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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lazy Days of Winter ...

So, today the boys and I enjoyed a day together. Matt's plane was delayed and so he will be home this evening (rather than afternoon). After a whole week without Daddy, the boys are looking forward to seeing him tonight ... even though, he will likely get back home after they are in bed.

We spent the afternoon cuddling up on the sofa and watching MacGyver episodes. I love it when my boys enjoy (or at least tolerate) things that I enjoyed as a child. It was a fun afternoon.
They boys were begging all day for Chinese food. I had a new recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken to try out - and my boys were claiming to be willing guinea pigs. I was intrigued by some of the new ingredients that comprised this recipe: Fresh ginger and garlic cooked with the chicken, and ketchup and chili powder in the sauce recipe? Now, I had a pretty good recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken in my recipe file ... but the ever perfect recipe has alluded me. So, I decided to give this recipe a try.

Sweet & Sour Chicken
532 calories per serving

1 tsp olive oil
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 tsp grated ginger
1 -2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups green pepper, chopped in larger chunks
1 cup onion, chopped in larger chunks
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
14 oz can pineapple chunks, undrained
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar or rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Hot rice

Heat oil in a wok. Add chicken, garlic and ginger root. Cook until chicken is cooked completely through and then remove from wok and keep warm. Add vegetables to wok and cook for about 5 minutes until tender.

For sauce, whisk together 1/2 cup pineapple juice, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, chili powder and cornstarch. Add sauce, pineapple and chicken to vegetables in wok and heat through until sauce is thickened and pineapple is warmed through. Serve over brown rice.

**I served this meal with steamed brown rice and Mandarin oranges.

My analysis of this recipe is as follows:
Flavor was good. I loved the meat that had the ginger-garlic flavor cooked into it. However, the sauce was lacking in flavor to me. I still prefer my other sauce recipe (although, it definitely has a higher calorie content). This is a good meal, but did not quite satisfy my Chinese craving ... and did not quite pass my boys' test taste. In the future, I will probably do a variation between this recipe and my other recipe... until I find my "perfect" version of Sweet and Sour Chicken.

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