Friday, 10 February 2012

Change4Life Supermeals Challenge Day 12

It’s Day 12 of my Supermeals Challenge. I have been trying out all 14 recipes in the Change4Life Supermeals health-promotion booklet. All the recipes are quick, easy and can be made for around £1.25 a head. On the menu today: sweet and sour chicken.

A quick glance down the ingredients (see below) tells you that this isn’t strictly sweet and sour chicken, which would necessarily include vinegar. However, it is a very pleasant chicken stir fry, with a good range of textures. I liked how fresh-tasting it was, with the wedges of tomatoes and pepper working to good effect with the pineapple.

I used basmati rice (mainly because I bought a massive catering bag for £4 recently); the smell when you first open a big bag of basmati is not for everyone, but it’s definitely my rice of choice for dishes like this. I also added a combination of red and yellow pepper chunks. This is a colourful dish and you feel good just looking at it.

The tip in the Change4Life booklet suggests you could try making this recipe with turkey or lean pork instead of chicken. The emphasis is on reducing your fat intake.

The whole family enjoyed this healthy stir-fry dinner. I’m going to try the recipe again, although I will probably turn it into a tangy sweet and sour with the addition of cider vinegar, soft brown sugar, and a bit of powdered ginger in the sauce.

sweet and sour chicken
The ingredients: 150g long grain brown or white rice, 227g tinned pineapple rings in natural juice, 1 tbsp cornflour, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 1 tbsp reduced-fat soy sauce, 2 tsp vegetable oil, 300g chunks of skinless chicken, 1 thinly sliced onion, 1 red or yellow pepper chopped, 3 sliced celery sticks, 2 tomatoes sliced into wedges, ground pepper.

The method: Boil rice. Cut pineapple into chunks, mix juice from tin with cornflour and stir in tomato puree and soy sauce. Heat oil in wok or large frying pan, add chicken and stir fry. After 4 mins add onion, pepper and celery. After 4 mins add tomatoes and pineapple. Add stirred pineapple juice mixture, stirring until it goes thick and hot. Season with pepper, and serve over drained rice.
295 kcals per portion.

For further information from Change4Life:

A Supermeals poster identifying the excuses people find for not adopting a healthier diet:

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