Quicker-Than-Takeout Sweet & Sour Chicken

Quicker-Than-Takeout Sweet & Sour Chicken

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Happy New Year! The year of the Rooster starts on January 28th. In honor of the Chinese holiday may I suggest a Chinese dinner?

It couldn’t be easier, or tastier, than with this Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe. What’s even better this dish not only tastes every bit as good, or better than the beloved Chinese dish, it comes with a fraction of the usual fat, sugar, and sodium – but all of the belly-filling protein! It that weren’t enough, it can be whipped up quicker than it takes to order and pick up an order at your local Chinese take-out.

And when it comes to good health in the New Year, well, there is no comparison. A single SMALL take-out order of Sweet and Sour Chicken at Pei delivers a not-so-sweet 810 calories, 44 grams of added sugar, and 28 Smart points! Grab that PF Chang bag of Sweet and Sour Chicken from the frozen food department of your grocery store and you are looking at only 350 calories, but you are also looking at just 2-ounces of chicken, over 800 mg of sodium, and 34 grams of sugar (and a hefty 14 Weight Watchers Smart Points).

This fast-fix, tastes-just-like it version delivers just 260 calories, and 4 Smart Points per 1-cup serving.* Yep, packed with 25 grams of protein it has as little as just 4 Smart Points! So get your chopsticks out and get ready to shout “Happy New Year!”

Makes 4 Servings

1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup no-calorie granulated sweetener*
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh or jarred minced ginger
2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1 medium carrot
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
5 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1” chunks
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
1/2 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or canned (drained)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together first 5 ingredients (vinegar through ginger), 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and 1/4 cup water. Set aside.

2. Peel carrot and cut into ½ pieces. Place the carrots and 2 tablespoons water in a small microwave-safe bowl, cover, and microwave for 3 minutes. Uncover, drain, and set aside.

3. Toss the chicken pieces with remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch to coat. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until well browned on all sides and chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a bowl. Heat 2 more teaspoons of oil and cook the remaining chicken pieces. Add the chicken to the bowl and set aside.

4. Add the bell pepper to the skillet, stirring, and cook for 2 minutes Add the carrots and water chestnuts, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the pineapple and vinegar mixture, reduce heat to low, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and clears. Add the chicken to the pan, toss to coat, and serve!

* If using all natural Truvia for baking stevia-based sweetener, use 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons instead of 1/3 cup. Adds 1 Smart Point.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: (1 cup) Calories 260 | Carbohydrate 20g (Sugars 6g) | Total Fat 9 (Sat Fat 0g) | Protein 25g | Fiber 2g | Cholesterol 70mg | Sodium 340mg | Food Exchanges: 3 1/2 Lean Meat, 1 Starch, 1 Vegetable, 1 Fat | Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2 | Weight Watcher Plus Point Comparison: 7 Weight Watcher Smart Point Comparison: 4

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