Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sweet and Sour Chicken #FoodnFlix

I am hosting FoodnFlix this month and I chose the movie "The Martian" starring Matt Damon.  If you have seen the movie and loved it as I did, please join us.  If you saw the movie and hated it, please join us.  If you haven't seen the movie....what the heck are you waiting for??  Get it, watch it and please join us.

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


  1. Looks yummy! Good call on leaving out the water chestnuts...I hate water chestnuts! And I love almond m&ms, too! So much better than peanut m&ms ��

    1. I like water chestnuts but didn't have any in the pantry and yes, those almond M&M's are the bomb!!!

  2. I was hoping somebody would bring sweet and sour chicken to the menu this month. This sounds so good Wendy, and just the thought of that mango-raspberry jam that your son made has my mouth watering!

    1. He made five different varieties and I am having so much fun using them in all my dishes. The other night I was telling him what I've made and he said "hmph, all I made is Peanut Butter and Jelly" LOL

  3. This sounds delicious! All of your recipes are delicious!!

    1. Well not all of them, there are sometimes fails but thanks for the kind words.

  4. Oh this Sweet and Sour Chicken loos delish and great modifications. Great choice so glad you hosted. I spent quit some time on pause to see what he was writing on that list!

    1. Thanks Evelyne, I'm glad you enjoyed watching the film again.

  5. Thanks for hosting this month. Loved the film and all the foodie inspiration gleaned from it. :) This might work well into our rice-bowl diet, Wendy! :)

  6. Yum! I have stir fry I on the menu this week - I might have to switch it up to sweet & sour chicken!


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