Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pow! That Packs a Punch!

Sometimes, nothing is easier than doing some sort of Chinese chicken over rice.  It's usually easy to have the ingredients on hand and if you cook the rice while making the chicken, it all gets done at the same time.  It's an easy method for dinner, that's for sure.

I'm going to share two favorites that just so happen to fall into the lighter/healthier for you category.

Kung Pao Chicken


1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
4 cups broccoli florets
1 tablespoon ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World), divided
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped salted peanuts


Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add broccoli and 2 teaspoons ginger to pan; saute 1 minute.  Add water.  Cover; cook 2 minutes or until broccoli is crisp-tender.  Remove broccoli from pan; keep warm.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan; add remaining 1 teaspoon ginger, crushed red pepper, and chicken.  Cook 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned, stirring frequently.

Combine broth and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk.  Add broth mixture to pan; cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly.  Return broccoli mixture to pan; toss to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Nutrition information: 239 calories, 7.9 g fat, 30.9 g protein, 11.4 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 66 mg cholesterol, 1.8 mg iron, 389 mg sodium, 60 mg calcium.

Source: Cooking Light, December 2005, found here.

Notes: I like a lot of sauce (more than a recipe usually calls for).  So, I made one batch of sauce and threw it in with the stir fry.  I made a second batch of sauce to spoon extra onto my rice as needed/wanted.  I also skipped the peanuts since one of my sons is allergic to them.  Finally, I simply sauteed the broccoli in the water and ginger (without covering it).  I removed the broccoli while I cooked the chicken and then added the broccoli back in once the sauce was added.  I did this because otherwise, I have a tendency to overcook the broccoli and end up with mushy veggies.

Weight Watchers General Tso's Chicken


3/4 cup(s) canned chicken broth, reduced-sodium
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp peanut oil
2 medium uncooked scallions, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups cooked white rice for serving


In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger; set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add scallions, garlic, and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.  Add chicken; saute until browned all over, about 5 minutes.

Add reserved sauce to pan and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Serve chicken and sauce over rice.  Top with additional sliced scallions, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.  8 WW points.

One serving is about 1 cup of chicken with sauce and 1/2 cup rice.

Source: Weight Watchers (from an email newsletter), can be found here.

Notes: I usually double this because that serving size isn't enough for my husband.  In addition to that, I often increase the sauce.  Because as I said above, I like my rice saucy!

I am going to be making this for dinner tomorrow night and I'll post a picture of it then!

I like to serve this with a side of stir-fried broccoli.  Found here.

Above: I have seen this spelled two ways: "General Tso's" and "General Tsao's."  So, spell it however you want!  I have served it with Stir-Fried Broccoli.

1 comment:

  1. You and Niel. I always double the sauce, too.