Yield: 4 portions
If you are like me, you want to eat well and treat your body well. You want to be healthy and make choices to support that goal. But if you're like me you may have struggle to maintain this lifestyle because, well, you just love food! Listen, I love indulgent foods as much as anyone else. Pizza, fries, burgers, pasta, I love it all! And I refuse to restrict myself from enjoying the things that make me happy. The mistake is thinking that you can't have both. So, how am I able to maintain my health goals while still enjoying the foods that are less nutrient dense? It's called moderation! Yes, it's a buzz word that we have all heard. But how well do you practice it? The trick lies in what you do around those unhealthy meals. Do you eat well and exercise around your less than healthy food choices? That's right, I said choices! You get to make them. So if you know you want to enjoy an indulgent meal or a night out, prepare for that by making sure the meals you eat and activities you engage in around that meal support your long term goals. The key is to prepare meals for yourself that are healthy, balanced and satisfying on a regular basis so that you will be better equipped to control your cravings. We all have only so much willpower to expend every day. Like anything else, you must practice will power to develop it as a skill. So try this: For every unhealthy meal you consume, try to eat 3 healthy ones. This is trick that I have used that has helped me to develop my discipline, to make healthier choices more often, and still be able to indulge in the foods that make my soul happy. And I don't have to waste time or precious energy feeling guilty because I know I've earned it and I know I will make it up. Start small. Once this 3:1 rule becomes a habit then you can challenge yourself by adding more healthy meals in between unhealthy ones. Give it a try for a week and see if you don't notice some changes! I want to show you guys how to prepare healthy meals that are easy to mix and match and put together to keep you on top of your day to day goals. Meals that leave you satisfied and that you can look forward to. Then, when you decide to have a few slices of pizza you'll know that you earned it and you'll know that it won't cause you to veer off course. The course being health, happiness and balance! Okay, here is the recipe. Feel free to make it your own. Mix and match it with other recipes. In fact, when I make meals like this I will often make a batch of vegetables, a batch of a few different proteins, some potatoes, some rice. That way I can reach into my fridge and create a new meal every time. Keep in mind this recipe yields 4 portions.
Entire meal=1944 calories
Portion size=486 calories
For the Chicken
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 T soy sauce
3 T olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
For the Green Beans
1 lb green beans, trimmed
1T salt (to boil water)
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 T fresh ginger, minced
1/4 small onion, minced
1/2 T soy sauce
1/2 T sesame oil
For the Couscous
1.5 cup dried Moroccan Couscous (fine grain)
2 cup chicken stock (or water)
1/2 T olive oil
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp curry powder
1-2 stalk green onion, sliced 1/4' pieces
*Note: You can buy easy to make couscous boxes at the grocery store. Near East is my favorite brand that comes in lots of different flavors. Just add water or chicken stock and it's ready in 5 minutes!
1. Start by taking your chicken out and letting it come to room temperature. While you do this, go ahead and bring a pot of salted water to a boil (1 T salt).
2. While your chicken is coming to temperature and your water is getting hot, rinse and trim your green beans so they are ready to go.
3. Once your green beans are cleaned and trimmed, prep your onion, ginger and garlic. You just want to mince or finely chop these ingredients. The size and uniformity doesn't matter too much.
4. By this point your water should be boiling. Before throwing your green beans in, set yourself up with colander in the sink. Now, boil the green beans for no more than 2 minutes. The goal here is to cook them just enough that they are no longer raw but remain vibrant and still have a nice crunch.
5. After 2 minutes, strain the green beans in a colander and rinse with cold water. Alternately, you could transfer them into an ice water bath, but if you follow the 2-min rule then this step is unnecessary.
6. While your green beans are draining and cooling, move onto cleaning the chicken. Start by patting the chicken very dry. Trim any excess fat and season lightly with salt and pepper. You don't want to add too much salt because we'll be marinating in soy sauce which will add some saltiness.
7. Cut your seasoned chicken into 1" pieces and transfer to a bowl. Add the soy sauce and olive oil (or any oil you have) and toss to coat. Let the mixture marinate for a few minutes.
7. While the chicken is marinating, take this opportunity to clean all work surfaces and utensils used for the chicken very well. Cross contamination is no joke!!
8. We'll come back to the chicken and green beans in a minute. Now, we'll start the couscous. If using a box, go ahead and follow the instructions. Otherwise, boil the chicken stock in a small pot. Once the liquid has come to a boil, add the couscous along with the seasonings, green onions and oil. Mix well and as soon as the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat off and cover with a lid. Set a timer for 5-7 minutes. After the timer goes off, fluff your couscous with a fork and it's ready to go!
9. Now bring a saute pan to high heat. Once you see a slight smoke coming off from the pan, add your marinated chicken. Arrange in a single layer on the pan and cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes until a crust is formed. You want the pan hot but you don't want to burn the chicken. Be sure to control your temperature. If the pan is too hot, lower it to medium.
10. Once your chicken is cooked through (about 8-10) minutes remove the chicken and set aside but keep your pan hot.
11. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil to your hot saute pan and throw in the onion, ginger and garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes on medium/high heat and then add the green beans. Toss mixture for another 2-3 minutes and serve!