Friday, June 25, 2010

Sweet Orange "Chickenless" and Tofu with Brown Rice

This is my own healthy version of Chinese take out. I think Americans have an obsession with that orange chicken type dish. I was set out to create something even more delicious, healthy and nutritious to help with that Chinese food craving. The sauce is sweet, slightly sour, orange deliciousness. And my sexy taste testing hubby gave this the thumbs up. He loved it, as did my kids! And while I preferred the tofu over the "chicken", he liked the "chicken" over the tofu. Feel free to throw in any vegetables you like. I just put carrots in mine, because that was what I had on hand. Also, the Nira (garlic chives) can be found at your Asian food markets, and they are so good and add something special to the dish. But, if you can't find any nira, you can use chives, just use way less. Only garnish with chives, instead of adding tons to the dish.

Sweet Orange "Chikenless" and Tofu over brown rice

What You Need:

1 Package extra firm tofu

1 package of Trader Joes Chickenless strips (if you can't find this product, sub in another package of tofu, or use the Gardein brand "chicken" breasts and cut into strips, or you could use seitan strips)

2 cups of Mixed veggies of your choice, carrots, broccoli, celery, snow peas, etc.

1/2 cup Nira (garlic chives) or regular chives, found at Asian Markets

a few Tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

3/4 cup of good quality not from concentrate orange juice, such as Naked Brand

3/4 cup of Sucanat (natural sugar cane)

2 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp Annies organic ketchup (this might seem weird, but it is the secret ingredient here!)

1 cup white vinegar

Japanese chili oil (optional, found at Asian Markets. You could also add a few (maybe 1/4 tsp) of crushed red pepper flakes to add a little heat.)

4 Tbsp. Arrowroot powder (this is an all natural thickening agent, and a better choice than cornstarch, although you could sub in cornstarch with the same results, just use 1/2 the amount, so 2 Tbsp. cornstarch)

Precooked brown rice

To Make Tofu:
Drain tofu, and cut into small cubes. Lay the tofu out on a cutting board along with the Chickenless and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. If you want to help eliminate some of the tofu moisture, you can toss the tofu in a little flour to coat a little.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat, and add a few Tbsp of Olive Oil. Brown the tofu and "chicken". Remove from the pan, and then add your veggies into the pan to warm through and cook a little, but not overcook.

To Make the Sauce:
In a saucepan, add all of your ingredients. Heat over low to warm through. Put 4 Tbsp. of arrowroot into a small dish, and add 1/2 cup of the warm sauce. Mix well to make sure there are no lumps. Add the arrowroot mixture into the sauce a little at a time and cook for 1 or 2 minutes to thicken sauce. You may not need to use all of the arrowroot/sauce mixture. Remove from heat.

In a large serving platter add your tofu, "chicken", veggies, and nira. Pour the sauce over and toss to coat everything.

This dish is great served family style at the table, so everyone can dish up for themselves.


  1. This recipe sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Nice and delicious combi with brown rice.Nice pic.

  3. Another awesome idea, you are on fire over there!

  4. I love Orange Sauce on Tofu/Chickenless-Chicken in a restaurant. I admire your energy to recreate it at home. I don't think I will risk it myself, but it's good to know it's possible.

  5. Thank you so much. I will definitely have to make this. My husband and I finally made the shift from being what we called conscious eaters to making the commitment to be vegetarian. This is one dish we both really love. I appreciate your work. I'm glad you got a mention on The Kind Life - You deserve it!

  6. You are keeping yourself busy in the kitchen.

    I have to admit that plate of food looks really 'meaty', but glad to note it is 100% vegan.

  7. I made this on Saturday and it was so good!! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. This looks really delicious! I'm going to bookmark the recipe.

  9. This dish looks delicious Morgan. I love the orange flavored Chinese dish too, so this is awesome to see a recipe that is healthy. I will definately make this YUMMY recipe. Thank you:)

  10. I just made this and my whole non-vegan family (I'm the only vegan) loved it! Sooo yummy.

  11. I just discovered your blog this week thanks to the feature on The Kind Life. You are my hero! Made this dish for dinner tonight and it is awesome. Your blog is my new menu planner! Also, your Rice 101 blog was ingenious. Best brown rice I've ever made.

    Keep up the good work! Can't wait to try the rest of your recipes!

  12. I want to make this but i dont have a store that carries Naked Brand OJ, can i use regular OJ or will that mess up the taste?

  13. Panda- Any good quality Orange Juice that is NOT from concentrate will work great. There is a brand called Simply Orange that is easy to find.