Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Healthier Sweet and Sour Chicken

As those of you who have read my books know, I spent 20 years working as a pilot before getting a dual Ph.D. in a Criminal justice/Science field and going to work doing investigations that:

Are nothing like TV.
Do NOT let me dress like a stripper.
Solve ANYTHING in an hour (not even, "what are we going to order for lunch?")
Let the "good guys" win every single time.
Provide expensive jets to get us to the "scene", and
Allow me to buy $1000 designer suits.

I love what I do now, but I  had a great time as a pilot.  Pilots navigate along "airways", which are sort of like highways in the sky between fixed points of ground based navigation aids or satellite points.  There are points along these airways, and on the approach to airports when you are flying by instruments that all have names.  All the names have five letters. Some can be quite clever. The one below is an actual approach into Portsmouth.  I've flown it..

But one of my favorite airway intersections, allegedly near a big chicken processing facility, was named CLUCK.

I eat meat once or twice a week, but try and keep it ethically raised and lean, using non factory farm chicken and fresh caught salmon or trout when I'm out at my Dads and keeping fattier cuts down to a treat once a month.  But I want to make more than just baked or braised sometimes.

I love sweet and sour chicken but the thick, deep fried coating is not good for a healthy eating plan. This version, cooked with a simple mix of pepper and pineapple and lightly coated with cornstarch and pan sauteed - is clean and light and oh so yummy. You can double the sauce for guests if you like but I kept the calories down by just using enough for taste.

For a meat free menu - it is also good with plain veggie "chicken" nuggets that are thawed and just slightly moistened so that the cornstarch sticks, then cook as directed on the package and add sauce.

Lighter Sweet and Sour Chicken


3 boneless free range chicken breasts, cut into one inch thick pieces.
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon corn starch
A couple of tablespoons of oil
green pepper, cut into bite sized chunks
a can of pineapple chunks  in juice, not syrup (drain juice reserving 2 teaspoons)


1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons lower sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons pineapple juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or a couple of dashes of ground)
1/4 cup tomato sauce (you can substitute ketchup but that adds extra sugar)

Another Tablespoon of corn starch blended with 2 Tablespoons of cold water.

Put sauce ingredients in pan, mix and bring to a gentle boil over low to medium/low heat (NOT high, be patient).  In a little coffee cup -  mix the tablespoon of cornstarch and water, and slowly drizzle that in, whisking constantly, until sauce is thickened, then cover and keep on warm.

Put cornstarch in a baggie and shake the pieces of chicken, doing just a few at a time.  Heat oil in a fry pan and when the chicken is all ready, saute with the green pepper and pineapple, until the chicken is brown, lightly crisp and cooked through. Toss with sauce and serve with a half cup of rice per person.

1 comment:

  1. Hari OM
    Oh yea, that's a winner! Nothing 'tatt' about that!!!
    Eyes-on... YAM xx


Thanks for visiting. Having been fortunate enough not to have to diet as a young woman - hitting middle age to find my Metabolism moved to Aruba and didn't even send a postcard was a rude awakening. Thanks for sharing the fun and the pain of getting back in shape. Note: If you are a stranger and include a link in your comment - it will not be posted, to ensure no SPAM or viruses are shared. Any link I post is tested first.