You KNOW a takeaway is oozing with calories, saturates, salt and sugar. But when temptation strikes, beat it with my healthy sweet and sour chicken.
When we’re busy, tired or ravenous, everything we know about takeaways goes out of the window. We know they’re calorie-laden portions of deliciousness. We know that pizzas are full of fat, curries are heavy on the oil and fish and chips are deep fried.
But when the going gets tough, there’s still a huge temptation to get on the phone – or even easier, tap the app – and order in.
Deadly for dieters, of course. But it’s not just the calories that are the problem here. Takeaways are often loaded with saturates, salt and even sugar, so they really should be something to indulge in only very occasionally.
Life happens to everyone. The difference is that those of us who are serious about losing weight need to anticipate those moments of exhausted weakness and get organised.
My sweet and sour chicken is tasty enough to quench the most persistent takeaway cravings, without the calories. Packed with onions, broccoli and peppers, it’s colourful and nutritious too – and you’ll suffer none of that post-binge guilt.
My secret is, I cook up a huge batch and freeze it in measured portions. I make sure I have some tucked away for those busy days when I know I’m in danger of slumping face-first into a take-out. Cheap, quick, convenient and easy.
Oh – did I mention it’s really tasty?
Sweet and sour chicken (not a takeaway!)
SERVES 2 • Ready in 15 mins
2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 small onion, sliced
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced
½ head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp clear honey
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp tomato purée
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp English mustard
1 tbsp sherry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the chicken, onion, pepper, broccoli and garlic in a bowl.
- Sprinkle over the cornflour and season with salt and pepper. Mix together thoroughly.
- Heat the oil in a wide pan over a medium heat. Toss in the chicken and vegetable mixture and cook, stirring every minute, until just cooked (about 5–7 minutes, depending on size).
- Meanwhile mix the honey, vinegar, tomato purée, soy sauce, English mustard, water and sherry in a small bowl. When the chicken is just cooked, stir in the sauce and allow to bubble gently for 2 minutes before serving.