Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Everyday Food's Lighter General Tso's Chicken

For about a week now I've been going through my pile of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine. I grab a stack of them, sit on the couch and get lost. I've always loved this small, little, colorful magazine that is filled with quick, easy and fairly healthy recipes. Somehow this little magazine seems to get lost in my huge stack of large cookbooks and hardly ever finds it way into my kitchen. This week, I made it a point to add several Everyday Food recipes to my grocery list.

This lighter version of General Tso's Chicken comes from the October 2008 edition. Skinless, boneless chicken breast are coated in a light batter of cornstarch and egg whites.

The chicken is cooked in a hot skillet (two batches if necessary) with a minimum amount of oil for 6-8 minutes, or until golden.

Once the chicken is finished cooking, set it aside. The snow peas, aromatics, spices, and a mixture of cornstarch, water, and soy sauce are added to the hot skillet until the snow peas are tender and the sauce thickens. Once the snow peas are tender and the sauce thickens, toss the chicken back in to coat with the sauce and serve over cooked brown rice.

Lighter General Tso's Chicken

Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine, October 2008 Issue
Serves 4 (I say serves 8)
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

1-1/4 cups long-grain brown rice
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 large egg whites
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound boneless,skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (**I got away with using 1 tablespoon)

Cook rice according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water until smooth. Add snow peas, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, and red-pepper flakes; toss to combine, and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, remaining 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken, and toss to coat.

in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Lift half the chicken from egg-white mixture (shaking off excess), and add to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden, 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining oil and chicken, and set aside (reserve skillet).

Add snow-pea mixture to skillet. Cover; cook until snow peas are tender and sauce has thickened, 3-5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet (with any juices); toss to coat. Serve with rice.

Nutritional Info (based on 4 servings, reduce in half if serving 8)
: 532 calories; 10.4g fat; 36.5g protein; 72.2g carb; 5g fiber

This was a great recipe and the entire family enjoyed it. The recipe indicates that it serves 4, but it really does make a huge amount of food. I think it easily serves 8, which makes this a great dish if you have a large family and/or if you enjoy leftovers. We enjoyed this meal with some fresh pineapple on the side and found it very filling and satisfying. This is one of those meals that you actually feel good about serving your family because it is full of lean protein, whole grains, and veggies. I would definitely make it again.


  1. This does look good. And much healthier than the original type. I have snow peas in the freezer. Might have to add this to the menu next week.

    I've been trying to go through old cooking magazines too, making an effort to cook some thing from them. Hard to keep up!

  2. I feel the exact same way about the magazine!

  3. Kim, what a great healthy, tasty, recipe. My mouth was watering as I was reading it. I've never had General Tso's Chicken believe it or not, but I know it's really popular. I'd love to make this as my husband loves Asian food and he'd be so pleasantly surprised (I never make it). Thanks for sharing such a great recipe and low in fat to boot! Perfect!

  4. Its my new goal to cook something each month from the cooking magazines I get. We'll see how that goes.
    The looks like an easy way too enjoy Chinese at home.

  5. I love that this isn't some crazy battered and fried calorie OD! I'll have to try it, since I love Chinese Food but hardly ever order it due to the fat!
    p.s. I am a big Every Day Food fan, too! It makes up a big part of that huge magazine stack I have.

  6. I too have been going through all my torn out, clipped and bookmarked recipes - and I've discovered a TON of them from Everyday Food. Their recipes are always so good and easy for a weeknight. I had this recipe saved too, but hadn't gotten around to making it yet. Thanks for reminding me!

  7. I love Everyday Food, and i love this recipe. I'm going to book mark it :D
    *kisses* HH

  8. I always double the veggies when I make a dish like this to BULK IT UP! Love it. I haven't had general tso's in AGES because it's so bad when you buy it from the store. THIS is the solution.

  9. Definitely saving this, for if I ever get back ON the wagon. Sounds delish.

  10. Wow, great dish - Looks quite tasty

  11. I love homemade take out. It is a lot healthier for you too. Thanks for posting this. I will give it a try.

  12. Yum, this sounds great, Kim. The velveting method (the cornstarch/eggwhite thing) can be lightened even further if you then poach the chicken in simmering chicken broth instead of frying it. However you do it, this looks like a keeper.

  13. I haven't bought one of those little Martha magazines in a long time! This recipe looks quick and easy and delicious!

  14. I unfortunately buy those and then they sadly sit in my magazine basket. I really need to take your lead and sit down to read and enjoy. I am loving the flavors in this dish and I know my husband would as well. Another stellar dish from your kitchen!

    p.s. I owe you an email. My kids are off from school so I am working on a reply in spurts!

  15. I love the General's chicken, but know it is so fattening; this looks so much healthier! I like your idea of just going through one mag pile at a time; i'm in a super cleaning out mode and it's not even spring!

  16. I'm bookmarking this one to try later. This is the kind of meal my family loves, especially with the fresh ginger!

  17. This was my absolute favorite fast food dish as a teenager so it's so lovely to see a lighter version. And I'm with you on Everyday Food. It's a great little 'zine.

  18. It is a fun magazine but like you, I often set it aside. This looks yummy and I love that it is lighter/healthier too. ;-)

  19. I recently just started subscribing to Everyday Food! I can't wait to look at the first issue if it's filled with delicious recipes like this one!

  20. Seems lighter on the heat too, lol. The recipes I've seen for General Tso's usually use whole peppers and have warnings about opening the kitchen window;)

    This looks good, Kim. I never trust the "makes 4 servings" anymore. Servings for who, a hungry wolf?


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