The cover recipe for today is from EveryDay Food Jan/Feb 2011, and it’s included in a section called, “Dinner 1-2-3, a meal in three easy steps.” They’ve lightened up a popular Chinese take-out dish- Sweet and Sour Chicken– claiming that it has all off the appeal of the original- with just a fraction of the fat and calories. The takeout version= 1009 calories. Their version= 447 calories. Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.
Sweet and Sour Chicken with Green Beans
Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 25 min + chill time
Cook Time: 35 min
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bell peppers (any color), seeded and diced large
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and halved
5 scallions, thinly sliced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts (optional)
1. Cook rice according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over high. Add chicken, bell peppers and green beans and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add scallions, ginger and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes.
3. Whisk soy sauce mixture, add to skillet, and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Fluff rice with a fork. To serve, spoon chicken mixture over rice and top with peanuts if desired.
*I did use while long-grain rice, but I think this dish would be equally delicious using a healthier serving of whole grain rice.
*Sweet red bell peppers are my favorite, but it would be pretty to add some yellow bell peppers in there too.
*For easy grating, I freeze my ginger and then peel it and then use a microplane to grate it. It's so much easier to manage since the little stringie things don't have a chance to clog up the microplane.
*The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of sugar. I think you could get away with 3 Tablespoons if you were trying to save on a few calories.
*Peanuts are not included in the nutritional information, just so you know.
*I'd definitely add-in some pineapple!Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1/4th of the recipe
Calories per serving: 447
Fat per serving: 8g
Saturated Fat per serving: 2g
Fiber per serving: 5g
Protein per serving: 36g
Carbohydrates per serving: 61g
Source: EveryDay Food- January/February 2011
This recipe was very easy to make- simple, easy to find ingredients and very quick to put together. My family all thought this dish was really delicious, but there was one big problem with it… it didn’t taste like the sweet and sour chicken that I love so much at my favorite Chinese restaurants. If you’re expecting the syrupy & sweet sauce, you won’t find it in this dish. It was more like a chicken and vegetable stir-fry than sweet and sour chicken. But regardless, my family did enjoy it quite a lot.
Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?
Absolutely! It was an easy dinner to prepare, it was family-friendly and it was light.