sweet & sour pineapple chicken

pineapple chicken

eat with your eyes? serving food up in fun vessels can help your kids get excited about mealtime            

pineapple chicken

took this photo quick…hungry family was awaiting…a bit blurry sorry!

If you are craving chinese take out, give this sweet and sour pineapple chicken recipe a try. It’s relatively quick and easy, definitely healthier than the salty greasy take out stuff, and easier on your wallet! Your family will love this sweet & tangy dish. You’ll notice that I used both chicken and tofu as proteins in this dish – this is because sometimes if I’m making a meaty main, I like to substitute some tofu or large beans (e.g. lupini or lima beans) to bulk up the meal. I do like the idea of eating less meat for a variety of reasons, but there is an undeniable flavour profile that meat provides in this type of dish…so, by doing the combo, we still get the flavour benefits of the chicken and benefits of vegetarian-proteins (lean, fibre-rich, low cholesterol, amino acids, etc).

prep: 20 min   cook: 15 min   yield: 4-6

what you need:

  • 500 g chicken thighs
  • 1 cup cubed firm tofu
  • 1 cup chopped up fresh pineapple
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 large cooking onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp naturally brewed soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • cooking oil (I used grape seed oil)
  • a few sprigs of cilantro, optional for garnish

 for the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp plum sauce
  • 2 tsp naturally brewed soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)

what to do:

  1. Cut chicken into bite size pieces (~1/2″ cubes) and place into a bowl. Roughly chop garlic and set 2/3 aside. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce, white pepper, and 1/3 of your chopped garlic to the chicken bowl and mix well to make sure all pieces are coated with the marinade. Keep this in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (up to a day) if possible, to allow flavours to marry.
  2. Combine ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl and whisk to combine, then add cubed tofu. As above, if possible allow tofu to marinade in the fridge this for at least 3o minutes (up to a day).
  3. Wash red pepper and cut into bite size pieces, about the same as the chicken. Peel onion and cut into bite size pieces as well. Set aside.
  4. In a large nonstick pan (preferably with a lid) on medium heat, add 1 tsp oil. Add onions and sauté until slightly softened, then add remaining chopped garlic. Sauté for another minute then remove from heat and transfer to a bowl for now.
  5. Over medium heat in the same pan, add another 1-2 tsp oil. Add chicken to the pan (along with it’s marinade, if any gets left behind) and brown lightly. It’s okay that the chicken isn’t cooked through at this point, just browned on the outsides. Add red pepper and pineapple, then stir and sauté for about 1 minute.
  6. Add tofu (make sure to pour all the sauce into the pan!) and stir to combine everything. Cover with lid and turn the heat down to medium-low; allow to simmer for about 5-8 minutes. If desired, chop up some cilantro and set aside.
  7. At this point the chicken should be cooked (if you’re unsure take one piece out and cut to check) – taste it – you may find you need to add just a little more soy sauce (or salt) – but do it just a tiny bit at a time. The peppers should be softened but maintain a bite, and pineapples softened and sweet.
  8. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped cilantro then serve immediately, on top of rice. Enjoy!
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