Kung Pao Chicken Tacos

I didn’t sleep well the night before last. So my alarm going off at 6:30 a.m. came and went. I had my lunch ready to go, but still needed to put my gym clothes and breakfast together. I got up at 7:30. Went to turn on my cell phone and two messages popped up – one secretary called in sick, the other was from the office manager asking if I can get to the office by 8:00 to notarize some documents.

Um, it takes me 30 minutes to drive to work. I was still in my pajamas! Guess what time I was in the car by?? 7:36! Yep, six minutes from sleep to driving – rest assured I did not look very pretty. But, I knew I was working out and my shower would just be delayed for a few hours. 😀

So after I finished what I had to do, I realized I needed to pick up something for breakfast. Subway is across the street, so I went there. Do you know about Nutritionix? It’s a Subway nutrition calculator. I ended up getting the black forest ham flatbread with egg white, provolone, cucumber, green peppers, banana peppers, spinach, pickles and hot sauce.

subway

While this super filling breakfast sammie comes in at 420 calories, 13 fat, 47 carbs, 3 fiber and 29 protein, guess what else this sammie comes with??

2,000 mg of sodium!!

Skippy, if you are reading this, don’t ever go to Subway for breakfast – that’s your sodium intake for a week! But as I pick apart the sandwich, um turns out deli ham, pickles, banana peppers and hot sauce have a shit load of sodium. Let’s just say that I drank a TON of water yesterday. My pee actually had no color by the end of the day! Hopefully you aren’t eating your breakfast or lunch as you read that last sentence. Winking smile

I structured my blood sugar perfectly so that it was 239 before my lunch workout. To get some more miles in my 170 mile six week challenge, and to increase my stamina, I did 3 miles on the treadmill. I started out with a 5 minute warm-up, and ended up walking 3 minutes, running 2 until I finished.

3 miles

It will probably be a couple more weeks until I can run 30 minutes without stopping, but hopefully each day I’ll get a bit better. By the time I got back to work, my blood sugar was 85 – nice!

Holy amazeballs. My lunch was awesome. I hadn’t even flipped through my Cooking Light magazine yet before Nicole already posted this on her blog: Kung Pao Chicken Tacos. I like spicy shit. I like tacos. Winning!

I did switch it up just a bit to make two servings instead of four. Tony wouldn’t touch this with a 10-foot pole. So with the second half of the kung pao chicken I am going to have it with steamed brown rice and stir fry veggies. I also divided the chicken nutrition separate from the tortillas, since there are so many different ones out there. Mine are LaTortilla Factory low carb tortillas – two are 120 calories.

Kung Pao Chicken

  • 2 servings – 338 calories, 17 fat, 17 catbs, 3 fiber and 30 protein

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces diced boneless, skinless, chicken breast
  • 1.5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1/8 cup + .75 teaspoon cornstarch, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 stalks of celery, diagonally cut
  • 4 teaspoons dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • .75 tablespoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (chile paste)
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha (my addition, you knows I love the spice!)
  • 1 orange pepper, sliced in strips

Directions:

1. Put the chicken in a bowl and toss ½ a tablespoon of soy sauce. Add 1/8 cup of cornstarch and toss to coat well.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat with canola oil. Add chicken and sauté for about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Here’s how I did things differently: I then sautéed my pepper and celery, to make it almost like a kung pao fajita. Cook just until the peppers start to brown and wilt a bit – about 5-6 minutes.

4. Here’s the next thing I did differently: the instructions said to add the remaining cornstarch, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, vinegar and chile sauce to a microwave save bowl and microwave on high for 1 – 1.5 minutes, until thickened, then pour over the chicken. The first time? It burned. I started over, cooked for 30 seconds, and it was still an unusable paste. Lastly, I mixed the cornstarch, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, vinegar and chile sauce and just mixed well and added the sauce to the peppers and celery in the pan, then tossed in the chicken and cooked for an additional minute.

I served my tacos: 2.5 ounces chicken per taco, split the celery and peppers between the tacos, then added 1 teaspoon crushed peanuts to each taco, and finished it off with a bit more sriracha.

In my rush to get out of the house this morning, I forgot to grab my camera, but I hope this picture entices you to make this. Such a combination of flavors: salty/sweet/spicy. I never would have though to put Chinese food in a tortilla, but this was delicious. All together these two tacos come in at: 458 calories, 20 fat, 36 carbs, 16 fiber (thanks to the low carb tortillas!) and 35 protein.

kung pao

I will definitely be making these again – soon!

Now that the weather is cooler, my mind immediately jumps to fall comfort food.  Tony loves beef stroganoff, so when I saw a recipe for stove top stroganoff, I was all over it.  Even though it’s a Cook’s Illustrated recipe, I decided to tweak it a bit.  I reduced the oil to 2 teaspoons vs. 4 tablespoons, and I cooked the egg noodles on the side and incorporated it in at the end.

The recipe also called for sirloin tips, which I couldn’t find, but I found this sirloin tip roast – only $6!  I ended up cutting up 1 pound in the meat and I’ll use the leftovers to make Italian beef sandwiches next week.

strog 002

strog 003

Guess what people?  I am starting to like mushrooms!  I’ve always loved the flavor and smell of mushrooms, its just been a texture thing.  The only problem with this dinner?  The sauce was kind of soupy.  It never thickened up, even when I pureed some mushrooms sauce and pasta to kind of thicken it up.  I told Tony later that maybe the reason it didn’t thicken up was because I skipped the step of adding the raw noodles to the sauce to cook – maybe the starch from the pasta thickens the sauce?

The flavor was there, but I am going back to the drawing board on this one.  My guestimate is this plate is:  456 calories, 20 fat, 40 carbs, 2.4 fiber and 26 protein.

strog 006

And then I got snacky later on.  WTF?!  I ate a serving of sweet potato straws:

sweet

These took me by surprise because I expected a salty treat, but these are sweet and have like a cinnamon coating on the outside – good news is 34 straws is 120 calories!

But then I had a small sliver of carrot cake – I am finally taking it to work today to get it out of the house!  These two snacks added 300 calories to my total caloric intake. Sad smile

Stats for Tuesday:

  • 1634 calories, 62 fat, 175 carbs, 21 fiber and 93 protein
  • 15 minute walk with the dog
  • 45 minutes on treadmill – 3.2 total miles
  • average blood sugar 155
  • 165.8 miles left in 170 mile challenge

I have probably the best potato soup I’ve ever made for lunch today – come back tomorrow for the recipe!  And tonight’s dinner?  Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza!

Make it a great day!

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24 thoughts on “Kung Pao Chicken Tacos

  1. That’s the one place (Subway) I just can’t bring myself to go anymore. People are always like “you can eat out, there’s Subway!” and I laugh and say “look who fell for the marketing!” I like their turkey breast sub but dang man the sodium is quite insane. I can’t believe that breakfast sandwich was so high! The chicken sounds good. I’ve been craving chinese food lately too. Yum!

  2. Wow! That is a getting ready record! You are awesome. I haven’t been to subway in ages. I used to live near one in college and I can still smell the bread haha. Holy sodium….thank goodness for lots of water to counter balance. Have a good one

  3. wow…I dont think I could ever be ready in 6 minutes! lol It takes me at least 30 to drink my coffee…lol

    I think I once made that stroganoff recipe, and didn’t like it. I can’t remember why. Maybe it was the same as your reason.

    I usually only eat one thing at subway, turkey and ham, no cheese, all veggies except jalapenos and light mayo and vinegar as the dressing. I should pop that into the calculator and see what comes up! when you try to eat healthy, there is always a killjoy isn’t there? lol

  4. Wow–these look like some fantastic dishes! I am definitely going to try the Kung Pao Chicken (pinning now!) . . . and like you, the spicier, the better!!!

  5. Kung Pao Chicken is my favorite! OMG $2,000mg of sodium is insane!

  6. I can get ready fast if necessary (and yes, I’ve had that adrenaline-inducing rush of waking up and realizing that the alarm didn’t go off), but 6 minutes? That’s impressive!

  7. Your kung pao tacos look and sound great. I too love me some tacos! And spice and heat 🙂 Can’t wait for the potato soup recipe. The deep dish pizza sounds super!

  8. For sure that sodium can be the killer in anything we eat. I am always checking the labels to see how much sodium and sugar is in the package, can or bag. No wonder we are an obese nation what with all the sodium and sugars that are packed into the food we eat.

    4 grams of sugar = on sugar cube
    So if something you eat or drink has 36 grams of sugar that is 9 sugar cubes!!!

    As usual your food looks delicious. Mushrooms, my favorite. Used to hate them when I was younger, but now mushrooms on everything thank you!!

  9. I want those tacos now! You have burst my bubble with the high sodium in the subway breakfast. I don’t salt anything unless I am baking but I guess my breakfast sandwich on weekend mornings more than makes up for it.

    I too have been super “snacky”. I am not a happy camper about it. Thank goodness you put out the challenge.

  10. The kung pao chicken tacos need to get in my belly ASAP!

  11. 2000 mg??????? OMG!!!!!!!!

  12. Kung pao anything is so good! I need to make those too!

  13. I read a book called “Mindless Eating” that said Subway has a “health halo” to some people – it’s marketed as being healthy (and some choices *are* healthy), but that doesn’t mean EVERYthing there is.

    Holy sodium! I never realized.

  14. The Subways in our area are having a free coffee and breakfast sandwich promotion so we get to enjoy free subway this week!

    Saw this and thought of you…it’s a 2 ingredient pizza dough! Only flour + greek yogurt! http://www.kidspot.com.au/best-recipes/Budget+23/2-ingredient-pizza-dough-recipe+2760.htm

  15. This sounds delicious! I can’t wait to try them for our family!!

  16. I love the idea of Chinese food in a tortilla. Especially since those are my two favorite foods!!

  17. OK I am reading reading reading to see how your doctor’s appointment went with the surgeon. Everything go ok? I love the idea of the breakfast wontons in the previous post- my kiddos may like something like that!

  18. My stomach is pretty ticked right now and it’s grumbling at me b/c you’re eating all the stuff it wants but I’m telling it that we need to go to bed. haha! Those tacos sound so good! When I made stroganoff, I added flour to the sauce to thicken but my recipe didn’t have the noodles cooked with it-maybe that would have thickened it like you said.

  19. 6 minutes? Wow speedy Gonzales you are in the mornings 🙂

    It’s every day a pleasure to open your blog and see your food pics. You’re such a good cook. I wish we were neighbours, guess who would be sitting at your dinner table every night 🙂 ?

  20. […] back to my office, it was 75 and I was hangry!  I ended up having 3/4 a serving left of the kung pao chicken from my tacos earlier in the week.  I stir fried some broccoli slaw and broccoli, then […]

  21. Hell that is a lot of sodium! I did the stats for my veggie sub and it is still pretty high, almost 700. Kung Pao tacos sound amazing.

  22. I always have a problem with sauces not thickening, I just rely on some corn starch slurry if I get desperate. It does look delicious though and so do the tacos. Tom would be with Tony off eating something else 🙂

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