This was a recipe I entered in a competition with the 12WBT program I’ve been doing (and which has changed so much about my approach to healthy cooking.)
It had to come in at 300 calories (or under) per serve. And! I was one of 20 finalists who won a George Foreman grill !!
(299 cal per serve)
I created this recipe as a substitute for your typical Chinese takeaway Lemon Chicken. For the few extra cals tossing in the wholemeal flour, and using a tablespoon of olive oil, helps to give it that ‘battered’ look but without the batter! Plus it helps to slightly thicken and caramelise the lemon juice. It’s an simple recipe but all my kids and my husband love it.
210g chicken breast or tenderloins, chopped into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon wholemeal flour
1 tblsp olive oil
1 green shallot, diced
150g green beans (topped/tailed and chopped into 2-3cm lengths)
small carrot – julienned/shredded
90g broccoli chopped into bite size pieces
12g Fava nuts (Roasted broadbeans – 1/2 of 25g snack pack)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
Toss chicken pieces in flour to coat. (put both in a clean plastic bag and shake till chicken evenly coated)
Heat oil in non-stick pan or wok – stir fry chicken pieces till golden, remove from pan.
Add shallots, beans and broccoli stir fry a minute or two, add carrots strips and fava nuts. Stir fry a minute.
Return chicken to pan, mix – then add lemon juice. Stir well till coated. Serve.
Add ½ cup steamed basmati rice (111 cal)
I always like to add a bit of colour to my stir fries, and a nutritionist once told me to try to add some ‘orange’ to every meal, so I’ve added the carrot here – but you can obviously substitute any veggies you want and play around with quantities and calories. (It’s yum with broccolini.)
I have this great ‘julienning’ gadget for carrots that shreds them into really thin but longish strips which are more appealing than just grated carrot, but way thinner than julienning with a knife. (Carrot is great added to salads that way.) You possibly don’t need as much as a whole small carrot even – add just what looks right artistically!!)
I added the fava nuts to replace calorie laden cashews or almonds which you often find in chinese dishes. They are roasted broadbeans – the same brand as those chic nuts Mish recommended in the ‘snacks’ video – just be careful, as they have more cals than the chic nuts. (You can find them in the ‘health food’ section of the supermarket.) Half a 25g snack pack is still worth 60 calories, so you might like to substitute a ¼ cup of pre-cooked brown rice instead (30 cals) – I think brown rice has a slightly nutty flavour.
[I forgot to add the fava nuts when I made it up last night as a ‘Serves 2’ test run and for the photo – but when I used them the other night they got the thumbs up from the household food critics! NB. I had actually come up with this recipe before 12WBT, but 12WBT has taught me how to adapt it to meet the calorie criteria! A few weeks ago I had never heard of chic nuts or fava nuts!]