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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pineapple Pepper Chicken | 8 WW P+

As my kid bro would say, "Just call me butter, 'cause I'm on a roll!"

Seriously, I'm hitting some cooking home runs here with my experiments. I'm working on recipes that are simple to make, freeze well, and tastes as good reheated as it did coming out of the pan. If you have any recipes like this, feel free to share! I've been spending too much money on the pre-made frozen meals. Purchasing the organic, gluten free, dairy free meals - which run an extra $2-$3 over the "standard" frozen meals - is delightfully convenient, but really puts a dent in the budget. I'm mystified how a frozen meal, which uses fresh ingredients, no weird unrecognizable preservatives, could cost so much more. I'm not the only one who thinks that's backwards, right? I appreciate the convenience though, so I'm glad it's there for when I need it. But... I need to really kick my laziness in the backside and just start making my own meals again. Sigh.

This recipe got a thumbs up from my dad. In case you don't know, my family thinks I make "weird food," so to have an endorsement from my day... that's big stuff.

Quick recipe notes: if you don't like quinoa, you could use cooked rice, cous cous, or another grain - whatever floats your boat. Not keen on frozen peppers and frozen pineapple? Use fresh by all means. Frozen is what I had on hand. Want to make this completely gluten free? Use Tamari or coconut aminos in place of the soy sauce.

Pineapple Pepper Chicken 
Serves 4 | 8 Weight Watchers Points+ per serving (1 cup of Pepper Pineapple Chicken over 1/2 cup of prepared quinoa)

2 tsp coconut oil
1lb uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into bite sized pieces
16oz frozen red, green, yellow pepper strips (like Trader Joe's Melange a Trois)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen pineapple bits (like Trader Joe's Frozen Pineapple Tidbits)
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 lime, zest and juice of
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbls water

Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium/high heat. Add chicken and cook until almost cooked through, approximately 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook another 3-4 minutes or until you start to smell the onions cooking. Turn the heat up to high and add the frozen peppers and pineapple tidbits. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the frozen items thaw and the liquid evaporates.

While the chicken, peppers, and pineapple cook, combine all the sauce ingredients from chicken broth to the soy sauce in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Add cornstarch mixture to the rest of the sauce ingredients. Pour over the chicken mixture and stir until thickened and the sauce forms.

Spoon 1 cup of Pepper Pineapple Chicken over 1/2 cup of prepared quinoa. Top with some scallions, and enjoy!

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