Mark and I used to go out just about every Saturday. We were a couple that was committed to getting out once a week (sans kids, of course). Not that we ever did anything fabulous or new…just dinner out. Every Saturday. It was my weekend reprieve from the kitchen…and the girls, if I’m being honest 🙂
Since COVID, however, Saturday has morphed into carry-out night so that at the very least, I get a reprieve from the kitchen. And let me tell you, small town Michigan has limited options. So, 9 times out of 10, it’s pizza. WHERE that pizza is from is what varies more than anything. Mark will eat any pizza and I’m not so easy to please. Shocker, I know 😉
Last night (Saturday night), I was kind of shocked when Mark suggested Thai carry-out. I was pumped – he never makes this suggestion! Only issue being our one and only local Thai restaurant is notorious for not only closing early, but also letting their phone ring and ring when they’re swamped with orders. So you’re never really sure if they’re open or just busy.
NINE unsuccessful phone calls later, we threw in the towel on Thai and only for the 3rd time or so in 8 ½ years in this house did we order Chinese carry-out from the SKETCHIEST of restaurants that just so happens to be right up the road from our house. Like, you drive past the place, cringe a bit, and assure yourself that an establishment in such disrepair is certainly not in business. Yep, that’s where we ordered from.
And you guys, it was SO good. Because of the appearance of said restaurant – and if you’re local and/or have passed by this place on your way to my home, you know where I’m talking about – I’ve tried every other Chinese restaurant around town only to be sorely disappointed. It is times like those I miss the options of big cities!
As I was bugging out over the early January climb in healthy blog reading (hi, you!) I was contemplating what recipe to post first in 2021. After lots of time off work, I have a queue of great stuff coming your way, but I figured a take-out inspired meal that comes together in less than 30 and is sure to please the whole family was the best place to start. So, enjoy and may 2021 bring you lots of tasty eats and good health. Hope you stick around 😉 Also be sure to check out our new podcast episode, discussing our 2021 wellness goals! Bring it on, 2021!
Take out, fake out! This sticky, sweet sauce mimics takeout favorites. One skillet required, this meal is perfect for all palates and for even the busiest of evenings!
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup + 3 Tbsp cornstarch, divided
- 3 Tbsp peanut oil
- 1 (20 oz) can diced pineapple in 100% juice, separated
- 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3 bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 Tbsp ginger root, minced
- Sprinkle diced chicken with salt and pepper. Transfer to a gallon-sized ziplock and add 1/3 cup cornstarch; toss well to coat.
- Heat peanut oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned and nearly cooked through; remove to a plate.
- Meanwhile, drain the pineapple juice into a medium bowl. Set aside the pineapple chunks. To the pineapple juice, add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons cornstarch; whisk well to combine and set aside.
- To the skillet with oil remaining after cooking the chicken, increase heat to high and stir fry the bell pepper for 3-4 minutes, allowing to char slightly. Add the pineapple chunks and ginger; cook for 2-3 minutes more.
- Add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a simmer and allow to thicken for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes more until sauce is thick and bubbly. Serve hot over rice, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Omnivore's Cookbook
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: ~1 1/2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 12.0gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 783mgCarbohydrates: 35.2gFiber: 2.4gSugar: 18.2gProtein: 28.0g
Looking for more take-out-ish meals? Look no further!
- Crispy Baked Egg Rolls
- Kung Pao Noodles with Shrimp
- Mongolian Chicken
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Sesame Chicken
Weekly Menu: January 3rd – 7th
- Sunday: leftovers
- Monday: Instant Pot Chicken Lo Mein with leftover Chinese take-out
- Tuesday: Spicy Ramen Noodles
- Wednesday: Instant Pot Tikka Masala with naan and steamed broccoli
- Thursday: Chicken patty sandwiches with asparagus and roasted potatoes