All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
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In case you haven’t heard – I wrote a HILARIOUS novel!!! Read all about it HERE.
I am not vegan but these Trader Joe’s faux meats are so inspiring to me! (UPDATE – Beyond Meat vegan chicken is even better!) I mean, if you CAN eat vegan easily & deliciously, why wouldn’t you? It isn’t like you can’t just go eat a burger or sushi tomorrow. In fact, a carnivorous friend of mine is on that VB6 (Vegan Before Six) diet and dropped thirty pounds effortlessly. Who among us wouldn’t like to a lose a few pounds while still feeling like the meals have been decadent?
Anyway – as I said before, I am not typically a fan of seitan or tempeh or the other faux meats out there unless they are used sparingly & in busy dishes like vegetarian chili or pasta with a meat sauce. One exception is soyrizo – which tastes pretty great but is very specific & can be overpowering.
This Spicy Vegan Orange Chicken takes about twenty minutes & is better than take-out. You might serve it with steamed broccoli or garlicky green beans and maybe use another variety of rice or quinoa. But try it because it is an easy, guiltless, guilty pleasure. Or – use real chicken – if you are a sissy.
Super Easy Spicy Vegan Orange Chicken
Rice (optional) – I bought mine already cooked at the local Thai restaurant
2 (8 oz) packages vegan chicken strips (or similar quantity of real chicken strips)
2 TBS cornstarch
2-3 TBS olive oil
Zest & juice of two oranges
2 TBS minced ginger
8 garlic cloves – minced
1 cup soy sauce
1-2 TBS crushed red pepper (or to taste)
3/4 cup brown sugar (or more, to taste, if you like it on the sweet side)
Scallions as garnish
If you are not cheating like I did (by buying cooked rice at a take-out joynt) – get your rice cooking. The rest should be done even before the rice is.
Zest & juice the oranges & set those aside.
Coat the chicken in cornstarch. Add the olive oil to a large saute pan & fry the chicken (vegan or otherwise) until it is browned on the outside. If using real chicken, be sure it is cooked through.
Remove the meat & set aside. If the pan requires it, add a bit more olive oil. Add the crushed red pepper, ginger, garlic & orange zest & stir for 30 seconds or so. Add the soy sauce. Measure the orange juice. If you have less than one cup – top it off to bring it up to a cup with water. Add that to the pan. Add the sugar & bring to a boil over high heat. If it doesn’t thicken very quickly (less than 5 minutes), simply take 1 tsp cornstarch & 1/4 cup water & blend them together & add to the sauce. It should thicken (at a boil) almost immediately. Lower to medium heat & add the chicken. If the sauce is too thick, add water. If it is still too thin, cook until it thickens. Serve with rice & sliced scallions as garnish – and with whatever veggie you prepared. I went purist & just ate this like you see with no veggie. It made for a pretty dense meal so I really suggest adding steamed broccoli, at least. Enjoy!