I love Wagamama for a quick meal, BUT it’s definitely a case of ‘buyer beware’!!! I worry about the MSG-content and the calorie-count in dishes like their Chicken Ramen (not to mention the epic 1149-calorie, 50g-fat Chicken Katsu Curry!!!). For the Ramen, 520 simple-carb calories strikes me as alot of the wrong kind, so I set about making my own healthy, fun Chicken Noodle Broth recipe for the home too! This Chicken Noodle Soup recipe (‘Rahmen’ style) is low in calories (c. 390) fat and salt but rich in protein (30g) – ideal! It’s so easy and quick to make – just about 15 min – and it’s suitably filing / craving-neutralising when your body cries out for comfort-food. There are 2 key ingredients:
1) Wholewheat noodles are low in fat (1g fat per 100g), boast 0% saturated / trans fats as well as 0% cholesterol, and crucially, have 27g of slow-release, low-GI carbohydrates per 100g – containing only 1g of sugar! So much healthier than their pale, simple cousins 😀 !
2) Chicken is a famous source of ‘lean protein’ and I consider it one of the core building blocks for a healthy diet that aims to control weight. In the picture above, I’ve used ‘Roast chicken breast slices’ from Sainsbury’s the ‘Be good to yourself’ range. It’s plenty high in protein (29.6g per 100g), lower in fat than most ‘chicken breast’ products (with a teeny-weeny 1.6g per 100g) and has a wafer-thin amount of saturated fat (0.7g per 100g).
I’ve added some veggies – mainly peppers, mushrooms and rocket – but you can use whatever you fancy really, so get a bit inventive! Click to see the ‘how to’ here…
One of life’s greatest pleasures is eating – for me that means trying out new restaurants or cooking for friends and family, but I remember a time when eating felt more like a guilt trip. As a young, impressionable teenager I used to guinea-pig my way through unrealistic diets because I was led to believe (through clever marketing, and a pressurising ‘media onslaught’) that eating 5 bars a day was ‘the best way to be healthy’. I also thought the word ‘skinny’ was synonymous with ‘healthy’ and that the quickest way to achieve ‘skinny’ was by eating less food. The scales may have told me I was right, but I felt physically tired, emotional, starving and frankly miserable…. That is anything but an informed understanding of ‘healthy!
I think that especially amongst women, there is a vast and dangerous misconception. By eating far too little in order to lose weight you starve the body of essential nutrients, & have less energy to do anything, including work out! My ‘trick’ is to eat the right food, little & often, throughout the day, to speed up the metabolism. Weighing scales can be very deceiving. Going on bizarre fad diets which promise ‘rapid weight loss’ generally rely on either water loss (i.e. dehydration – bad, as c.70% of the body is made up of water, and there’s a reason for that!) or the loss of your natural muscle mass. Some long term diets may also slow down your metabolism further. Caring for your body by eating well and by being active, you’ll lose the right kind of weight (thus improving the ‘body fat percentage’ ratio).
I hope some of the recipes on my blog can help inspire healthy eating. With that in mind, here’s my asian-inspired lean Chicken Curry packed with nutritious flavour! It’s perfect for sharing!
FOUR KEY HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE RECIPE ???
1) GREEN FRESH JALEPENO CHILLI Chilli is full of immune-stimulating and health-promoting properties. One is capsaicin (which gives it the spicy kick, and is a strong anti-diabetic). It also has anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties, whilst reducing (bad) LDL cholesterol levels. These Jalepeno peppers are pretty fiery (2500 on the Scoville scale of ‘can you handle the heat?’), and are more than enough to raise your metabolism a few notches too! It’s rich in vitamin-C (100g chilli = c.240% of RDA) which is immune boosting and fights free radicals from the body. There’s a good amount of minerals such as potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium too, all of which will help regulate the blood pressure. It also provides your body with its required dose of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1).
2) LEMONGRASS Contains beneficial ‘essential oils’ (counter-irritant, anti-fungal & anti-septic properties), as well as vitamins and minerals (such as vitral, lemonal, and aldehyde responsible for that strong lemony scent, but which also has strong anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties). It contains a mini ’99 calories per 100 g’ and not a trace of cholesterol! The stem and leaves are high in folic acid (19% of RDA) which is important in cell division & repair. Plus it’s also rich in vitamin B5, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-1 (essential for the body to replenish). There’s also a cheeky amount of anti-oxidant vitamin-C and vitamin-A (immune and sight-boosting respectively), and finally lemon grass has plenty of bonus minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. The body needs these – lemongrass has them!
Garlic is a great source of potassium (regulates blood pressure / oxygenation & heartbeat pace, lubricates joints), iron (supports red blood cell formation), calcium (promotes healthy bones), magnesium (aids nervous-system functions, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and hormone balancing) manganese (an antioxidant enzyme), zinc (cell regeneration, digestion-aiding, with anti-cancerous properties), and selenium (heart-healthy, antioxidant enzyme). It also has a compound called ‘allicin’ which has been shown to reduce cholesterol, alleviate high blood pressure and help decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.
4) ORGANIC CHICKEN
Free -range, hormone & antibiotic free organic roast chicken breast (100g contains 116 calories, 22g protein, 3g fat) is perfect if you’re trying to lose weight, as it’s lower in fat and calories than other meats such as beef (100g fillet steak contains 196 calories, 26g protein, 9g fat) and pork (100g pork chop contains 260 calories, 28g protein, 16g fat), whilst still being high in lean protein. It contains vitamins B6 and B3 (to help cell recovery) and contains essential selenium (anti-cancerous properties) and zinc (as per description in ‘garlic’, above). A small serving of chicken can meet the niacin requirements for the entire day (essential for brain health, shown to help protect against Alzheimer’s disease & dementia), as well as Vitamin E, betacarotene, and Vitamins B6 and B12.
Click more below to see the full instructions to make this delicious and healthy dish. Enjoy, and I’d love to hear what you think of it! firstname.lastname@example.org for any feedback and questions. Faya 🙂
This recipe for my super-nutritious Asian Coconut Broth is meant to prove that Asian food can not only be incredibly full on flavour, but can also be very healthy. To tick the ever-important protein box, I’ve thrown in prawns, but chicken also works fine with this dish (see photo below). To make it interesting, I’ve given it some more substance by adding quinoa (a low GI seed which packs a complete protein, as discussed in my previous post ‘Nature’s Protein’, here). I’ve also used coconut milk, which apart from being gluten and cholesterol-free, is very rich in manganese (to balance blood sugar), calcium and phosphorus (for bone strength), iron (1 cup provides 25% of your daily requirement, for energy & healthy blood oxygenation), vitamin C (for immune health) and mounds of dietary fibre. Note, coconut milk whilst rich on flavour, is relatively high in fat (20g saturated fat per 100g milk, but no transfat) therefore I only used half a tin, and diluted it with an equal part of water, which still gives it all the taste it needs. Lime gives the dish a sharper kick, but also supercharges the vitamin C content, whilst the flavoursome chilli and ginger raise the body’s metabolic rate, helping you burn your calories quicker! Served piping-hot, it’s a massively hearty (& healthy) option for a midweek meal! Here’s the ingredients list and the ‘how-to’: