It's Friday, and that means I am going to want to treat myself with a guilty dinner tonight! I pretty much always work Friday nights, so once I get off work I make a bee line for the nearest Panda Express. I don't know what it is about the fried rice, spicy kung pao chicken and tender zuchinni but I always get a craving for it on Fridays!
However, did you know that for one 9.3 oz serving (so basically a little over 1 cup) of the fried rice it's 520 calories???? And for the kung pao chicken a 6oz serving is 300 calories! YIKESSS!!! I'm down to splurge every once in awhile, but I knew I needed to make a healthier option!
A few weeks ago, I played around with a few versions of kung pao chicken. The winning recipe is made in the slow cooker so it can sit and cook all evening while I'm at work. Simply whip up some brown rice, sauté some zucchini and BAM! A low calorie version of my favorite Friday night dinner!
The key to that pretty golden "fried" look on the chicken is to brown the chicken bits in a little cornstarch before adding to the crock pot!
Slow Cooker Kung Pao Chicken
Makes 4 servings
- 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (reduced sodium)
- 1 cup hoisin sauce
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Sriracha sauce for serving
- Cooked brown rice
- Vegetable mix (zucchini, carrots, onions etc..)
Add chicken and cornstarch to a large bowl. Toss to coat the chicken with the cornstarch. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken to the skillet and cook chicken until just golden. Pour the chicken into the slow cooker. Add minced garlic to the slow cooker as well.
In a medium bowl, add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil and red pepper flakes and whisk until combined. Pour sauce to the slow cooker with the chicken. Stir to coat chicken. Cook on low for 2-3 hours
Sprinkle sesame seeds and green onions on top of the chicken before eating! Add Sriracha to taste. Serve with brown rice, zucchini or any other vegetable mixture you would like!