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I just love the flavor of sweet and sour. When I was a kid, my favorite thing to order when we went to a Chinese restaurant was sweet and sour pork. Tangy, crunchy chunks of meat, pineapple and peppers…so good! Then when I became more aware of making better food choices, I discovered that sweet and sour pork was one of the worst things I could order in terms of fat and calories. Big bummer. But I just can’t deny that hankering for sweet and sour.
Here’s a sweet and sour recipe that’s super easy to make and is much better for you than the typical dish you would get at a restaurant or for take-out. I adapted it to make two servings – one for now, one for later.
8-10 frozen precooked meatballs
13.5 ounce can of unsweetened pineapple chunks
1/2 large green pepper, diced
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup of vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
Step 1: Wash and cut a half of a green pepper into chunks.
Just use half the green pepper for this recipe. Save the other have to have later as a snack with dip or in a green salad.
Step 2: Drain the pineapple, making sure to save the juice.
You might notice that I used a larger can of pineapple than this recipe calls for – it’s all my store had when I went shopping. I just put the extra pineapple aside to mix with cottage cheese for lunch later (yum!).
Step 3: Mix the brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar and soy sauce with the pineapple juice.
When you measure brown sugar, pack it down with a spoon as you put it into the measuring cup.
Brown sugar for the sweet part, cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
Vinegar for the sour part, soy sauce for the yum!
Use a fork or a whisk to mix up all these ingredients. The cornstarch likes to settle at the bottom, and you want to get all of the cornstarch because it’s what makes the sauce thicken.
Step 4: Put the meatballs, chunked green pepper, and pineapple in a large pan.
Okay, so I used more than 5-10 meatballs. I was actually making this for my family so I used a bit more. But it’ll work great either way!
A note about the meatballs. I used turkey meatballs which are a little better than beef meatballs in terms of nutrition stats. It just so happened that turkey meatballs were on sale, so it was a win-win for me. Generally, beef meatballs are about a dollar less expensive than turkey meatballs. You can use either one.
Step 5: Pour the sauce over the meatballs and heat, stirring occasionally, til the sauce is bubbly and thick, about 10 minutes.
Serve this over rice to make a complete meal. (Click here if you want a helpful tutorial on preparing perfect rice.)
Here’s a tip: I read somewhere that instead of making one serving of rice every time you want it, you can make multiple servings and then freeze the rice in resealable bags in individual portions. When you want some rice for a meal, just poke holes in the bag and microwave. I haven’t tried this yet, but I love this tip!
I adapted this recipe from Six Sisters Stuff. Their recipe is actually a slow cooker recipe which would work really well if you want to feed a bunch of people. Enjoy!