Posted in Food

Jazz Up the Jar

I wouldn’t say that processed food, ready meals and even takeaways aren’t relevant to modern life, it’s just that over the past 40 years there are three generations of people who have come out of school and gone through their home life without ever being shown how to cook properly.

Jamie Oliver

Load the compost heap with peelings, not the recycle bin with plastic. Dieticians and health fanatics take an aggressive, no-give approach to processed foods, and pretty much anything out of a packet. But for the humble eater seeking sustenance, many factors affect what they put in their mouths: time, availability, knowledge and price to name just a few.

This August bank holiday 28° plus temperatures saw many pink, part roasted beings grab the phone for a takeaway, or shuffle to the supermarket aisle stocked with jars of processed sauces, prepared to sacrifice the beauty of a steaming plate of home cooked food in favour quick and ease.

Here is a meal out of a jar, perked up with a slice of moderation and a sprinkle of compromise.

This principle is a great way of using up odds and ends from the fridge, to jazz up pretty much any processed jar of cooking sauce.

Cheats Sweet and Sour Chicken with a Twist


  • 1 Packet of Chicken Breast Goujons
  • 1 Diced Onion
  • 6 Mushrooms sliced
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic crushed
  • Handful of Spinach
  • Juice of one lime
  • Packet of Gnocchi
  • Handful of Chopped Coriander
  • Jar of Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to Season


Gently fry the chicken breast in a dash of olive oil, until white all over but not brown. Squeeze over the juice of 1 lime and continue to stir for another minute. Remove from the frying pan and set aside in a casserole dish.

Meanwhile add a little more olive oil and soften the onion and mushrooms. Add the garlic and spinach and stir until the spinach wilts.

Add the contents of the frying pan to the chicken, season with salt and pepper. Pour in the sweet and sour sauce and stir.

Cook in a pre heated moderate oven for 40-50 minutes.

Five minutes before ready to serve, bring a seasoned pan full of water to the boil. Add a handful of chopped coriander and a packet of gnocchi. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the gnocchi floats to the surface.

Serve with the sweet and sour chicken and a side salad and crusty bread.

Excessive sorrow laughs. Excessive joy weeps

William Blake


A professional and creative writing graduate and proofreader. Hobbies include: reading, writing, walking, cycling, theatre, cooking, baking, arts, crafts and culture. An avid volunteer within the arts sector and supporter of improving mental health. Favourite quote: creativity is contagious passion. (Einstein)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s