Everyone knows that "steamed" is the way to go when eating Chinese food out. But when you're home, well, steaming your Asian chicken is for the birds (not literally). Why? Because it's TOO easy to create a saucy, spicy, wonderful dish that has a tiny fraction of the calories and fat of restaurant versions. See below for proof -- and feel free to experiment using all sorts of other veggies (green beans, carrots, bean sprouts, broccoli) and lean protein (shrimp, lean steak, tofu, and even lean pork tenderloin ROCK Kung Pao style!). OK, enough yapping, check it out...
Ingredients: 2 tbsp. reduced-sodium or lite soy sauce 1 1/2 tbsp. rice vinegar 2 tsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated) 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch 1 tsp. red chili sauce, or more to taste 8 oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, cubed 3/4 cup mushroom chunks 3/4 cup bell pepper chunks (red and/or green) 1/2 cup chopped celery 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 tsp. minced garlic 1/4 cup sliced & halved canned water chestnuts, drained 1 tbsp. chopped dry-roasted unsalted peanuts Salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, to taste
Directions: To make the sauce, combine 2 tbsp. cold water with soy sauce, vinegar, Splenda, cornstarch, and chili sauce. Stir until all ingredients have dissolved. Set aside.
Spray a large skillet or wok with nonstick spray, and bring to medium-high heat. Add chicken, mushrooms, bell peppers, celery, onion, garlic, and 2 tbsp. water. Stirring occasionally, cook for about 5 minutes, until chicken is almost fully cooked but still tender.
Add water chestnuts and peanuts to the skillet/wok. Raise heat to high, give sauce a stir, and add it to the skillet/wok as well.
Mix entire dish until all ingredients are coated in sauce, and the sauce is hot and thick. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
Kung Pao Chicken isn't battered, deep-fried, or loaded with noodles like some other Chinese dishes. So why does it have super-high nutritionals? Thanks to a thick sugary sauce and a fair share of fatty peanuts, Kung Pao Chicken can be a calorie-counter's nightmare. Sure those peanuts may pack in healthy fats, but in our opinion, those so-called "good fats" lose all their cred when they're drowned in tons of oily sauce and presented in scary portion sizes. While the stats below represent an average single portion of Kung Pao Chicken, many restaurants tend to serve up enormous platters of the stuff that tip the scales with well over 1,000 calories and more than 50 fat grams! PLUS, this dish almost always comes with a side of rice -- so expect to add in an extra 240 calories or so for every cup of white rice you swallow. Luckily, you can now enjoy the spicy-sweet Asian sensation known as Kung Pao Chicken without any guilt -- in your very own kitchen -- thanks to HG's WOW Kung Pao recipe! And we say skip the rice (or opt for a bit of the fiber-packed brown variety) -- try adding some rinsed & drained Tofu Shirataki noodles to the skillet or wok at the last minute for some stir-fried noodle goodness!
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