Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!
I am so excited to share my General Tso’s Chicken dinner with you guys! I have been perfecting this one for a couple of weeks now and I think it’s finally time to share the goodness. We cannot seem to keep it in the house. It’s so good we keep going back for seconds. We even fight over the last bites, although I usually let JJ have the last bite because let’s be honest, I ate half of the meal as I cooked, plated and photographed it, so it’s only fair.
This version of General Tso’s is gluten-free, easy to make and overall delicious. I’m obviously biased but it has made my house smell divine. I’ll be sad when my next meal takes over the current nutty and comforting smell. Don’t worry, this meal can also be made nut-free (I actually used sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter) so it’s safe for school & the masses.
Working on Balance
You might be wondering why I’m sharing such an indulgent recipe. Or not, but let’s just pretend you are curious.
I get a lot of questions on what I eat for food and meals. People assume I eat veggies and meat and that’s it. They think I eat perfectly and at the same time, that I judge them for not. That is so very FAR from the truth. I may be a dietitian, but I am also human. Yes, I strive to eat as healthy as I can. However, there are times where I too, fall victim to sugar, carbs, alcohol and treats galore. It happens and I don’t feel guilty for it.
Why? Because food should be nourishing not punishing. Healthy, not obsessive. Positive, not negative. This is not giving you the green light to go all “YOLO” on me and eat like an idiot. Instead, it is giving you the option to reframe the way you look at food and how you feed yourself.
Now, some people need to be all or nothing. Allergies, disrupted gut health, autoimmune conditions, etc. require a more rigid diet. I’m not giving you the liberty to just say F-it and go ham on everything that harms you. However, it is important for us to strive to have a healthy relationship with food, and striving for this balance is key.
Instant Pot Saves Dinner
I could go on forever about finding this balance in our diets. However, it’s time to share a recipe that I’m currently digging and not feeling guilty for. I will most likely keep balance and food positivity a theme as I’ve become more aware that we have forgotten how to do this. So, stay tuned.
I have to say, owning an Instant Pot has saved many a dinner at my house. There are days I don’t get home from the gym until after 7 (sometimes 8) and because of this, that or the other thing dinner is NOT ready. Instant Pot saves so much time AND produces a good end product. I have never had meat taste better either. And no, I’m not sponsored or paid to say any of this, just my good ol sassy opinion.
I know you are probably sick of hearing about it, but I encourage you to get the Instant Pot or some other form of a pressure cooker. It cuts your cook time down by a ridiculous amount, makes your food taste like you’re on a cooking show AND it’s pretty dang easy to clean (especially when your friend cleans it for you…)
General Tso’s Chicken
Ok enough of the teasing, it’s recipe time! This traditional deep fried Chinese American dish is usually an unhealthy option thanks to the breading, frying and lack of anything remotely shaped like a vegetable. The good news is this version of General Tso’s chicken is anything but fried and pairs nicely with whatever veggie and/or starch you have in the house. Win-win.
I have it paired with white rice, green onions and I also made some peppers and onions (not showed) to go with it. You could also serve it over cauliflower rice with some green veggies, or not, it’s up to you.
Pro Tip: This could be made in a slow cooker, you would just need to set the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.Print
- 1–1-1/2 lb chicken, chopped
- 3 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- Pinch of salt & pepper (add to chicken)
- 2 Tbsp water
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1/2 c soy sauce/tamari
- 3 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter/sunflower butter
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (more or less depending on desired heat)
- 2 tsp + 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- pinch black pepper + salt
- Sesame seeds, optional
- Green onions, optional
- Place chicken in a large bowl or plastic bag and add 3 Tbsp cornstarch + pinch of salt & pepper, toss to coat, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sunflower/peanut butter, honey, hot sauce, red pepper, 2 tsp sesame oil, and salt & pepper, set aside.
- Place remaining 1 Tbsp of sesame oil in Instant Pot, set to saute (on high) and then place chicken in, browning all sides (chicken does not need to be cooked through)
- Cancel saute function once chicken browned on all sides, pour in sauce over chicken, close lid, set to poultry setting for 7 minutes and cook.
- Once done, use natural release function for 10 minutes, open the vent, cancel the function and open lid.
- In a small bowl, mix remaining 2 Tbsp cornstarch & water, set aside.
- Put Instant pot on saute function, stir in cornstarch and allow to thicken for 3-4 minutes.
- Serve over rice and top with green onions & sesame seeds.
Pin Now, Tso Later