Here’s a 15mins easy week night dinner idea that is deliciously satisfying, a healthier twist to the original Chinese chicken chow mein. interestingly guilt free and under 500kcal . Healthy eating is not at all boring, it involves a bit of getting creative, for me it means eating the world, the more diverse, the more nutrients you harvest and the healthier you get. you can still enjoy your favourite comfort meal by simply swapping the ingredients to healthier alternatives closer to what you are used to .
I find organic Edamame spaghetti/noodle to be a better pasta alternative, it is gluten free(great option for those with gluten allergy) ever since I discovered it, it’s been a keeper. if you click on featured recipe in my home page you will find another Edamame spaghetti recipe with a much detailed information about the nutritional content (it will be worth checking).
Having said that, shirataki noodles also works very well with this recipe. it might be worth trying other alternatives out there, sure there are a lot of them now. Any noodles will do this job so well! So the next time a craving for Chinese food strikes , whip up this recipe in just 15mins and you will be glad you did.
Notes: feel free to try other vegetables( baby corn, fine bean, bean sprouts etc , frozen versions will work just fine too. play around with meat types as well. This recipe is also adaptable to vegetarian or vegan.
100g chicken breast
80g organic edamame spaghetti (cook according to instruction on pack)
1/2 Pack of mushroom ( washed and sliced)
100g Bok choy/ Pak choy
1 Carrot ( peeled and sliced)
2 Cloves garlic-Red and green pepper( deseeded &chopped)
1 Scotch bonnet (optional)
1 onion /shallot/spring onion
1 cm fresh ginger ( peeled and grated)
1 Teaspoon soy sauce or coconut amino
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Method 1- Heat oil in a skillet and stir fry chicken, onion, garlic, and ginger till fragrant
2- Add remaining vegetables, soy sauce and pepper. reduce heat and cook for 3mins to soften vegetables 3- Add spaghetti to the vegetable mix, stir well and cook for another 3mins Then turn off the hob and Serve just enough and enjoy
I’m so thrilled to have found a healthier alternative to spaghetti!!
I have been off pasta due to blood sugar spikes,(once diabetic but now fine) so for nearly four years now, I intentionally stayed off any high glycaemic food type.I have had to swap with courgettes/zucchini noodles which is no where close to regular pasta in taste and texture but healthier and served the purpose of keeping my blood sugar normal and the extra pounds off…hahaa
So my excitement when I found this organic edamame spaghetti at my local store(sainsburys) was beyond words. After scanning through the nutritional content I quickly threw it into my trolley, I had to definitely try this one out!!
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY EDAMAME SPAGHETTI?
Edamame spagetti is made from 100% Edamame,a young soy beans harvested early before they are ripened or hardened. is a complete protein, provides all the essential amino acid needed in your diet.(humans can’nt make this type of protein, so they get it from their diet).
Naturally high in healthy fats( polyunsaturated fats omega-3 alpha lineolic acid).
It is gluten free, low calorie and excellent source of protein, good source of calcium, fiber and iron about 45% of your iron recommended dietary intake.(goodnews if you have low blood iron levels)
SO in comparison with traditional spaghetti edamame spaghetti is a nutritional winner with 42.2g of protein, 23.3g of fiber, 13.1g carbs, 6.6g fat per 100g. Whereas, regular spaghetti has 7g of protein, 0g fiber, 28g total carb, 0g fat.
Studies suggests that eating varied plant based foods can reduce the risks of many lifestyle related health problems such as Osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and a host of others, so this spaghetti really is a go to if you are looking to keep healthier and cut back on flabby pounds.
WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
This is the million dollar question…haahaa in all honesty I did’nt know what to expect, I thought it will be funny and mushy maybe, but surprisingly with every bite was like mmmmhhh…so oo good. it has the same soft texture and taste as regular pasta but with little edamame flavour(not to bad)
So I whipped up a home made pasta sauce with cherry tomatoes, cooked the spaghetti for just 4mins(according to instruction in the pack) it is a bit fragile so needs to be handled carefully if you dont want it all broken up. drained and tossed into my sauce and served on a bed of veggies with buffalo mozzarella(optional) topped with pan seared salmon. so scrumptious and comforting.
-A handful of edamame spaghetti
– cherry tomatoes
-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-3 garlic cloves crushed
-1 onion chopped
-1 tsp paprika
– buffalo mozarrella(optional)
-peppers and salt to taste
-basil or parsley for garnishing
1.Bring water to a boil in a pan , add pinch of salt and gently add edamame spaghetti cook for 4mins, drain and
2.In a skillet over medium heat saute onions and garlic till fragrant, then add fresh tomatoes and season, cook for about 5mins
Then add your spaghetti allow to simmer on low heat for 3mins and turn off heat. garnish and serve with topping of choice.
If you are wondering what ORZO is, just like I did the first time I heard that word.. orzo!
It is a small shape pasta that looks like rice. used mainly in greek cuisines, pilafs or salads.
I had the pleasure of enjoying this meal while on vacation in greece. like always, I have recreated a healthier version of the original recipe.
I believe healthy eating is fun and sustainable when you can still eat and enjoy your favourite or comfort meals by using alternatives with health bursting benefits, and closer to what you are used.
So I have used a fiber rich orzo made from 100% whole durum wheat instead of the traditional white flour wheat.
According to research whole wheat grains are healthier because they still have 3 parts of the grain intact, They are rich in nutrient and full of fiber which makes them one of the best carbohydrates for weightloss or weight management.
Orzo has a low GI and the combination of veggies makes this recipe a nutritional winner. here’s a good read about health gains of mixing pasta with veggies at pastafits.org/note-dietitian-glycemic-index-pasta/
This pot is easily adaptable to your goals, vegan( add grilled tofu for protein), meat lover just depending on what you throw in.
I have cooked my orzo in a rich spicy tomato sauce with disease fighting polyphenols and immunity boosting vitamin C, bulked it up with savoy cabbage, broccoli, eggplant powerful antioxidants and spices that help boost metabolism like scotch bonnet chilli, garlic and paprika… S .P.ICY!! a shaving of parmigiano-reggiano cheese to satisfy your italian taste bud😃
So not only is this meal a nutritional winner, but it is also a fusion dish hello Africa, hello greece and hello Italy! showing a happy fusion of cultures( Ahh..mazingly delicious and beautiful)
Great for week night dinner or lunch .It allows your 5 a day serving of veggies, very simple to make, with less cleaning ( gr…eat!) also a perfect cook one eat 4x or more ( 😃 handy!)
LOW CARB? LOW CALORIE? PASTA? IDEAL FOR WEIGHTLOSS? HEALTHY?
My idea of a healthy life style from my little knowledge in basic nutrition science is not deprivation or dieting but being active and eating from all food types in moderation. however allergies, food intolerances, religious, health or ethical reasons are exceptions. I have tried various diets for weightloss ( story for another day) and back to enjoying all food types in moderation( still keeping my carb low -moderate to avoid blood sugar spike) , being portion aware is key. So I have been practicing weighing out my meal bases and bulking up with vegetables and lean protein and it I’m beyond happy with the results. no food type is magic on it’s own, It’s all about balance, variety ensures that you are getting a wider selection of micro and macro nutrients that are needed for physical and mental health.
So many studies have shown that a combination of all food types in a meal increases the rate at which the meal is broken down. According to research when pasta is cooled the temperature drop changes the chemical content to RESISTANT STARCH which has been shown to promote breakdown of fat and weightloss.So let’s get cooking!!
-200G Whole wheat orzo
-100g cherry fresh tomatoes and half canned chopped tomatoes( mix to make up 100g)
-1 savoy cabbage chopped( leave some leaves for wrapping) />
-1 eggplant chopped
-1 broccoli(steamed to be served with cooked orzo)
-1Tbsp smoked paprika (or more for colour)
Salt to taste, a handful of parsly to pretty it up and shavings of parmigiano-reggiano cheese (optional)
1- Blend onions, garlic,canned tomatoes, peppers and set aside.
2- In a large skillet, Add 2tbs of olive oil and pour in the pepper and tomtoe paste allow to cook for 3mins add about a cup of water or chicken broth then to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, add orzo and cook for 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, add more broth or water while cooking if still strong .
3-Once orzo is fully cooked to al dente, reduce heat to low, add fresh cherry tomatoes and chopped vegetables.cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Remove from heat and add parsley.
Serve and enjoy with cheese shavings! (optional)
I served mine on a lightly steamed savoy cabbage leaf with grilled chicken breast pomegranate seeds and cheese shavings… yum…my
and remaining 5 portions with steamed broccoli dinner or lunch for the week sorted!!
A quick breakdown of this delicious one pot orzo based on calories per 2cups(200-260g) cooked portion. data from fat nutrition.com and fitness pal
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER 200g COOKED ORZO
-calories per gram(carb=4cal, protein=4cal, fat=9cal)
CALORIES 1 COOKED EGG PLANT=72 cal
fat-3.8g, carb-8.39, protein-0.8g
-CALORIES PER CUP OF COOKED BROCCOLI-31 cal
total carb 6g-3g fiber=3g
CALORIES IN 100G COOKED TOMATOES-20cal
carb-3.91g, protein-0.8g, Fat-0.13g
-CALORIES PER CUP OF COOKED SAVOY CABBAGE-19Cal
CAlORIES IN 2 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL-252cal
polyunsaturated fat 4g
TOTAL CALORIES IN THIS ONE POT RECIPE =(628+252+72+31+20.13+19)=1,021.9Calories
So this pot makes 6 servings if you divide total calories by no of portions -1021.9÷6= 170 cal per serving so roughly 250 cal to account for other ingredients like garlic, pepper and herbs, still under 500 cal per meal( now that’s good news to your waist line plus all the nutritional gains.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not liable to any damage that may arise from the use of the information provided, people are different and metabolize differently so some of the information may not apply to everyone if you are concerned about your eating habits or diet and wish to change them ,then you should consult a dietician first.