Thai-Style Mango Fried Rice

This one-pan, Thai-inspired dish is a delightful blend of sweet, savory, and fragrant ingredients, and a favorite at our place.

One-pan, Thai-inspired fried rice. 

I originally wanted to make this rice with cauliflower rice but the other member of my household begged me to go with the traditional option. I love cauliflower rice, but when you’re an active guy pushing 6ft 4in, sometimes you just need more calories and carbs than cauli-rice offers. And so this became our Sunday night dinner.

Thai food is one of my favorites, and something that Sydney does particularly well. Every time I go home I request a trip to my family’s favorite Thai restaurant. It’s nothing fancy, but ingredients are ultra-fresh. It’s energetic, vibrant, fast, and tasty-- and that’s my kind of cooking.

This dish offers a little bit of everything; high-fiber carbs, lean protein, veggies, fruit and a drizzle of fat. It comes together quickly, and efficiently, making it a delicious and well-rounded weeknight dinner. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb (450g) skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper
  • 1 cup broccoli (or peas)
  • 1 spring onion
  • ¾ cup mango
  • ½ lime
  • 2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (I used forbidden rice)
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro

 

Directions:

  1. Crush and finely dice the garlic. Finely dice (or grate) the ginger.
  2. Cut the bell pepper into thin strips. Discard the membranes and seeds.
  3. Chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, and cut the lime into two wedges.
  4. Peel the mango and chop into ½ inch (1cm) cubes.
  5. Slice the chicken breast into thin strips.
  6. Pour the canola oil into a non-stick pan, and place the pan on the stove. Turn the stove onto medium-high heat.
  7. Add the garlic, and ginger to the pan, and stir-fry until both are golden and aromatic.
  8. Add the chicken strips to the pan, and cook until browned all over.
  9. Toss the chopped broccoli, and bell pepper strips into the pan, along with the soy sauce. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Squeeze half of the lime (1 wedge) over the pan, and save the remaining wedge for serving.
  10. Add the cooked rice, mango, and curry powder to the pan. Stir-fry until all the ingredients are heated through.
  11. Remove the fried rice from the heat, and finely chop the cilantro.
  12. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the fried rice and serve with the remaining lime.


Serves 2-4.

Chocolate-Cherry Chia Pudding Parfaits

I guess I am late to the chia pudding party, but this chocolate-cherry combo is seriously delicious. It offers just the right amount of chocolatey richness to feel indulgent without the Calorie price-tag to match.

Chocolate-cherry chia pudding parfait: Try saying that 5 times! 

Chocolate-cherry chia pudding parfait: Try saying that 5 times! 

Until a couple of years, chia was not even on my food radar. Chia seeds existed in one form and one form only as a starter for chia pets. I was never the proud owner of a hedgehog or a homer sprouting a full head of green hair however I can still sing the chia pet jingle from their ad. (Clearly, their marketing campaign was very effective with children).

These days chia seeds have firmly been established as an edible, and a wonderful source of fiber, and healthy fats. A single tablespoon of chia provides 5g of fiber, which is about ⅙ of the daily recommendation.

Despite the nutrition benefits, I have never really loved them. They have a knack of wedging themselves into the tiniest of spaces, leaving me with a speckled grin and in desperate need of dental floss post-snack.

This all changed last weekend when I had chia pudding for the first time. The gritty textured disappeared into a cloud of creamy chocolate goodness. Believe me, you’ll want more of this recipe.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen cherries, de-pitted

 

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the coconut milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a small-medium mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in the chia seeds and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until the chia pudding becomes stiff.
  3. While the chia pudding is setting, remove the cherries from the freezer, and allow them to defrost.
  4. Spoon alternating layers of chia pudding, plain yogurt, and cherries into 2 parfait glasses of 4 mini-cups.


Makes 2 large or 4 mini chia pudding parfaits.

Tropical Turmeric Green Smoothie

Escape to the tropics with this wholesome, and refreshing green smoothie. Enjoy the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric, a helping of leafy greens and gut-nourishing probiotics with every sip.

One of the things I love about being a dietitian is that nutrition is constantly changing. It's a profession that demands regular reading, education, and growth. And this easily-bored, 'monkey mind' needs that. 

Traditional medicine is a good example of a nutrition topics that has seen as huge amount of growth over the last decade. Previously dismissed as being entirely bullsh*$, herbs and spice like cinnamon and turmeric; yoga; and meditation are now backed by a slew of studies.

This recipe capitalizes on the benefits of turmeric. There is still much to be learned about this sunflower-yellow spice however, early research shows that it has strong anti-inflammatory properties, and may be helpful for joint pain, type II diabetes, cognitive health, mood, fighting colorectal cancer and more [1]. Beyond that, this smoothie is plain delicious, and perfect as a light brekkie or a snack between meals. Enjoy! 

 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups frozen pineapple
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 date (optional)
  • 1 cup crunchy, high-fiber cereal (I used Barbara’s Bakery Puffins)
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut

 

Directions:

  1. Break the banana into small chunks. Add the banana to the blender container.
  2. Add the frozen pineapple, turmeric, vanilla, low-fat Greek yogurt, baby spinach, milk and date to the blender container. Blend until smooth. Begin blending at a low speed, and gradually progress to the highest.

Serves 2.


References:

[1] Curcumin. Higdon, J. Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Updated 2016. Accessed on April 1, 2017.