Healthy meal of the week: Orange chicken, brown rice and broccoli
Leftover idea: Orange chicken bowl
I got fired up with Panda Express a couple of years ago and started to occasionally sample Asian cuisine from time to time. I have to admit that my favorite food is orange chicken with beef and broccoli along with brown rice. These two are among the healthiest options available at Panda Express and for those of you who get Chinese food every now and then, I’m sure these two options are probably on offer at your places.
The funny thing is, to make orange chicken at home, it’s not difficult if you can find the ingredients at your local grocery store. I went after work to my Vons neighborhood to look up the ingredients to make an orange glazed sauce that I found on the internet that uses maple syrup, orange zest, coconut aminos, and a few other elements. However, since they did not sell orange zest, the attendant directed me to an aisle with Asian spices. To my surprise, I found some bottles of orange sauce from different companies, one even from Panda Express that I really wanted to try, but I opted for a gluten-free option. We’ll see how it goes.
You’ll find that when you combine orange chicken with brown rice and broccoli, you’ll have a healthy, easy-to-transport meal so you can take it out for lunch the next day.
Another cool idea I’m testing today is a “Ready Rice” package. This particular brand that I bought from Uncle Ben’s is natural whole grain brown rice that cooks in the microwave in 90 seconds. I know my parents use this option not only to save time, but since the rice cooks in its own container, cleaning is simply throwing the bag away when it’s empty. No scrubbing, no washing, no dishes to wash. We’ll see how this compares to regular brown rice. The only downside to this rice is that a package that equals two cups of rice costs $ 2.29, which is quite expensive compared to buying regular rice from the bag.
– frying pan / frying pan for cooking chicken
– pot for broccoli
– microwave for rice ready
– 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
– 1 bag of broccoli frozen (or fresh if you prefer)
– 1 bottle of orange sauce
– 1 bag of brown rice
seasonings salt, pepper, garlic powder and 1 tablespoon butter
For the Leftover Orange Chicken Bowls:
– Plastic travel container
1. The first and most important component of this meal is chicken. It’s also the part that takes the longest to prepare, so let’s take care of that first. You can choose to cut the chicken into small pieces beforehand, which will save you cooking time, however it may be more difficult to flip each individual piece every 3-4 minutes of cooking time. I chose to cook the whole boneless chicken breast and then cut it into chunks. I did a long slice in the chicken to help it cook faster, but that allowed me to flip the piece easily. Don’t forget to add the seasonings you want to include. Seasoned salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a pinch of oregano were used for this example.
two) While the chicken is almost done, you can boil the water to use on the broccoli chunks. If desired, add a tablespoon of butter and a pinch of seasoned salt for flavor. Once the water is boiling, add the broccoli and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
3) Once the chicken is almost done cooking, remove it from the skillet and cut it into small bite-sized pieces. Once you have all the sliced and diced chicken, put it back in the skillet and add the orange sauce. Start with a small amount of sauce, as it will be easier to add more later if needed. Stir the sauce into the chicken pieces keeping the heat on medium / low. Once you have the desired amount of sauce with the chicken pieces, allow the mixture to cook / simmer for another 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally.
4) Last but not least, for the Ready Rice bag, all that needs to be done is to open the side and pull the corner back 2 inches. You don’t even need to add water. Simply place the bag upright in the center of your microwave and cook over high heat for 90 seconds. Surprisingly enough, the rice came out perfectly tasting not too dry and not too wet.
5) Serve an adequate serving of rice, broccoli, and orange chicken. If there is leftover sauce left in the pan, you may want to pour a couple tablespoons over the chicken or rice, depending on your preference and how well you like your food with flavor. Enjoy!
Leftover food idea: Since you have all the ingredients to make a wonderful tasting orange chicken bowl, let’s go ahead and do that. What makes this food so good for lunch is that everything is simply thrown into a plastic travel container, so there is literally not a single additional thing you need to do other than microwave it at work if you do. want. So add a tablespoon of rice along with some broccoli, add some orange glazed chicken and even a tablespoon of extra sauce on top, cover, and store in your fridge until tomorrow.