Sweet and Sour Chicken with Green Beans

Cover recipe- EveryDay Food- Sweet & Sour Chicken with Green Beans: January/February 2011

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.

Print Print Recipe
Save Save Recipe

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Green Beans

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 25 min + chill time

Cook Time: 35 min

Ingredients:

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)

Directions:

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.

Tips:

*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 FoodJanuary/February 2011

The results:

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.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.

2 Responses to “Sweet and Sour Chicken with Green Beans”

  1. 1

    Cristina @ TeenieCakes — January 19, 2011 @ 1:21 am

    What a gorgeous dish with flavors and ingredients my Hubbs is sure to enjoy. Thanks for sharing notes, especially about freezing your ginger before grating and the pineapple addition – a great suggestion.

    I’m looking fwd to receiving my issue (should’ve been here by now!).

  2. 2

    Jenny — January 19, 2011 @ 6:51 am

    Yours looks just like the cover! A perfect dish that’s satisfying without all the calories of the classic dish. I could live without the peanuts, but it’s just not sweet and sour without pineapple is it?.

Leave a Comment