New Year’s Thoughts and a Recipe for Easy Kung Pao Chicken

This is my first recipe post of the New Year! It feels great to be back in my own kitchen again. I had a wonderful holiday in California, but it feels good to be back in a routine. I am excited about planning my menu again, trying new recipes, and creating a few too. My husband and I got a Canon Digital Rebel XTi Camera for Christmas (how sweet is that!) from his parents and I am still trying to convince him that is 60% mine and only 40% his. haha. I also got an external flash for the Canon and a Graslon flash diffuser. (Which is actually really great for food photography, no need to stick the whole plate in a lightbox anymore.) I was using a point and shoot camera on Gluten Free Mommy until now (the spring roll pic below was taken in the Fall and the chocolate cake pic last Spring with the point and shoot camera also). I have several resolutions for the New Year and improving the food photography at Gluten Free Mommy is definitely one of them. I would love to be able to take better pictures of the food I make- part of the reason people try a recipe is because of how good the food looks in the photo! I am excited about participating in Karina’s Flickr group of Gluten Free Food pictures. Yum.

In the New Year, I would like to continue posting easy recipes for the average cook. A lot of people who start a gluten-free diet did not cook much before they went on a gluten-free diet or are moms (like me!) who want to cook but can’t be in the kitchen for hours everyday. Every now and then I will throw you guys a challenge, but I know most of us are looking for weeknight meals or holiday recipes that can be made without a lot of fuss or going to eight different grocery stores for ingredients. I also try to cook and eat seasonally, but I do reach for frozen blueberries in January (so sue me). There is just not a whole lot my toddler will eat that is seasonal! Parsnips- oh please! Jude will not touch them. I will try to throw parsnips in a soup later and see if my budding food detective will eat them. Not likely!

I am going to continue the Gluten Free Menu Swap because I LOVE reading everyone’s menu on Monday and it inspires me to create my own menu for my family. The Gluten Free Menu Swap is back on for Monday. I will host the first one and my ingredient of the week is….PARSNIPS. Go run and hide, Jude! If you would like to take a turn at hosting the Gluten Free Menu Swap, please email me when you would like to host and what ingredient you would like to showcase. I have learn something new about each ingredient every week we do the swap. If you want to participate for the first time, don’t be shy! If you want to submit a menu only sporadically that is cool- there is no reason you have to do a menu every week. All you need to do is email the host of the week (found on the swap page) and make sure you link back to the host. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to comment and let me know what you are making that week. I always need ideas about what to make for dinner and I would love to hear from you.

My favorite recipes for 2007 on Gluten Free Mommy

chocolate cake4 New Years Thoughts and a Recipe for Easy Kung Pao Chicken

Lighter than Air Chocolate Cake (flourless)

No Frills Chocolate Cake

Thai Chicken Wraps

Pumpkin Chicken (or Beef) Enchiladas

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Apple Crisp

Just a Few Recipes I TRIED and LOVED on other Gluten-Free Blogs

springroll New Years Thoughts and a Recipe for Easy Kung Pao Chicken

Mrs. G.F.’s Coconut Chicken Fingers with the Marmalade Dipping Sauce

Gluten Free Gobsmacked’s Spring Rolls (picture of the spring rolls I made above)

Gluten Free Goddess’ Rustic Chicken Soup

Carrie’s Sweet Potato Apple Casserole

Gluten Free Cooking School’s Apple Spice Pancakes

And for my first recipe offering of the New Year!

This is a very easy dinner or quick lunch idea. Stir-fries are a favorite around here! This is the absolute simplest stir-fry I make. It is a great recipe to make when you have a pack of chicken and only a couple bags of frozen veggies and need dinner super-quick!

kung pao chicken New Years Thoughts and a Recipe for Easy Kung Pao Chicken


1 lb. of chicken breasts/tenders, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/4 cup of San-J’s Wheat-Free Tamari Sauce, divided in half (2 Tablespoons is half)

2 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional- for thickening)

1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

1/4 cup water

2 Tablespoons canola oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup onion, diced

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

1 cup (roughly) of Desired vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, red pepper, or leftover sugar snap peas)


Marinate the chicken with 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine garlic, lemon, water, remaining soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and red pepper flakes. In a wok or skillet, heat the canola oil over med.-high heat. Add chicken and onion and stir fry until brown about 4 minutes. Add desired vegetables and stir fry another 3-4 minutes. Add sauce and stir frequently until thickened slightly (if using cornstarch) or until heated through and bubbly. Serve over brown rice and sprinkle with peanuts.

Serves 4.

Never miss a recipe!
Add your email address to receive posts via email:

More Posts Like This:

16 Responses to “New Year’s Thoughts and a Recipe for Easy Kung Pao Chicken”

  1. So I thought I was being smart this week by planning two weeks of meals at once. But obviously you and Slacker Mom are conspiring against me with all of the yummy Chinese food recipes. I don’t think there’s is any way I’ll be able to resist cooking this next week =)

  2. YAY!!! I’m so glad you are back Natalie!! I missed your posts!! Thanks for the link love!! I can’t wait to try your thai chicken wraps (I still need to find those darn brown rice wraps.. or learn how to make them!) and your pumpkin enchiladas! Those are goign on the menu SOON! Glad you are back girl! And I can’t wait to try parsnips! I’ve never had them!!

  3. Glad to see you back, Natalie! I hope you had a lovely break.

    I miss Chinese food and am looking forward to posting more soy-free Chinese-ish recipes this year. :D

  4. Welcome back!!! I have missed you!

    I love the way you cook, it is a heck of a lot like here at my home. Man, I wish we lived closer together. :)

    This looks yummy, and fast! You know I love those recipes. I will try this one, I don’t use lemon juice in a recipe that I have that’s similar, so I am curious. I’ll let you know once I make it!

    So glad you are back!!

  5. Welcome back. I’m happy to hear you had a wonderful holiday. It sounds like you got back from California just in time.

    Can’t wait for your new recipes.

  6. Welcome back! I know just what you mean about coming home… it’s good to come home and to your own kitchen. :)

    Parsnips! Oh dear, what am I to do with parsnips… I’ll have to come up with something… Hmmm…


  7. I have a goal to join in the menu swap this year! we’ll see…classes start soon. Thanks for all the links to great 2007 recipes. That’ll keep me going for awhile.

    Parsnips made me laugh. I’ve had some I’ve been trying to figure out for a week what to do with and I finally just thew them into the curry I was making tonight. They weren’t half bad. I did see a mashed parsnip recipe online the other day that I’m itching to try.

    Happy 2008 to you and yours!

  8. Mary Frances- I can’t wait to try Slacker Mom’s Cheater Sweet and Sour chicken either. I think I am going to make that next week.

    Carrie- Next time you go to the Whole Foods I will meet you there. MOST of the time the Whole Foods in Ridgewood (one on Wade Ave. in Raleigh) carries the brown rice tortillas in the frozen food section. For some reason the Whole Foods in Cary (an additional 10 min. drive for me) never has them when I need them!

    Sally- It was a great break, but it is good to be blogging again. Right now I am trying to organize all my rss feed stuff for my own personal reading. I need to add your blog to it. I have a lot of updating I need to do. :)

    Slacker Mom- I thought this stir-fry was a good basic one to start with. One of my favorite cookbooks- Quick Recipes- has several great recipes for stir-fries that I have been playing with for a couple years.

    Lea- Love your new blog look. It is really cute!

    Sea- I am going to try a rice recipe with parsnips out of this month’s Bon Appetit. I am going to have to alter their recipe a little though because my husband will not eat carrots. We will see how it goes! :)

    Cris- Parsnips always remind me of Beatrix Potter’s Mr. MacGregor’s garden! Happy New Year! :)

  9. This probably isn’t the right place, but here’s my entry for this week’s GF meal plan monday!

    -Sea :D

    PS hope rutabagas will suffice- my store was out of turnips! oops!

  10. Sea-
    LOL…I am sure a lot of people won’t be able to find them. I am going to try and find them at Whole Foods tomorrow but I might be subbing as well :)

  11. Natalie,

    I love the new look! So chic! I can’t wait to try the salmon :)

  12. Christina-
    Thanks! I am going to get that salmon posted today!

  13. I love Kung Pao Chicken, I have never thought of making it at home but you can bet I will now. Thanks for the recipe. I’m glad I found your blog.

  14. Thank you so much for the Kung Pao chicken recipe! My mom will love it! She hasn’t had Kung Pao in years!

  15. Made this a few nights ago. It is really good, Ben couldn’t stop talking about it.
    and it was SO easy. Thanks!

  16. I made this tonight! It was wonderful! My son loves it! I use this blog alot for recipes! :)

Leave a Reply

Link to this recipe.

If you would like to link to this post, may I suggest the following code:

You may, of course, use whatever anchor you would like, I love links in whatever form they come!