Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken

This sweet and sour chicken is baked, not fried, so is healthier as well as delicious! The soy sauce substitute in my frig was running out of time and rather than freeze it, I decided to try a new recipe and here’s the result. Served over the vegetable fried rice (see earlier blog), this is a hearty, well balanced, fairly easy dinner. Since the chicken needs to marinate in the sauce for at least 2 hours, plan ahead. Serves 2-4 depending on how much chicken is used.

In a gallon zip-lock bag mix:

1/2 cup soy sauce substitute

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons mustard powder

1/2 cup date sugar

1/4 dry ginger or 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust vinegar and/or sugar to your taste before adding:

1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

Refrigerate and let marinate at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×9″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Add the chicken and marinade to the dish making sure the chicken pieces don’t overlap. The marinade will cook as well so no need to worry about bacteria from sitting in the frig with chicken but if it concerns you, simply save out a 1/2 cup of marinade before adding the chicken to pour over the chicken once its in the baking dish.

Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Serve with rice or the vegetable fried rice. Garnish with scallions.

Honey Mustard Pork Chops (Dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free)

My mother used to make pork chops covered with onion-soup mix and cream of mushroom soup.  I loved those pork chops and have been trying for years to find a recipe that I could eat that would produce such juicy, succulent pork chops.  And I think I’ve finally found one!  This recipe adds some spice (I like to use spicy brown mustard) along with a slight sweetness to a juicy chop.  I serve it with some of my celery root and parsnip mash that’s been reheated in a skilled until crispy brown.

This recipe is for 2 chops but can easily be doubled or tripled depending on how many chops are needed.

In a small bowl mix:

  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
  •  2 tablespoons honey (I like to use raw organic honey)
  •  2 tablespoons olive oil

Grease a 6×9″ baking dish.  Trim excess fat from the pork chops.  Add the chops and spread with half the honey mustard mixture.  Turn over the chops and spread with the remaining mixture.  Marinate at least a half hour but I’ve left them as long as overnight.  The vinegar in the mustard will tenderize the pork so the longer you let them marinate the better.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the chops for 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your pork chops and then remove and turn the chops over.  Be sure to test with your finger or a spoon to determine if the chops are cooked (a done chop with have no give when pushed with a spoon or finger).  If my chops are almost done after turning over, I put them under the broiler to brown the top for 3-5 minutes.    A 1-bone chop takes roughly 20 minutes total.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes to rest before serving.