Sweet and Sour Sauce:
I found the sauce recipe on the web, and have slightly modified it to my taste. I’ve made it several times over the past month, and this has really worked out well for me. I make Sweet and Sour chicken by first getting a package of frozen, breaded chicken breast tenders. I’ve been getting “Fast Fixin’” brand lately because they’ve been buy one get one at Publix. Anyway, put those in the oven. While they’re baking, put a package or two of Lipton’s “Asian Sides — Chicken Fried Rice” in the microwave. Then start making the sauce below. After the rice is done, I usually heat up some veggies like broccoli and/or sugar snap peas as well. When the chicken is done, cut it up into small chunks and combine with the the rice and veggies. I also toss in some of the pinapple tidbits from the can (or cans if you are doubling the recipe) as well. Serve it with the sauce below and bask in the glory of it all!
As a side note: the recipe below doesn’t really make enough sauce for every serving of the above. If you are doing that, you might want to double everything below. I did that last night and it turned out just as good.
- Reserved juice from a can of pineapples plus added water (or other liquid) to make a cup and a half of total liquid. This may go without saying, but make sure it’s pineapple canned only in its own juice. Of course, pineapple juice (not concentrate) from another source other than canned fruit would do just as well. The first time I made this, I made it with adding water but I didn’t think it was sweet enough. Ever since then I’ve added Mountain Dew to it, and it ROCKS! Yes, Mountain Dew. Experiment with it and find out what you like the best.
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 – 6 drops red food coloring
- 2 ½ rounded tablespoons corn starch mixed in enough cold water to make a slurry. Use as little water as necessary to completely dissolve the cornstarch.
Directions for Making Sauce
- Place pineapple juice / other liquid mixture in a sauce pan. Heat over low flame. Slowly add sugar while stirring.
- When the sugar has dissolved, slowly add the vinegar and the lemon juice while stirring.
- Add the corn starch slurry, slowly, and stir while heating. Bring to a boil.
- Stir constantly until thickened. Add food coloring (a couple drops at first and then adjust until you have the red color you like) and stir well to mix. Continue to heat and stir until almost a syrup.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- It will thicken the more it cools.
What is Gatorade? Well simply enough, in my opinion, Gatorade is slightly flavored Kool Aid with electrolytes added. Slightly flavored because, let’s face it, Gatorade doesn’t pack much of a flavor punch, and the flavors are in much less variety than Kool Aid flavors.
Okay, so what are electrolytes? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolytes for reference, but for short electrolytes are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, and carbonates. So, even shorter, electrolytes are salt (normal table salt – I use sea salt), salt substitute like “No Salt” (which is potassium chloride and potassium bitartrate), and baking soda (which is sodium bicarbonate).
The original formula for my Gatorade and Vitamin Water drinks was found on the WebMD website, which I found during a Google search for rehydration drink formulas. This is the link to that:
I mixed some of that up, and let me tell you that it tastes like what I imagine ass must taste like. It’s just nasty. That’s when I hit upon my kool aid idea. It would be awesome if Gatorade came in such a variety of flavors! And flavors that actually taste like flavors LOL! So after some trial and error, and making my own formulas that tasted like ass as well, I hit upon this:
- 2 quarts distilled water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon “no salt” salt substitute
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (citric acid – good for a stomach buffer)
- 1 packet of whatever Kool Aid flavor you want
This makes a little over 3 20oz Gatorade bottles of electrolyte drink. My favorite Gatorade is Gatorade Rain Lime flavor. A 20oz bottle of this has:
34g carbs and sugars
My version has in a 20oz bottle:
112.5 calories (15 calories in 1 teaspoon of sugar, which converts to 360 calories in ½ cup, 64 oz of water in two quarts converts to 5.625 calories per oz of liquid with dissolved sugar, and 112.5 in 20oz)
186mg sodium (295mg in 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and 300mg in ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, then follow above formula to determine amount in 20oz of liquid)
203mg potassium (650mg in ¼ teaspoon of “No Salt”, then follow above formula to determine amount in 20oz of liquid)
30g of carbs and sugars (4g of carbs and sugars per teaspoon of sugar, 96g per ½ cup sugar, then follow above formula to determine the amount in 20oz of liquid)
It costs roughly 30 cents per 20oz bottle to make this stuff, and that’s with me buying gallon jugs of distilled water to make it with. If you use just tap water, then it would be even cheaper. If you want to have a bit of calcium and magnesium (other electrolytes) then you can also add a bit of calcium fortified orange juice to the formula as well. I haven’t tried this yet, but I probably will in the future. This would of course alter the sugar and caloric content in relation to the amount of OJ you use, of course. But as you can see, my version has less calories, carbs, and sodium, and much more potassium. And it tastes WAY better in my opinion. What is especially cool is that you can make whatever flavor of kool aid you can find, so there’s much more variety than in standard Gatorade.
EDIT (12/29/09): Since I wrote the above, I have modified my formula of the above Gatorade clone to include 8oz of OJ (Specifically the “Healthy Kids” variety of Tropicana Pure Premium as it has added Calcium [another electrolyte woo hoo] and Vitamins A, D, and E). To adjust for the added sugars in OJ, I lowered the sugar amount to 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon. I also lowered the amount of baking soda and “no salt” to 1/8 tsp. The lemon juice is eliminated completely since there is citric acid in the OJ. These changes have altered the nutritional values as follows per 20 ounces: 117 calories, 152 mgs sodium, 242 mgs potassium, and 31 g carbs and sugars. In addition, the drink also now has 63% DV of Vitamin C, 11% DV Calcium, 8% DV Vitamin D, 6% DV of Vitamins A and E, 5% DV Folic Acid, 3% DV Thiamin, 2% DV of Vitamin B6 and Magnesium [another electrolyte - although in a low quantity], and 1% DV of Niacin and Riboflavin.
Honey Mustard (Chili’s Style):
I found the base for the following recipe on the web a long time ago and have modified it to my tastes. I LOVE Chili’s honey mustard that they give you with their Chicken Crispers. The following is as close as I can get to replicating it:
- 3 tbs Sour Cream
- 3 tbs Honey (I prefer Orange Blossom Honey)
- 2 tbs Light Mayo
- 1 tbs Regular Mustard
- 1 tbs Brown Spicy Mustard
- 1 tbs Southwest Spicy Mustard (I found this at WalMart in their “Great Value” brand)
- 1 tbs or so of Lemon Juice. You can go with another 1tbs of you want.
Just mix all that together and there you go. Easy-peasy and it tastes great! Feel free to play with the amounts – more mayo if you want it creamier. More or less mustard or honey if you want it tangier or sweeter. To me, the above is just right. However, sometimes I don’t want the Southwest Spicy mustard in it so I just use more of the other kinds. Play around and find out what you like.
Homemade Shampoo and Conditioner:
I found the following on the web as well. To make a great “shampoo” just mix 2 tbs of Baking Soda with 2 Cups of warm water. Use it right away so that it doesn’t cool down too much or else it will be uncomfortable pouring it on your head in a warm shower. Pour it on your head slowly so that you get it all through your hair – top, sides, back – as well as your scalp. Gently scrub it into your scalp and hair like you would when washing your hair at any other time. Then wait a minute and rinse it.
To make a great conditioner just mix 2 or 3 tbs apple cider vinegar in 2 Cups of warm water. A lot of people hate the smell of vinegar, but I don’t; I LOVE it. However, when you dilute it down in so much water all it ends up smelling like is apples – a least to me. I’ve read on the web where others comment that it still smells too much like vinegar to them. Well to each their own, but this rocks in combination with the above. If you’re going to do the baking soda shampoo, you have to finish it off with this. Just slowly pour it all through your hair as you do with the baking soda mixture. Ideally, you shouldn’t rinse this stuff out. Just leave it in there and go about your business of washing the rest of your body and go on with your life. If you must rinse it out, go ahead and leave it on whist you wash yourself and then rinse it out as you’re rinsing your body.
Most shampoos on the market today strip out all the good oils in your hair along with the dirt and bad oils. This weakens hair and makes it blah. The above has put some life back into my hair, and I’m just a guy – I don’t care about it that much but I do notice the difference. I’m just doing this so I don’t have to buy shampoo and conditioner hardly at all. Sometimes I’m running behind and don’t want to bother with mixing the above stuff up, so I will just use regular shampoo / conditioner. But I do mostly wash my hair with the above and I love the results.