For most, the thought of preparing a healthy meal at the end of a long day is not an appealing one. There is a common misconception that preparing a healthy meal takes time and fancy ingredients. This recipe shows you that a simple healthy meal can be very quick and easy to make. It only uses fresh ingredients, which are all things that should be staples on your grocery list. So even if you only think of dinner when you walk through the door this is a meal that you can put together in under half an hour. For the weight conscious, it is low in energy, low in fat, high in protein and is a ‘Mediterranean style’ of cooking. For kids, because fresh ingredients are used it means there are no chemical additives.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Stove Top Time: 20 minutes
250g Wholewheat spaghetti
4 Skinless chicken fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tsp Cooking oil
1 tsp Chopped garlic
1 Red onion, finely chopped
4 cups Broccoli, chopped into small bite size pieces
1 tsp Oreganum
Zest of one lemon
Olive oil for serving
Salt and Pepper to season
Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. This should take around 20 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the cooking oil in a large non-stick frying pan or paella pan.
Add the garlic and red onion. Cook together for 2 minutes on a medium heat.
Add the broccoli, oreganum, a pinch of salt, juice of half a lemon and cook together stirring regularly until the onion and broccoli have started to soften.
Putting a lid over the pan will help the vegetables to cook faster and prevent them sticking.
Move the vegetables to the outskirts of the pan.
Add the chicken to the centre of the pan. Season with salt, pepper and the juice of half a lemon.
Cook the chicken, stirring regularly.
When the chicken is almost cooked through, add the lemon zest, combine it with the cooked vegetables and continue cooking until the chicken has cooked through.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Meanwhile, drain the pasta. Season it with salt and a generous glug of olive oil.
Portion the cooked pasta and chicken mixture out between four plates or bowls, tossing the two together.
Season with additional lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
You can take the chicken out to defrost when you get home after work. Cutting it into pieces first and leaving it in contact with a granite surface will help to defrost it faster.
If you don’t have fresh herbs, the dried mixed herbs that you buy in the shops work well.
Recipe Credit: Kerryn Gibson (Kerryn is a registered dietitian in private practice in Durban and Ballito working as a paediatric dietitian and a sports dietitian).