Sweet and sour chicken anyone?

12976711_10156827892600327_1572247031907686951_oNow you are probably going to point out that there is sugar in a Chinese and you would be right. However, this is a healthy option that tastes just like the sugar-filled takeaways. It is filled with loving ingredients that will not only taste good but make you feel full.

The first ingredient in this dish is of course chicken. We now only have meat about two to three times a week. Therefore, when we do eat it I only buy from the local organic butchers. From what I have been reading, the less the animal has been tampered with or kept in a cage the more nutrients we will receive on our plates. Organic chicken will be very high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Chicken can help to strengthen our bones and helps our bodies to prevent cataracts, skin disorders whilst boosting immunity.

Peppers are in this dish to give it colour but also to add extra vitamins. This vegetable has plenty of vitamin C which helps to power up your immune system. The highest amount of vitamin C is in the red variety and they have a number of health benefits. Studies have shown that it reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps to control diabetes, brings relief from pain and eases inflammation.

The next ingredient that I want to mention is pineapple. Pineapples are a superfood and they are surprisingly good for you. They contain Bromelain which has anti inflammatory properties that can make it useful for sports injuries. Pineapples are great for cancer sufferers. If the patient eats pineapple during chemotherapy it can suppress the growth of cancer cells. Pineapples also contain beta carotene which can help protect against prostate cancer and possibly colon cancer.

Tamari is a great alternative to soy sauce if you suffer with a gluten allergy. It is loaded with amino acids but I don’t use much of it in this recipe as a little bit goes a long way. Tamari has a rich flavour which has an abundance of amino acids derived from soy protein. It also contains much less salt than traditional soy sauce. However, tamari aids in the digestion of fruits and vegetables while being rich in several minerals and is good source of vitamin B3, protein, manganese and typtophan.

The final ingredient that I want to mention is apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar not only tastes good in this recipe but has amazing health benefits for the body. Firstly it can sooth a sore throat. Germs don’t like to live in an acidic environment that the vinegar creates. It can also help to prevent indigestion. Just sip before eating especially if you know you’re going to indulge in food that will make you sorry later. Apple cider contain potassium which clears a stuffy nose. Potassium thins the mucus and the acetic acid in it prevents germ growth which could contribute to nasal congestion.

Not only can apple cider vinegar help you with a cold but it can also help you to lose weight. The acetic acid suppresses your appetite, increases your metabolism and reduces water retention. My recommendation, if you are going to take this as a medicine, would be to buy a local, preferably organic, cider vinegar as this will be much better for your body and the environment.

Chinese is one of my husbands favourite meals so when I discover we could still have it without going to the takeaway I was so pleased. It’s tastes just like sweet and sour chicken and you don’t have to wait hours for the door bell to ring before you receive it.

Serves 4

Equipment needed

  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Saucepans x 2
  • Tablespoon

Ingredients needed

  • Diced chicken (preferably organic) x 500g
  • Onion medium x 1
  • Red pepper x 1
  • Yellow pepper x 1
  • Carrot x 1
  • Pineapple x 425 g fresh
  • Garlic cloves x 2
  • Ginger root x 1 inch piece
  • Coconut oil x 1 tbsp
  • Water chestnuts x 1 240g tin
  • Bamboo shoots x 1 240g tin
  • Chopped green beans x 200g
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the sauce

  • Brown rice flour or cornflour x 2 tbsp
  • Tamari x 2 tbsp
  • Apple cider vinegar x 2 tbsp
  • Maple syrup x 1 tbsp
  • Tommy K (please see alexisrealfoodwagon.com for more details) or tomato puree x 2 tbsp
  • Chicken stock x 250mls

Method

  • We use brown rice in this house so I would begin by boiling the rice as per the packet instructions as it takes a little longer to boil than white rice.
  • Start by mixing all the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  • Next slice the onion, chop the pepper into small pieces, peel and crush the garlic, peel and slice the carrot and finally grate the ginger.
  • Heat the coconut oil in the pan, add the onions and fry until soft.
  • Add the chicken and fry with the onions.
  • Then add the garlic and ginger root and fry for a further two minutes.
  • Finally, add the pepper and green beans and fry again for a further two minutes and then add and stir in the pineapple for a minute.
  • Remove the water from the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots and add to the pan.
  • Pour the sauce over the top, bring to the boil and leave on a low heat to simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Serve with the rice and if you’re feeling extra healthy, add a side of broccoli as well.

Sweet and sour chicken – quicker than receiving from the takeaway and so much more tasty. I promise you will not be disappointed if you give it a try. Enjoy!