The key to a successful fast day? Healthy meals that pack a flavour punch. After completing a month on the 5-2 Challenge I’m finally in the groove. Recipes that work best? Low on fat and carbohydrate. Jam-packed with vegetables, herbs and spices. The perfect plate? Vibrant and colourful. Full of flavour.
Today’s offering? Stir-fried chicken with vegetables and herbs served in lettuce cups. Inspired by the Chinese San Choy Bow. Since immersing myself into the 5-2 mode of eating I have discovered chilli and ginger are natural appetite suppressants that help curb cravings for sweets and fatty foods. And there’s more. Chillies contain a chemical called capsaicin which not only makes them spicy but helps increase metabolic activity when ingested. My stir fry contains both ginger and chilli. Its full of flavour which helps me stay on track with my healthy eating.
For lunch I prepared a simple vegetable couscous with one of my new favourite ingredients. Harissa. A spicy Moroccan chilli paste. So divine I have been using it in everything. Even toasted sandwiches on my feast days. Craving a hit this morning I whipped up an easy vegetable couscous using my last 5-2 Challenge post’s chicken couscous recipe as a guide. I’m absolutely convinced having that small serving of couscous at lunch curbed any hunger pangs throughout the afternoon.
All in all my most successful fast day yet. It really is all about what I choose to put on my plate. I eat with my senses. If my meal looks good and tastes great I can do without large portions. I just savour and enjoy each bite. That said I have promised my children Tiramisu for dessert tomorrow. Thank heaven for feast days.
|Breakfast||2 cups of tea
1 small green apple
|Mid Afternoon||2 cups of tea||
|Dinner||2 Stir-fried Chicken and Vegetable Lettuce Cups||
|2 cups of tea||
Stir Fried Chicken,Vegetable and Herb Lettuce Cups
215 calories per serve
1 tablespoon peanut oil (120 calories)
2 garlic cloves, crushed (8 calories)
2 cm piece ginger, finely grated (3 calories)
1 long red chilli, finely sliced (4 calories)
4 long green spring onions, thinly sliced (20 calories)
3 celery stalks, finely diced (18 calories)
2 red capsicums, diced (60 calories)
100 g green beans (30 calories)
200 g baby spinach leaves shredded (23 calories)
100 g mushrooms, diced (22 calories)
2 medium carrots, shredded (50 calories)
500 g chicken breast, finely diced (825 calories)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce (18 calories)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (8 calories)
1 teaspoon sugar (16 calories)
1/2 lemon, juiced (2 calories)
1 cup bean sprouts, trimmed (24 calories)
2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped (2 calories)
2 tablespoons coriander, finely chopped (2 calories)
12 large iceberg or butter lettuce leaves (24 calories)
HEAT wok over high heat until hot. Add peanut oil and swirl to coat.
ADD garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook for one minute until fragrant.
ADD chicken and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken just changes colour.
ADD spring onions, celery, mushrooms, capsicum, spinach and carrot and stir fry for a further 2 minutes.
COMBINE sugar, lemon juice, oyster sauce and soy sauce in a bowl. Add to wok and Stir-fry for 3 minutes or until heated through.
STIR in bean sprouts, mint and coriander.
SPOON stir fry into lettuce cups. Serve.
They look beautiful. I’d also recommend an infusion of fresh mint leaves and boiling water instead of coffee to keep up the willpower. Day 2 and I’m self-righteous already!
I hade a mint infusion the other day at a cafe. It was delicious. I always have fresh mint available so thanks for the heads up. I wonder if mint is an appetite suppressant too.
Thanks for that. Just made it with the vegies I had in the fridge. Capsicum, cabbage, snow peas, asparagus, some home grown kale, home grown shallots etc. And some chicken! It was delicious. Thanks
Yum. Sounds divine. I love homegrown vegetables. You can really taste the difference.
If I weren’t going away for a month, I’d be planting lots more in my vege garden, but they won’t last the distance while I’m away so hopefully I can plant some more when I get back. Last year I had capsicum, eggplant, masses of basil, tomatoes, loads of herbs and everything tasted amazing. Loads of fun too
Your a legend I love your site you are making this life style change so easy thank you
Thanks Victoria. Good luck on your 5-2 journey