Healthy Orange Chicken with Green Beans

We’re going to do something a little different today — a chicken recipe. Yup, real chicken!

You may or may not remember me mentioning that I was going to start eating meat again. If not, here’s the story. After 5+ years of being a pescatarian (vegetarian diet with seafood) I started craving meat. I think it’s important for us to listen to our bodies AND eat what we want (instead of trying to stick with a label) so I decided to give eating meat again a try.  I simply started incorporating small portions into my meals when I felt like it and I’m now eating it about once a week. I still haven’t come around to pork or beef so the main thing that I’ve been experimenting with is chicken. I like buying it and cooking it myself because I know the meat is organic and humanely raised, which is really important to me.

The majority of the time I still prefer to have a vegetarian meal, but I have found a couple ways to prepare chicken that I enjoy. So… today I’m sharing one of those recipes with all! I hope you enjoy the change of pace.

Healthy Orange Chicken with Green Beans

This recipe was inspired by one of Isaac’s favorite meals, orange chicken. Given the name you’d think it’d be healthy, but most orange chicken dishes are fried and drenched with a sugary, sweet sauce.

Clean Eating Orange Chicken with Green Beans

Not this one! I made a goal to create a healthy version to satisfy Isaac’s craving. I found this recipe from Clean Eating Magazine and tweaked it a little to come up with a orange chicken dish that’s full of flavor, but still fresh and light. Of course, I also added some veggies to the dish. No meal is complete without a little veggie action — preferably ones that are green.

Clean Eating Orange Chicken with Green Beans

Like most of the meals I share here on EBF, this one is easy to throw together and cooks up quickly. Perfect for weeknights!

One tip — preparing the quinoa in advance isn’t necessary but it makes the meal prep a breeze. I like to make a big batch of quinoa on Sunday and store it in a air-tight container in the fridge so that we have it on-hand for meals throughout the week. Easy peasy.

Clean Eating Orange Chicken with Green Beans


Healthy Orange Chicken with Green Beans

5 from 1 vote
Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine. If you’re vegetarian, I’m sure tofu or tempeh would work well in this dish instead of chicken.
Healthy Orange Chicken with Green Beans
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 4 organic thin boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb), rinsed and patted dry, cut into small bite-size chunks
  • Fresh juice from 1 medium orange, about 1/3 cup of juice (I used a blood orange)
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 lb fresh or frozen green beans, stem ends trimmed if using fresh
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa for serving

Instructions
 

  • Cook quinoa according to package directions if you haven’t done so already. 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa will yield about 2 cups cooked.
  • In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, 1/4 tsp salt and cayenne pepper. Pour seasoning over chicken and combine well so that all pieces are seasoned.
  • Melt coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet set on medium-high heat. Place chicken in skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the beans and stir-fry with chicken for another 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Make sure you toss the chicken while cooking so that the pieces cook evenly and don’t clump together. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  • Add orange juice and maple syrup to the skillet you just used (no need to rinse) and cook liquid for 1 minute to thicken slightly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in chipotle chiles in adobo sauce and orange zest. Add chicken and green beans back to skillet, return to heat and cook (stirring constantly) for 1 minute on medium-high or until chicken and green beans are heated to your liking.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cooked quinoa and remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Serve chicken and green beans over quinoa. Use the excess glaze as a topping.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 297kcal Carbohydrates: 33g Protein: 31g Fat: 5g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 6g

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    20 comments
    1. Steven
      October 3, 2018 AT 3:36 am

      Can I freeze the whole meal?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 3, 2018 AT 10:08 am

        I haven’t tried freezing the whole meal, but I think it should work just fine. 🙂

    2. Aylin
      August 22, 2016 AT 9:17 am

      5 stars
      This is now one of my family’s favorite recipes. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 22, 2016 AT 9:30 am

        Hooray!! I love hearing this, Aylin. So glad your whole family likes it.

    3. Tehmina
      March 12, 2015 AT 1:53 am

      Looks great-any substitute for the chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce? Not available in my part of the world…

    4. Kaylyn Kruse
      January 7, 2015 AT 4:21 pm

      Making this tonight! The only thing we weren’t able to find were the chiles in adobo sauce but we’ll just have to make do. 🙂

    5. Mindy
      March 31, 2014 AT 10:12 am

      Was listening to an interview with Alex Jamieson a few weeks ago and she talked about telling the world she began eating meat after being a vegan guru for years (she went to the same nutritional school as us too!). Bravo to you for being in tune to what your body was telling you and being brave enough to listen!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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