Forget takeout, this is FAKEout! I’m kicking off the weekend with one of my absolute favorite dinners, Orange Sesame Chicken served with perfectly steamed broccoli. Because when Friday night rolls around, I can’t help but to think about something a little more fun for dinner… except I don’t want to feel awful afterwards.
That’s what’s so cool about this recipe – I came up with it as a real food version of my classic takeout favorite. And not to brag, but I’m getting pretty good at re-inventing classic Chinese takeout recipes (just check out my Kung Pao Chicken. But the best part? My kids LOVE it. They can be picky sometimes, sure, but they like this recipe a lot. And it makes me really happy to see them enjoying good meals made with whole ingredients.
A few years back, when I first made this Orange Sesame Chicken and Broccoli, I was really struggling with food boredom during my very first round of Whole30. For days, I lost my appetite completely, felt super blasé about pretty much everything, and it just didn’t seem to end. But there was a mistake I was making – I was eating the same exact foods, the same flavors, over and over again. I wasn’t going out of my comfort zone with my meals. Eggs for breakfast. Tuna for lunch. Burgers for dinner. Even when I switched things up, the flavors were pretty much the same. Lots of garlic, hot sauce, EBB seasoning, and that was it. I knew that was the culprit but I somehow couldn’t will myself to do anything about it. Wasn’t it enough that I willingly gave up bread, my absolute favorite thing ever?? Side note: Food Freedom Forever hadn’t yet been released — when I read it, soooo many more “ah hah!” moments.
So anyway, there I was, 18 days in to my Whole30 and wondering why I wasn’t able stay motivated or focused on my goals. Big DUH, right? So I decided I’d have to put some work in. That the whole point was to feel better. I thought… maybe I’ll just try at least one new recipe per week. To Pinterest, I went.
It was hard, of course. To push myself when I didn’t feel like pushing. It still is! There are so many days when I just don’t have it in me. But it’s important to me to at least try, and most of the time, I do. And the times I don’t? Well, that’s okay too. Part of my food freedom is letting go of any kind of guilt that surrounds my food choices.
Now, when I try a new recipe, it’s not always a hit. But sometimes I discover something really great, which is basically the most exciting thing ever. And the times it’s a total failure, I remind myself to try again, that the struggle is worth it. And you know what? It gets a little easier. That’s a big NSV in my book, and it carries over into my food freedom– a new frame of mind!
Whole30 Orange Sesame Chicken and Broccoli
Try this a great dinner recipe for a clean and delicious Whole30 take on Chinese takeout. Kid friendly and super flavorful! The sauce freezes perfectly – just double the recipe and save half for another day!
Chicken & Broccoli
- 2 lbs chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 cup orange hoisin sauce see below⠀
- 4 cups broccoli florets⠀
- 1 tsp salt⠀
- 1 tsp pepper⠀
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 green onions, sliced
Orange Hoisin Sauce ⠀
- 2 tbsp compliant almond butter⠀
- zest and juice of 1 orange ⠀
- 2 cloves garlic⠀
- ½ inch peeled ginger, about 1 tsp
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar⠀
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste⠀
- 3-4 dates⠀
- ¼ cup coconut aminos⠀
- ½ tsp Chinese five spice seasoning
- 2 tsp sesame oil⠀
- ½ tsp chili powder⠀
- 1 tsp salt⠀
- ½ tsp pepper ⠀
Chicken & Broccoli
Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces, about 1 inch.
Add the ghee to a large skillet over high heat, and add in the chicken. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until mostly cooked through.
Add the sauce to the pan, bring to a simmer, and allow to cook in the sauce for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a separate skillet, steam the broccoli over medium heat for 5-6 minutes or until bright green (careful not to overcook it).
Serve by plating the chicken and broccoli, then top each serving with green onions and sesame seeds.
Orange Hoisin Sauce
Add all the ingredients to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and allow to simmer for about five minutes, then pour into your blender or food processor.
Blend on high until smooth and strain through cheesecloth (not 100% necessary, but I like the texture better). Thin with more orange juice is necessary to get the desired consistency.
When I make this, I like to double the recipe for just the Orange Hoisin sauce. It freezes great and makes for a fantastic & quick dinner down the road!
Side note: If you’re looking for new ideas to add to the rotation or to find some cooking inspiration, hit up Pinterest. Come follow me while you’re there– I only pin clean & mouthwatering recipes!
This Orange Sesame Chicken is definitely a winner – it’s my most made recipe to date, and it always gets great reviews! Have you made this before? Let me know what you think and leave a review in the comments section below! And be sure to check out some of my other Whole30 Compliant Recipes!