When I tell people that I buy prepackaged sauces I get looks of confusion. People assume that as a nutritionist, I must eat a certain way. And by “certain” I mean in this idealistic and virtuous sort of way. A way that doesn’t exist. Listen, I do the best that I can. Sometimes, I make my meals from scratch and other times well, I just don’t. But, like I said before, I do the best that I can and sometimes that means I try to minimize the damage. If I want to have dinner on the table in a few minutes but don’t want to order take-out for the purpose of maintaining some sort of nutritional management over my family’s meal then I do use (hold your breath) prepackaged sauces (ok breathe).
I have to tell you there has been no better time than the present to be a “chef of convenience”. Food companies are getting wiser. They realize that they have an opportunity to help us help our families by providing us with products that are convenient so that we can put delicious and well-balanced meals on the table — fast. One of my Favorite Finds is Campbell’s Skillet Sauces Sweet & Sour Chicken. It is scrumptious and my family devours it. I often make double batches and my husband and I take it to work the next day and I “re-purpose” the chicken in an Asian chicken salad, or even put it in a wrap.
The bottom line with this sauce is that it only has 50 calories and 0.5 grams of fat per ¼ cup serving. I know what you are thinking….sodium, and you are right most packaged foods are high in sodium; this sauce has 430 mg. of sodium which I don’t find to be too terrible if you are mindful of your sodium level throughout the day. Also, it is important that you note whatever you may have ordered-in instead would most likely have had much more sodium than the 430 mg. that is in this meal. Our new mindset isn’t about trying to be “some sort of perfect”, because that doesn’t exist. It is about doing the best that we can for ourselves, for our families and for each other at the moment. And I find that this meal Skillet Sauce by Campbell’s is exactly that.
The instructions say that this sweet and sour chicken cooks in 15 minutes and all you will need is 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken cut into strips. However, I substitute broth and nonstick cooking spray for the oil. I find the oil is totally unnecessary in this meal. I also add vegetables (and even pineapple when I want to get creative) right into the sauces as the chicken simmers in the pot…Now that’s what I call a one pot meal!
For a complete and well balanced MEAL TRIFECTA that only takes 15 minutes to complete; your smart and simple starch can be brown rice or if time permits “Unfried Rice” and for your vegetable serve steamed broccoli or snow peas. You can’t order dinner, have it delivered faster than that and be satisfied by the taste all while knowing that you fed yourself and your family healthfully.