Low-Sugar Orange Chicken & Broccoli (Paleo, AIP, Whole 30 & Grain-Free Compliant)

Fresh flavors like orange and broccoli make this comfort food a classic.

Fresh flavors like orange and broccoli make this comfort food a classic.

Cravings. We all have them and they are certainly not the enemy.  In fact, usually cravings are often your body's way of telling you it needs a certain nutritional element like if you are craving chocolate, you may be low in magnesium.

Yet often times, cravings are emotional making us want to be comforted or brought back to happier times and memories. And I'm not taking about anything deep here, just a desire to feel a little better in that moment.

That was me this weekend. It was raining (again) and after an unsuccessful trip to IKEA, all I could think about was a big bowl of Chinese food like I grew up with. Sweet, sticky and filled with ingredients that probably wouldn't make me feel great.

That's the thing about giving into cravings, something I actually encourage (in moderation). Usually once we indulge a bit, we realize why we don't tend to do it more often as they often leave us feeling lousy.

So instead of giving in I came up with this versatile Low-Sugar Orange Chicken & Broccoli dish that is equal to a big bowl of comfort. It's AIP compliant, grain-free, gluten-free, Paleo and Whole 30 compliant if you remove the honey (which honestly, is not entirely necessary). Using organic chicken thigh meat means the chickens stays juicy and tender and goes great with a big bite of the slightly crunchy steamed broccoli.

Now next time you are having a craving for your favorite Chinese dish, try this and let me know how it is in the comments!

Low-Sugar Orange Chicken & Broccoli (Paleo, AIP, Whole 30 & Grain-Free Compliant)

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 35 Minutes

Cooking Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cubed

1/4 cup coconut aminos

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 teaspoon honey (omit for Whole 30 - the coconut aminos are sweet enough!)

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger)

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons scallions (green parts), divided

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon arrowroot powder (can also omit if desired, just let simmer a little longer so that sauce thickens)

1 head broccoli, trimmed into small florets & gently steamed

Optional:

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (if not following AIP)

Instructions:

1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos, orange juice, orange zest, honey, ginger, cloves, salt and 1 tablespoon of the scallions.

2. Add in the chicken and combine well to make sure chicken is evenly coated. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes but no longer than 8 hours.

3. When ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add coconut oil. When coconut oil is melted, add chicken, making sure to drain off any extra marinade into the original bowl (you will need the marinade shortly). Cook chicken 8 minutes, flipping once to make sure each side is seared.

4. After 8 minutes, add remaining marinade to the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in arrowroot powder and combine well. Cook for another 10 minutes until sauce is thickened and chicken is firm.

5. Add steamed broccoli to the skillet and toss to coat well.

6. Serve with remaining scallions and red chili flakes if using. Enjoy!