Way back in the early 80s, sweet and sour chicken was the in thing. The really sweet kind filled with pineapples and the bright red maraschino cherries. Some dayglo orange sauce. I remember my grandmother making dinner for my mom and me one night, and it was a big deal to have homemade sweet and sour chicken. She spent hours making it. The chicken pieces had to be breaded and fried. The sauce involved the opening of lots of jars and cans, cups of sugar, and simmering for quite a while.
We sat down to a huge plate of white rice with the sweet and sour stuff piled on top. It was good but it was strangely unlumpy. I asked where the chicken was, and we got a good laugh that she’d accidentally served us just the sauce. She’d put the chicken in the oven to keep it warm while working on the other steps and forgot it altogether. ROFL!
So when I found pineapples on sale the other day, I thought of that story for some reason and just knew I was going to turn it into sweet and sour sauce. Of course, I was going to do it the AFQ way and blitz through steps to get it on the table. After all this is the new millennium and I’m not going to take so long to make dinner that I need to leave it warming in the oven. 😉
Quick and Easy Sweet and Sour Stir Fry
- 1/2 cup (80g) diced pineapple
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp (30g) granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp sriracha sauce (less if you don’t like it as spicy)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp (7g) cornstarch
Stir Fry Veggies
- 1 medium (~100g) red bell pepper, seeds removed and sliced
- 1 cup (160g) diced pineapple
- 1 cup (~100g) green beans, fresh or frozen thawed
Optional (but highly recommended)
- 16 oz cooked protein of choice (tofu cubes, grilled chicken, beef, pork)
- 2 cups cooked rice, udon noodles, or rice noodles
Mix the sauce ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet and blend until smooth. Heat a skillet or wok over medium high heat and spray with non-stick spray. Add the veggies and saute, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes until tender crisp.
Add the cooked protein if using, and heat for about 1 minute until warmed. Add the sauce and quickly bring to a boil. Stir for 1 minute until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Divide the sweet and spicy mixture evenly into bowls over steamed rice or noodles.
Makes 4 servings at approximately 76 calories each – 19g carbs and 0g fat not including the optional protein and rice.
I baked tofu and made udon noodles for our version, and the entire bowl came to just over 350 calories. I love that you can use whatever veggies and protein you like, and create your own perfect combination. Not to mention that the ingredients are much better for you than brightly colored cherries from a jar. I think my grandmother would get a good laugh out of the memory though. 😉