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.
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.
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.
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.
Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine. If you’re vegetarian, I’m sure tofu or tempeh would work well in this dish instead of chicken.
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
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.
Serving Size:1/4 of recipe
So for all my meat eaters, what are some of your favorite healthy and easy chicken recipes? I’d love to try some different recipes. And for all my vegetarian/vegan friends: don’t let this post scare you away, I’ll still be sharing mostly veg-friendly dishes. 🙂