As a work outside the home mom, maintaining a healthy work/life balance is a challenge. I am lucky enough to have a husband that makes most of the meals during the week. To be fair then, it also means, that come the weekend, I’m on deck in the kitchen. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen cooking with my family, but with the hectic schedules during the week, I find myself wanting to relax on the weekend. On occasion I like to use meal starters to aid in the prep of quick family meals. Less time prepping a family favorite like Sweet & Sour Chicken, leaves more time for having fun.
I always have a variety of meal starters in the pantry. You never know when you are going to have to throw together dinner in a matter of minutes. Kraft Recipe Makers come with two cooking sauces, and list the easy directions to make a delicious and quick family meal. I also like that I can tailor the vegetables used in the dish, to my family’s favorites. It’s an easy way to pump up the nutritional value, as well as the actual volume of food, to feed a hungry
This meal can be done in mere minutes. I always keep a variety of bagged vegetables in the freezer. I grab the ones that will pair best with the flavors of Sweet and Sour chicken, pop them in the microwave to steam, while I chop the chicken. As a side note, try to cut the cook time on the veggies by a minute or two. This way, the veggies don’t overcook when they are added to simmer in the sauce. Multi-tasking is the name of the game for quick and easy meals in my house.
Once I have the chicken diced, and the veggies steamed, I am ready to move forward. You want to make sure everything is ready to add in to the pan. There’s nothing worse than having to remove your chicken from the heat, while you wait for your second bag of veggies to steam.
Since I was using a wok, I cooked my chicken a little first, then added half of the first sesame ginger simmer sauce to allow the chicken to fully cook through, and soak up all the delicious flavors. While the chicken simmered, my kitchen filled with a deliciously sweet aroma of sesame and ginger, and the sauce thickened.
Next we added my steamed veggies, canned pineapple tidbits, and the second half of the simmer sauce. I enlisted the help of DH to pour the sauce, so I could stir and make sure everything was thoroughly coated.
Time to add the second sweet and sour pineapple finishing sauce. The colorful veggies make this dish a feast for the eyes, as well as the stomach. Using the two different cooking sauces during the preparation of your meal, allows the sauces to layer multiple flavors into finished dish. It smelled so good, I had to stop myself from grabbing a piece of broccoli right out of the pan.
A few final minutes of simmer time to heat the veggies and pineapple through, let all the flavors come together, and dinner is complete!
Normally, I would serve a saucy dish like this over baked brown rice, but since I was short on time, DH just whipped up a batch of white rice. Some days we all just need to take some time to relax, and not work so hard. Meal starters give that little extra push I need to get dinner on the table fast. You can see the multiple varieties of Kraft Recipe Makers available in my Google+ album. Feel free to leave cooking the full turkey dinner to Thanksgiving, when you have a whole day to prep a meal from scratch.
What’s your favorite way to get dinner on the table fast when you are short on time?
- 1 Box of Kraft Recipe Makers Sweet & Sour Chicken Meal starter
- 1½ C long grain rice
- 1½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 can (8 oz) canned pineapple tidbits
- 16 oz bag frozen broccoli florets
- 12 oz bag of frozen mixed veggies - broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts and sugar snap peas
- Cook rice according to package directions
- Steam veggies according to package directions
- In large skillet on stove top, stir-fry chicken in half of the simmer sauce. Simmer until cooked through.
- Add vegetables, pineapple, and remaining half of simmer sauce to skillet.
- Stir to coat ingredients thoroughly, and heat through
- Pour finishing sauce over skillet mixture and mix thoroughly 2-3 min
- Serve over rice