Who loves Chinese food?
Here is a super nutritious version of the very popular Chinese dish…. Kung Pao.
Kung Pao Chicken was one of my favorite entrées a few years back. It was always my choice at the Chinese buffet. Yes, that sea of food where you go and graze over tons of deep fried dishes that are loaded with unhealthy fats and MSG. (Monosodium Glutamate) To top that off, add a big ‘ole helping of white enriched rice. Then you leave there, stuffed to the gills and you can’t breathe because you have eaten too much. Been there? I have, many times.
This Kung Pao dish is a much healthier and nutritious meal. It has all the flavor of Kung Pao but, ramps up on nutrients by adding loads of veggies, cashews and brown rice. We had this meal last weekend and it reminded me again of how much I enjoy Chinese food. If you love Chinese food as well, you don’t have to give it up. You do not have to sacrifice flavor just because you want to eat a healthy diet. By adding several levels of flavor to a recipe you can satisfy your palate and stick to a clean diet.
Also, by replacing brown rice in recipes that call for white rice you are doing your body a big favor.
Here are a few comparisons of white and brown rice….
- Brown rice is a whole grain and is one of the healthiest types of grain you can eat. Whole grains are left in the their natural state and are unrefined.
- White rice has had the germ and the bran of the grain polished away, which takes away most of the nutritional value.
- Brown rice is full of nutrients such as Selenium, Magnesium and Manganese. Percentage wise, much more than white rice.
- White rice is low in fiber. Brown rice is high in fiber.
- White rice has more of an impact on blood sugar levels than brown rice.
- While white rice has less fat than brown rice, the fat content in white rice is primarily Omega-6 fatty acids, which is considered pro-inflammatory. Which we know, inflammation = disease.
|Kung Pao Vegetables and Brown Rice|| |
- 4 cups of cooked brown rice
- 2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large organic cauliflower head - cut into small bite-size pieces
- 1 organic red bell pepper - seeded and sliced
- 1 organic yellow bell pepper - seeded and sliced
- 1 cup of organic button mushrooms, sliced
- 1½ cups of organic sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
- 1 Tbsp. of fresh ginger - minced
- 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
- 5 scallions, chopped. White and green parts
- 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- ⅓ cup of raw cashews
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 2 Tbsp. of rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. of organic low sugar tomato ketchup
- 4 Tbsp. of gluten free soy sauce
- 1-2 Tbsp. of honey or organic cane sugar
- ¼ cup of filtered water
- 3 tsp. of arrowroot powder (for thickening)
- Cook brown rice according to package directions in a rice cooker or on the stove top.
- Wash and chop all of the veggies.... Cauliflower, red and yellow peppers, ginger, mushrooms, snap peas, garlic and scallions.
- In a small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, honey (or sugar), water and arrowroot powder. Set sauce aside.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium -high heat. Add chopped cauliflower and toss in oil. Cook, stirring often until slightly softened and browned. Approximately 5-8 minutes. Remove the cauliflower from the pan and set aside.
- Add the other Tbsp. of olive oil to the skillet and reduce to medium heat. Add the peppers, mushrooms, snap peas to the pan and cook, stirring often until slightly softened. Approximately 5-8 minutes. Do not over cook.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add ginger, garlic and scallions to the pan. Toss with other veggies and cook 1-2 minutes.
- Place the cauliflower back into the skillet and pour the sauce into the skillet over the veggies.
- Add the crushed red pepper and cashews to the skillet and simmer for 5-7 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
- Remove skillet from heat and serve vegetables and sauce immediately over brown rice.
*This recipe was adapted from a recipe on the blog http://www.eatgood4life.com/ Great blog….Check it out.
**Information on comparisons of brown and white rice were found at http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/