Friday, April 4, 2014

Quicker-Than-Takeout Sweet and Sour Chicken (or Shrimp or Pork)

Have you cooked out of any of Marlene Koch's cookbooks (Eat What You Love, Eat More of What you Love, and the newest, Eat What You Love Everyday)?  I don't buy cookbooks like I use to due to the ease of the internet, but her books are a goldmine.  She takes everyday foods and restaurant specialties and trims down the fat, calories, sugar, and sodium.

Here she takes the traditionally breaded and fried chicken whick is used in sweet and sour chicken and trims the calories from over a 1000 of take-out to under 300.  And believe me, this is even better.  No guilt.


1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup no-calorie granulated sweetener (like Splenda)
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp freshly minced ginger
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp cornstarch, divided
1 medium carrot
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
3 tsp canola oil, divided
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1" chunks
8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
8 oz can pineapple tidbits, drained
cooked rice, for serving, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together first 5 ingredients (vinegar through ginger), 2 tsp cornstarch, and 1/4 cup water.  Set aside.

Peel carrot and cut into 1/2" pieces.  Place the carrots and 2 Tbsp water in a small, microwave-safe bowl, cover, and microwave for 3 minutes.  Uncover, drain, and set aside.

Toss the chicken pieces with remaining 2 Tbsp cornstarch to coat.  Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add half the chicken and cook 4-5 minutes, or until well browned on all sides and chicken is cooked through.  Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.  Set chicken aside.

Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in the skillet, add bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the carrots and water chestnuts, and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the pineapple and vinegar mixture, reduce heat to low, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, unti the sauce thickens and clears.  Add the chicken to the pan, toss to coat, and serve over rice.

Recipe Source: Eat What You Love Everyday cookbook by Marlene Koch, p. 254

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