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Food Synergy
by Elaine Magee MPH, RD
The almonds in this recipe provide a great hit of crunchy flavor. If you prefer flavored almonds, go for it! They'll work just as well in this dish. If you don't have Chinese rice wine on hand, a splash of vodka makes a handy substitution.
This Asian-style entree features two foods that are rich in one of the carotenes that have synergy—orange juice has lutein, and mango has beta-carotene. The little bit of canola oil contributes plant omega-3s and monounsaturated fat. If served over brown rice, you will add a high-synergy whole grain into the mix as well.
Makes 3 servings


    • 2 tsps low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tsps cornstarch
    • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1" cubes
    • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
    • 2 TB Chinese rice wine
    • 1 TB bottled hoisin sauce
    • 2 tsps sugar
    • 2 tsps bottled tomato-based chili sauce
    • 3/4 tsps minced garlic
    • 2 tsps canola oil
    • 2 tsps cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
    • 3 green onions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
    • 1 mango, cut into bite-size pieces (about 1 cup)
    • 3 TB chopped toasted almonds
    • Cooked brown rice (optional)


In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce and cornstarch. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a 2-cup measuring cup, place the orange juice, wine, hoisin sauce, sugar, chili sauce, and garlic and stir to blend and dissolve the sugar.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Once it is hot (a few minutes, depending on your stove and pan), add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom well. Add the reserved chicken and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes, or until no longer pink and the juices run clear. Add the orange juice sauce and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in the cornstarch, onions, and mango and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens (about 20 seconds).

Sprinkle with the almonds and serve over cooked brown rice (if desired).


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