Side note before we get started: It’s a shame that there is no synonym for “quick” which ends in -ous ;)!
At the end of January, I started an online correspondent course with the University of California, San Francisco on Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. I just completed the course and enjoyed every second of it, especially as it was so eye-opening. Amongst other things, I learned how to specifically plan well-balanced meals & dietary interventions for individuals who are at risk/diagnosed with various health issues including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Out of the various assignments which we completed, our last one was my favorite
To prepare a dish at home & provide visual documentation, put together an independent nutrient analysis and discuss its purported effects on health promotion or disease prevention.
Initially after reading the requirements, I was ready to pull out the big guns. I started Googling various elaborate recipe for inspiration but ended up going the opposite route with a Broccoli & Chicken Stir Fry. I chose to create this dish because of its nutrient content, taste and, most importantly, its simplicity. A huge reason why people shy away from eating a healthy diet is because of the belief that cooking nutritious meals is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive; this dish proves that such is not the case.
Chicken & Broccoli Stir Fry – serves 2
- Chicken breast, 2 medium breast sliced
- Broccoli, 2 cups of florets
- Sesame oil, 2 tablespoons
- Low-sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
- In a heated pan, add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- Add the chicken and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Keep aside.
- In the same pan, stir fry the broccoli for 2 minutes until it is bright green & tender.
- Add back the chicken to the pan, along with the remaining sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Stir fry until well-combined and the chicken has heated through.
- Serve with your choice of carbohydrate (e.g. brown rice, quinoa, or buckwheat noodles)
Even though this dish only consists of 4 ingredients and requires minimal culinary skills, the health benefits of it are extensive. For example:
- This dish is calorie-controlled and can therefore aid weight loss. By reducing the risk of obesity, this kind of dish also lowers the risk of various lifestyle-related issues like heart disease, diabetes & cancer from developing.
- The protein content in chicken ensures that bodily cells are strong & healthy, and also provide the amino acids necessary for healthy skin, nails, muscles, cartilage and blood.
- Opting for lean sources of protein like chicken breast is especially helpful for patients looking to lower their blood pressure.
- Given the antioxidant properties of broccoli, its effect on health promotion & disease prevention is vast.
- Broccoli’s high vitamin C content helps fight against attack from free radicals.
- As a fibrous food, broccoli can lower the risk of colorecteral cancer and diabetes developing. With relation to the latter, fiber reduces glycemic response and therefore the demand for insulin.
- Sesame oil can contribute to a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease as it reduces LDL cholesterol levels.
Don’t even get me started on discussing the nutrient value of adding in brown rice ;)!
What’s your go-to recipe for a healthy meal?
How long do you tend to spend on cooking dinner? Most nights I spend 20 minutes or less in the kitchen.