PALEO EXPRESS – Sesame Orange Peel Chicken




Who doesn’t love Panda Express? I mean, at one time they were sponsors of The CrossFit Games. As if that’s not reason enough to love them, they also offer corn starch and sugar laden meat morsels. You know, the kind of stuff that is killing Americans by the millions…

Today’s recipe is my version of American-Chinese (AKA Paleo Express) that will help us all live longer. It is balanced in Zone portions and while it contains some maple syrup, the vast quantity of fresh veggies and low-fat protein are really the star of the show. Eat this to keep your blood sugar balanced, you in The Zone, and your family’s taste buds happy. They’ll be begging for more of that “Paleo Food”.

I came up with this last night after a long day and a deathly temptation to hit up Habit Burger. I had played it out in my mind. I was going to open with an order of onion rings, then go for the double char with extra pickles and fries. I was hangry and that was the only thing that could possibly have turned my frown upside down. Then came the slap! I needed to shower before I could go out to eat, and that’s when it dawned on me, the burger plan was a fleeting fantasy. Sure, it would provide some comfort, but by the time I would fight rush hour traffic to get there, wait in line, pay $30, and be exposed to the potential of letdown, that comfort would be hard fought and temporary.

So, I listened to the mini Paleo Nick on my shoulder whispering, “Keep It Paleo!” I raided the fridge and came up with one of my favorite creations ever. Isn’t it amazing how hunger breeds ingenuity. I’ve written about it before, but often times hunger is the magic ingredient that certain people won’t experience.

Anyways, I’ll get off my high horse and let you give this one a try. I’d really like to see more comments rolling in. In can see the stats on how many people view these posts and it is weird to me that so few of you leave comments. I’d love to answer your questions or hear about when you made this for your family.

“Keep It Paleo!” guys.

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

Working into the night to get the Paleo Garage ready

Sesame Orange Peel Chicken

Ingredient List for the Chicken:

  • 1 ¾ pounds chicken breast, boneless/skinless, sliced into cutlets (20P)
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (6F)
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari (wheat free soy) or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (3C)

Preparation Instructions for the Chicken:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Place in the fridge and allow to marinate while you prep your veggies.

Ingredient List for the Sauce:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Tamari or coconut aminos
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (6C)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot (2C)
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha

Preparation Instructions for the Sauce:

  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until well incorporated.

Ingredient List for the Veggies:

  • 2 cups onion, julienned (2C)
  • 2 cups celery, ABC (Asian Bias Cut) (1C)
  • 2 cups zucchini, ABC (1C)
  • 2 red bell peppers, ABC (1C)
  • Peel of 2 oranges, ABC
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, for sautéing (9F)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, for sautéing (6F)
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, for finishing
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Preparation Instructions for the Veggies:

  1. Heat a 14” sauté pan over high heat and add olive oil.
  2. When pan and oil are hot, place marinated chicken breasts in oil and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Turn breasts over and cook for 2-3 additional minutes. Remove to a bowl using the lasts breasts to sop up/clean the fond from the pan.
  4. Add sesame oil to pan and when it is hot, add onions, celery, zucchini, peppers and orange peel.
  5. Sautee veggies for 6 minutes tossing every 90 seconds.
  6. While veggies are cooking, slice chicken into strips, then, at the 6 minute mark, add the chicken back to the pan and toss.
  7. Whisk the sauce mixture once again and add it to the pan. Stir to incorporate and watch the arrowroot thicken.
  8. Bring to a simmer, season one final time as you see fit. Add fresh cilantro, toss once more and plate. Garnish with sesame seeds and Poila!
  9. Serve family style or portion into containers and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to 6 months.

“Keep It Paleo!”

Zone Breakdown:


Our protein is from our chicken.  We have 1 ¾ pounds of chicken or 795g, which cooks down to about 560g. With 28g per block, we get a total of 20 blocks form the chicken.


Our carbs a coming from the combination of the chicken prep, the sauce, and the veggie prep. From our chicken prep, we are getting carbs from the maple syrup. We know that 2 teaspoons of maple syrup equal one block, so with 2 tablespoons being used, that gives us 3 Carbs.

In the sauce, again we are getting carbs from the maple syrup.  With the same measurements, we end up with 6 blocks from carbs in the ¼ cup of maple syrup used. And with the Arrowroot, we measure that to be 1 tablespoon equaling one block, so we have two blocks from that.

And for our veggie prep, we have 5 carb blocks. The first two come from the 2 cups of onions. With 1 cup equaling one block, we end up with 2 blocks here. Our celery measures in at 2 cups per block so we have one block from celery. 2 cups of zucchini again equal one block along with 2 cups of red bell peppers to bring our total to 5 blocks.


Our Fats are coming from our oils. We are using a total of 4 teaspoons of sesame seed oil in the recipe and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Both oils measure at 1/3 of a teaspoon equaling one block, so for the sesame seed oil, we end up with 12 blocks and from the olive oil we end up with 9 blocks.

Balancing Act:

This is a perfectly balanced meal at 20 blocks each. You can break this into 5 4-block meals and enjoy!!


  1. […] Massie’s sesame orange-peel chicken replicates the ingredients and flavors of this dish but puts the emphasis on fresh vegetables and lean protein. The recipe can be divided into five four-block Zone meals, and though Massie’s version has 18 grams of sugar to Panda Express’ 19, it has less total carbohydrate and almost double the protein, for a total of 40 grams of carbohydrates, 49 grams of protein and 7 grams of fat (437 total calories) per serving. Total sugar content can be even further reduced by skimping on the sauce. […]

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