Sweet and Sour Chicken

A week or so ago, Nick decided that he was getting sick of sandwiches for lunch, and wanted to buy some frozen rice bowls to take to work. Frozen meals? Uhm, I don’t think so.

Sometimes we get to the register at the grocery store, and as I’m unloading the cart, I find packages of frozen chimichangas or Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches nicely hidden underneath bags of vegetables. I give the evil eye, but it’s too late to bring the items back, so the nasty stuff comes home with us. If I can help it though, we don’t visit those aisles in the grocery store. So I decided that I would make some homemade rice bowls!

But then of course, things got busy, and I didn’t get around to it right away. Until I saw a recipe for a healthy version of Sweet & Sour Chicken in a Hungry Girl email. I’ve mentioned before that I rarely find anything from HG that isn’t full of some kind of chemicals, but this particular recipe not only sounded good, but also seemed to contain fairly natural ingredients! I’ll do anything I can to get Nick to eat healthy food, so I gave it a whirl.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

(from Hungry Girl)

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1.5 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 16 oz can pineapple chunks in juice (not drained)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cups bean sprouts

Heat a large saute pan or wok sprayed with nonstick spray over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan. Cook until no longer pink on the outside, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli, peppers and celery. Cover, and cook until veggies are tender, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, over medium heat, drain pineapple juice into a small pot. Add cornstarch and stir to dissolve.

Add vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, and ginger. Mix thoroughly. Bring to a simmer. Stirring frequently, cook until thickened, about 3 minutes.

Add pineapple chunks, bean sprouts, and sauce to the veggie mix. Mix well and continue to cook and stir until sprouts have softened and chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Serve with rice or Asian noodles!

The dish came out really well. It’s definitely “healthy,” but that’s what I like. If you’re trying to eat healthy and want something tasty and nutritious, this is for you. If you’re looking for good ole greasy Chinese food, pick up a phone book. Nick made his a little less healthy with half a gallon of sweet chili sauce (he does this to a lot of my food), but I really enjoyed it as is. Either way, my mission was accomplished and his lunchbox is full for a few days!

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