You may favor the taste of Kung Pao Chicken in your local Chinese restaurant, but your waistline — or more importantly, your heart — might say otherwise. A normal serving of Kung Pao Chicken equals a staggering 1,400 calories and over 13 grams of fat, making this selection unfit for any diet. Instead, personalize this chicken fan-favorite to remove the fat and calories. Not only is this modified Kung Pao dish more delicious and flavorful, it is exceptionally healthy and packed full of nutrition. Get ready to make Kung Pao Chicken nutritious and healthy with these heart-healthy suggestions.
Delicious Kung Pao Chicken, Less Sauce
Most of the calories in Kung Pao Chicken come from two sources — the unroasted peanuts and Kung Pao’s famous sauce. Traditionally Kung Pao’s famous sauce consists of Hoisin Sauce, Oyster Sauce, and rich Sherry Wine, which easily puts Kung Pao in caloric mayhem. Tone down that mayhem by throwing out the Sherry, tossing away the Oyster Sauce, and replacing Hoisin with Szechuan. Szechuan is not as spicy as its counterpart, so make sure to pair it with ground red pepper. This cuts calories in half, upping its health value and making this sauce friendlier on the heart. Beware, though: Szechuan still packs a lot of sodium, so use it wisely.
More Vegetables, Cut Fat
Kung Pao Chicken is usually heavy on sauce and meat, less on vegetables and healthy additives. Make Kung Pao healthy by increasing the amount of vegetables. Typical favorites are celery and red bell peppers, which easily absorb the flavors from its Szechuan-inspired sauce. Double up these pairings for an extra boost in vitamins and healthy minerals. Don’t be afraid to add in extra vegetables also: broccoli and green peppers are great, healthy substitutes.
Lose the Peanuts
Peanuts are a focal point of this delicious chicken dish — unfortunately, it also accounts for half of its calories. Worse yet, peanuts offer little nutritional value compared to other nuts. Exchange peanuts for healthy, delicious crushed walnuts instead, which offer enough crunch with healthy benefits, including a healthy boost of antioxidants and healthy fats. You’ll find you’ll prefer this nutty version over the predecessor, which offers heart-healthy benefits on top of its nutty, addicting taste.
Ready to make your next Kung Pao dish healthy and delicious? It is possible to make this faved chicken dish healthy for any diet — all you need are a few simple modifications to make it Kung Wow!