FoodnFlix is a fun little group started by Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. You can find out more about it here. Once you watch the movie and get inspired to run to the kitchen and start cooking you can go over to my Invitation Post and learn how to have your blog included in this month's event.
I took my inspiration right from the very beginning of this movie. Mark Watney has returned to his work station on Mars to find that he has been presumed dead and left behind. He begins going through his supplies to list what he has so he knows what he needs to do to survive alone on Mars for the next 4 years until a rescue mission can reach him. One of the packages that he sorts through is marked Sweet and Sour Chicken.
For those who haven't seen this movie yet.....Watney, is a botanist who was part of a team assigned to Mars. When he is left behind he is determined to survive. All he has to do is figure out how to make water and grow food. Luckily for Watney, he is the smartest botanist on Mars.
The movie volleys back and forth between Watney on Mars, NASA on Earth and his team in space heading back to Earth. The interaction between them is at times funny, at times serious and at times tragic and sad. Damon does a great job portraying Watney's determination amidst his fear and anger. You find yourself cheering on his successes and reeling along with him on his setbacks. It is a great film and you owe it to yourself to watch it.
I am currently trying to maintain the Fast Metabolism Diet as part of my Lenten Journey. The FMD restricts sugars, fried foods and soy sauce. Not very Sweet and Sour Chicken friendly. I got to work and found a recipe from Eating Well, that while not FMD friendly, was pretty close and still very darn healthy.
I adapted the recipe a bit. Most noticeably was the swap from apricot preserves to a Mango/Raspberry jam that our son, Anthony, had made. Feel free to use apricot or your favorite flavor preserves. I also used sesame oil instead of canola and substituted mandarin orange slices for the water chestnuts.
I served this up over steamed brown rice and while not 100% FMD friendly it was close enough that I didn't feel like I cheated. Now, I just need to justify those almond M&M's I ate yesterday......
Sweet and Sour Chicken
adapted from Eating Well
2 c. cooked brown rice
1/4 c. seasoned rice vinegar
2 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. Mango/Raspberry preserves (or flavor of choice)
2 T. sesame oil
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
2 t. garlic paste
2 t. ginger paste
1 c. chicken broth
6 c. bite size pieces of vegetables, I used mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers and celery
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch and preserves. Set aside.
Place wok over medium high heat. Add 1 T. oil. When oil starts to shimmer, add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until no longer pink and starting to brown in spots, 4-5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to the pan along with the garlic and ginger. Stir together for a few minutes and add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the vegetables, reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are crisp tender, 5 minutes or so. Stir in the chicken and the reserved sauce. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and chicken is cooked through. This should only take a minute or two. Stir in the mandarin sections.
Place 1/2 c. rice into 4 shallow bowls. Top each with 1/4 of the Sweet and Sour Chicken. Print Recipe