Sweet and Sour Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs
My children have hit the "games phase": board games, card games, puzzles - you name it, they're into it. They used to ask for movie nights, now they ask for games nights! And, apart from dealing with the odd "bad loser" moment, I've discovered it is one of my my favourite things to do with them. Little did I know, however, that when this new phase started it would lead to some serious recipe inspiration...!
One of our favourite games is Crazy Chef - a brilliant little game where the kids learn to experiment with food by using different recipe cards to create different meals. One of our winner combinations has been kebabs! And so it occurred to me, during the twelfth round one Monday afternoon, that we shouldn't just be playing the card, but making kebabs - the kids seemed to really love that recipe card! I was further inspired by the challenge of coming up with some tasty sweet and sour sauce to go with them. After lots of experimenting (sweet sauces seem to contain soooo much sugar, which I was keen to reduce) I finally developed a lovely little sauce which can be used for dipping or all over.
The kebabs are very easy to put together: simply chop your ingredients, feed onto the kebab sticks, and pop into the oven. I used chicken breasts, peppers, mushrooms, courgettes and pineapple pieces. The kebabs can, of course, be made vegetarian by substituting the chicken, but the sauce does needs the juice from the pineapple, honey, tomato ketchup and cornflour. I have tried to cut down the sugars in the sauce, but the brand of ketchup you use will affect the sugar contents - so check carefully. On the bright side, if there is some sugar in the sauce but it means your child eats a good variety of vegetables and protein, then you're still winning in my books.
I served this dish with a mix of basmati and cauliflower rice, a great way of sneaking in some extra vegetables in camouflage! But it would work well with wholemeal rice or noodles too.
For the kebabs:
3 chicken breasts
2 peppers in mixed colours
about 10-12 mushrooms
1 tin of pineapple chunks in juice (or fresh pineapple)
sesame seeds for sprinkling
8 kebab skewers
For the sauce:
2 tbsp pineapple juice
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tsp cornflour
This is how you make the kebabs:
Chop the chicken and vegetables into bite size chunks and feed onto the skewers. (If you are using bamboo skewers soak them in water for ten minutes before using to stop them burning whilst in the oven.)
Place the kebabs on a baking tray and into a pre heated oven for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Turn once during cooking for an even colouring.
Whilst the kebabs are cooking, here's how you make the sauce:
In a saucepan heat simply heat all the sauce ingredients gently, stirring continuously until bubbling. While stirring, allow the source to thicken.
Next, remove the kebabs from the oven and serve with a drizzle of the sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Add more sauce for dipping or pour all over.
Or, if you don't have time for kebab making, simply stir fry all the ingredients and then pour over the sauce in the last minute or so of cooking. Quicker, but just as tasty!
Enjoy during a perfect mid-week dinner or for a games night!
Love From Caroline & The Clean Little Tummies xxxx