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Paleo Orange Chicken

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This dish is a revelation for healthy eating.  It has no breading, not even a thickener for the sauce, doesn’t require frying, is naturally sweetened with fresh squeezed juice alone, contains only healthy fat, and yet it is so. delicious.

And guess what?  It is yet another way to use virgin coconut oil!  I’ll be drawing the winner for the Tropical Traditions oil at midnight tonight (click here to enter the giveaway if you haven’t yet), so I decided to sneak in another recipe that uses it before I did.  I myself just got a gallon of it (happy happy, joy joy! Thank you to those who made first-time purchases through my links, that’s how I earned it!), so you can be sure I’ll be posting many more recipes using it.

Full disclosure: for the record, I mainly cook with/eat extra virgin olive oil, just so you don’t think I’ve devoted my life to saturated fat, even if it is a healthy one.  :)  Also, for the record, I am not on the Paleo diet, but am all for eating healthy.  And lastly, this was Den’s plate, as I had no rice on mine because I’m not eating starches right now. </TMI>

As for this chicken, I don’t have much to add beyond that it was incredible.  It is sweet, even without refined sugars of any kind, and packed with flavor.  I have to admit I totally forgot to include the sriracha (*sob* we love spicy, how could I?), which probably would have improved the consistency so that it coated the pieces a little better, but it was still great even without it. Who needs fried chicken pieces drenched in a sickeningly sweet syrup sauce when eating healthy tastes even better?  Move over, take-out!

Paleo Orange Chicken

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (cut into bite size pieces)
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
juice of 2 oranges*
zest from 1 orange
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or sriracha
3 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)

In a medium-sized saucepan, add the orange juice, zest, ginger, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce or sriracha. Set over medium-high heat and let simmer to reduce and thicken while the chicken cooks. In a large saute pan, heat the coconut oil 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. If your chicken pieces are really close together, you’ll likely have a lot of water in the pan (it doesn’t evaporate as well), and you should drain the excess liquid off to help the pieces brown.  Remove from heat and if the sauce is ready (it will be reduced to very little, coating just the bottom of the pot, thick and almost like a glaze), add the chicken to the saucepan and stir to coat with the orange sauce. Serve topped with sliced green onions.

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

Recipe source: Health-Bent


Hot Mustard Recipe

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Are you getting sick of my spice blend and condiment posts?  Well, not to worry, this is the last one (for now) and I saved the best for last.

My hubby is obsessed with the hot mustard you get at Chinese restaurants.  He simply can not eat Chinese food without hot mustard and chopsticks.  So a couple of years ago I bought him some plastic chopsticks and some hot mustard powder at our Asian market so he could eat the stuff I served without noticing how awful it was.  Worked like a charm!  We just mixed the powder with water and ta-da!  Mustard so hot it made our eyes burn and totally masked the flavor of the food we were eating.  Perfect.

However, the powder eventually ran out and the hubby was very sad.  I don’t go to the Asian market often so he suffered in silence for a while, until a knight in shining armor came along to rescue him from his hot-mustardless Chinese food.  My friend Dewey (the same Dewey of one-minute mayonnaise fame) let me in on a secret.  Do you know what’s in hot mustard?  Just two ingredients.  Ground mustard and water.  (!)  When you mix the two, a chemical reaction occurs which makes the mustard very hot.  That prepared mustard you put on your hot dogs and sandwiches has vinegar in it, which neutralizes the heat.  How cool (or hot, in this case) is that?  That is science-cool!

I checked the label on that empty “hot mustard” powder tin and found that, indeed, the only ingredients were ground mustard and turmeric (for added color).  So I tested Dewey’s “recipe” and sure enough, it’s just like the stuff you get at the restaurants!  It’s enough to make me want to do a little happy dance.

Hot Mustard
Printable recipe

2 parts Ground Mustard Seed
1 part Water

Put as much mustard powder into a small bowl as you think you’ll need and add half that amount in water.  I used 2 teaspoons of mustard, 1 teaspoon of water and that was enough for two meals. Store extra in the fridge.  Dewey says maximum heat is reached after 30 minutes, but it will be very hot instantly per our experience.  He also says that the heat will diminish over time, but the extra we stored in the fridge overnight seemed just as hot the next day and we’ve stored hot mustard in the fridge for up to a month and it was still pretty hot so it apparently never gets mild over time, just loses some of that pungent intense heat after a while.

Recipe source: Dewey B.

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