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It can be difficult these days to write about anything so mundane as what to make for dinner. These are very troubled and disturbing times across the world and here at home. But eat we must. So I am especially happy when I can pass on something that is visually striking, quick to make, nutritious, delicious and riffable. Vegan Orange “Chicken” fits the bill on all levels.
I have used a chicken substitute here, which is the absolute fastest method. However, this can just as easily be prepared with pressed extra firm tofu. Check out the preparation for using tofu on Pick UP Limes. And frankly, the sauce, which I got from the blog Pick Up Limes is good enough for those of you who prefer to use real chicken. If you are unfamiliar with this blog, which is also on YouTube, and are thinking of trying some Vegan recipes, this is a great place to start. Everything I have made from here has worked as written and has been delicious.
While the world is going to hell in a handbasket (I never quite understood that phrase, but I love the way it sounds), we still have to nourish our bodies and those of ones we love. Even if you work full-time, this dish is put together in under 30 minutes, especially with a few shortcuts. Give it a try.
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
For the stir-fry
3 to 4 Tablespoons neutral oil (I like Avocado)
10 to 12 ounces of vegan diced chik’n (There are a number of brands out there now)
About 6 cups of broccoli florets (about 10 or 12 ounces or 1,050 gr, if buying it pre-cut) (IF you wish to use some other firm vegetable or even a mix of vegetables, go for it.)
2 to 3 scallions, cut on an angle, white and green parts
1 mandarin orange, peeled and broken into segments
For the sauce
1 cup (240 mL) orange juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp (10 mL) sriracha hot sauce
2 Tablespoons (30 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce or Amino Acids
½ Tablespoons (3 g) freshly grated ginger
½ Tablespoons (7 mL) rice vinegar
1 Tablespoons (8 g) cornstarch
½ Tablespoons (7 mL) agave or maple syrup, plus more to taste
Follow the package instructions for cooking the vegan chik’n. In my case, I heated on medium high heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or wok. Non-stick is best or a well-seasoned cast iron pan. I poured in the diced chik’n pieces, carefully breaking them into pieces, if frozen together. I cooked the pieces, stirring frequently, for half the amount of time stated on the package.
After 8 minutes (according to my package) I added another Tablespoon of oil and threw in my broccoli florets. I tossed everything through the oil and cooked for another 5 minutes.
While the vegan chik’n and broccoli is cooking, I prepared the sauce in a large measuring cup (or medium bowl). After whisking together the sauce so that there are no lumps of cornstarch, I poured it over the stir-fry mixture, mixing it through. I also added my mandarin sections. The heat was turned up to high and the sauce was brought to a low boil. If you don’t get the sauce hot enough, it won’t thicken. I continued cooking and coating everything with the sauce for 5 to 7 more minutes.
When I was ready to serve, I plated cooked brown rice (any rice will do) and generously ladled out the Vegan Orange “Chicken” over it. I scattered the cut scallions and enjoyed!