Better-Than-Takeout Orange Chicken

IMG_2746If you are sneakily picking up the phone to order Chinese takeout, PUT.IT.DOWN. I finally made this Orange Chicken recipe from Health-Bent the other night and pretty much squealed with excitement when I tasted it. I am pumped to share it and stop you from succumbing to a craving for deep fried, gloppy-sauced Chinese food. The sauce is sweet, spicy, savory, and EASY, without that loathsome additive MSG or paleo cheats like honey. You can add more chili garlic sauce to up the heat, if you’d like. Next time I might just bust out some chopsticks so I slow down…

Paleo Orange Chicken, from Health-Bent

Note: I suggest doubling this recipe (it makes about 5 3-block protein servings if you’re doing the Zone diet, and in my house it went pretty quickly!).

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 3 T fat (coconut oil works well here)
  • juice of 2 oranges*
  • zest from 1 orange
  • 1 t minced fresh ginger
  • 3 T coconut aminos or wheat-free soy sauce
  • 1 t chili garlic sauce or sriracha (you can find both in the Asian aisle of the grocery store — most have sugar but it’s a tiny amount, so I don’t worry about it when using such a small quantity)
  • 3 green onions, chopped

Instructions

In a medium-size sauce pot, add the orange juice, zest, ginger, coconut aminos, and chili garlic sauce or sriracha. Set over medium heat and let simmer to reduce and thicken while the chicken cooks.

In a saute pan or cast iron skillet, heat 3 T of the fat of your choice over medium-high heat. Add the chopped chicken thighs and cook until a nice brown crust has developed on the chicken pieces, about 6 minutes.

Add the chicken to the sauce pot and stir to coat with the orange sauce. Serve topped with sliced green onions. This goes well with cauliflower rice or steamed veggies (carrots or broccoli would be great!).

*Taste your oranges. If they don’t taste orange-y, then neither will this dish. Use tangerines if you gotta or add a teaspoon of sweetener until you’re satisfied with the flavor.

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Trina’s Ground Beef Picadillo

Today I’m happy to publish a recipe that I’ve been enjoying for months without sharing with anyone, partly because I’m a selfish jerk and partly because I haven’t been typing up recipes and posting them. Either way, today it goes public! Hooray! This picadillo recipe comes from the wonderful Trina , who says she grew up eating this dish and has tweaked her recipe over the years. Picadillo is a stew made with ground beef, slow-simmered in a tomato-based sauce, and punched up with salty capers and olives, that is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries. It’s delicious served over cauliflower rice or with any cooked veggies you have on hand. Thanks, Trina!

Mmm. Beefy.

Mmm. Beefy.

Trina’s Picadillo

From Trina:  “It’s always better the second day, so I make a big batch (1 1/2 times the recipe or 3 lbs of ground beef) and the boys will have it several nights in a row – definitely a family favorite.  I serve it over rice for them.  The only ingredient that isn’t “paleo” is the red wine.  I don’t use much, but wouldn’t leave it out.  I figure the alcohol cooks out, and seriously, what isn’t paleo about grapes? 🙂  When I increase the recipe, the only thing I don’t multiply are the capers and olives.  Everything else gets bumped up.”

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large red or green pepper, chopped
  • 1 28 oz can organic crushed salt-free tomatoes (I like San Marzano)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 heaping tsp crushed oregano
  • 1 3 oz bottle capers, drained
  • 1 10 oz jar of sliced olives with pimentos, drained (Roche Bros has these already sliced)
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce (there are several good paleo tomato sauces out there)
  • 2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 3 dashes hot sauce
  • 2 dashes nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Use a large, heavy pot with a cover or a Dutch oven, such as a Le Creuset.  Heat olive oil over medium heat, add beef, and cook until no longer pink.  Add onion, pepper, crushed tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, crushed oregano and capers.  Mix well and cook covered for about 10 minutes, on low to moderate heat.
  2. Add sliced olives, vinegar, wine, tomato sauce, hot sauce, and nutmeg.  Stir well and cook 5 minutes uncovered.  Add more vinegar/tomato sauce/hot sauce to taste.  The capers and olives are salty, so no need to add salt.
  3. Cover the pot and cook on low for about 30 minutes.  Serve over cauliflower rice with extra hot sauce.