healthy orange chicken meals

Friday Flavor: Orange Infused Crockpot Chicken

Another week is gone and another Friyay is upon us! We’re not sure about you guys but this week has been a douzy. We’re back for another Friday Flavor and this time one of Matt’s picks. Every weekend, Matt’s one craving? Chinese food. With the help of Trader’s Joe’s Orange Chicken (as we raved about here), we curbed that craving for a bit, but now he’s been asking for it again. 

American chinese food is cooked in loads of oil coated with tons of flour, making it very unhealthy. Both of these things, we don’t cook with for our weekly meals. So, we were up for the challenge of creating a more healthy dish around this favorite food. Keeping with what we introduced last week, we took this unhealthy dish and transformed it into something healthy.

healthy orange chicken

A lot of dishes accumulate extra calories when they add sauces. Most “orange chicken” sauces are easily over 15g of carbs per 2 tbsp serving (and that’s low)! Because we eat a lower carb diet, it’s hard to justify wasting carbs on sauces. Add on the flour coating on the chicken and deep fry it and you’ve got yourself quite the unhealthy dish. So our two keys to transforming this dish? One, make your own sauce and two, don’t fry the chicken in oil.

veggies

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve used the crock pot but we were crunched for time last weekend in making our meals so decided to give it a whirl. We threw together our own sauce, poured it on the chicken and were good to go.

healthy orange chicken
healthy orange chicken

This recipe ended up taking us very little time to prepare and put together. We paired it with sweet potatoes, and either cauliflower rice or baked green beans and voila, we were set for the week! 

healthy orange chicken meals

Ingredients: 

  • 2.5 cups of orange juice
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2-3 lbs chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Green Beans

Directions:

  1. In a sauce pan combine orange juice, coconut aminos, garlic powder, honey, and chicken broth
  2. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 min
  3. Meanwhile, cut chicken thighs into bite-size cubes and place in crockpot
  4. After sauce is ready, pour over chicken in the crockpot
  5. Cook for 4-5 hours on low or 2-3 hours on high
  6. When time is up, remove chicken and divide amongst containers for meals
  7. Optional – if you want to crisp up the chicken a bit heat up a wok to medium high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes a side, just enough to brown and crisp up the chicken a bit.
  8. Scoop out ½ cup of sauce mixture from crockpot and combine with tapioca flour 
  9. Transfer sauce from crockpot to a sauce pan and add in tapioca mixture
  10. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until a thicker sauce starts to form
  11. Pour desired amount of sauce on top of chicken 
  12. Serve with veggies and/or a starch and enjoy!
healthy orange chicken meals

We hope you enjoyed our healthier take on orange chicken. You may be missing the coating that normal American chinese food has but what you’re missing you make up for in flavor!

Enjoy and have a great weekend everyone!

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