. The orange juice, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts provide plenty of vitamin C to help fight off infections and keep our immune systems running. And lastly, the carrots in this recipe provide vitamin A to help us maintain our eyesight, especially at night.

Orange Chicken & Vegetable Stir Fry

Adapted from www.natashaskitchen.com
(Serves: 6)

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 tbsp. grated orange zest (zest from 1/2 orange)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from the same orange)
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce, low sodium brand
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp. honey

Stir Fry Ingredients:

  • 1 lb to 1 ¼ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 5-6 cups broccoli florets (from 1 large head of broccoli)
  • 3 ½ cups Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered
  • 1 large carrot, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 ½ tbsp. cooking oil (canola oil is a good option)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced

Garnish Ingredients:

  • Toasted sesame seeds (toast over medium heat for 2 minutes, tossing frequently)
  • 6 cups of hot cooked brown rice

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the cold water and corn starch, then whisk in the rest of the marinade ingredients. TIP: Peel your ginger with a spoon – the skin comes off easily!
  2. Add 1/4 of the marinade to the prepared chicken breast meat, stir, and let it marinade while preparing the rest of the vegetables (15-30 minutes).
  3. Heat a large wok or heavy-bottomed sauté pan over high heat. Add 1/2 cup water. As soon as it boils, add broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrot. Cover and let it steam cook for 2 minutes over high heat until the vegetables are crisp, tender, and bright colored. Remove the vegetables from the pan into a bowl, then rinse and dry the pan.
  4. Heat the pan over high heat again and stir in cooking oil. Added the diced onion and sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the marinated chicken to the hot skillet in a single layer. Let the chicken sit untouched for 2 minutes until browned, then stir to brown the other side. Once the chicken is almost cooked, add the reserved marinade and simmer for 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Stir in the vegetables and continue to cook for another minute. The chicken should be fully cooked.
  6. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve over steamed rice. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

Per serving (1/6 of recipe): 547 calories, 12 grams total fat (2 grams saturated fat), 39 grams protein, 74 grams carbohydrate, 11 grams fiber, and 645 milligrams sodium.

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