There’s nothing like a little spring chicken to satisfy the palate in springtime. This lemony coconut broth with sliced, lean chicken breast and fresh, crunchy garden peas is the quintessential warming dish that’s also perfect for boosting your immune system. The ginger and Thai chilies pack a healing wallop if spring showers have slowed you down.
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil, melted
1 large shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) peeled and coarsely chopped fresh gingerroot
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 to 3 Thai red chilies, stems discarded, thickly sliced (see tip)
1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground coriander
1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric
7 oz (198 g) pkg stir-fry rice noodles
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil, plus extra
4 cups (1 L) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 - 13 1/2 oz (400 mL) cans coconut milk
2 - 6 oz (180 g) skinless, boneless organic chicken breasts, cut into thin diagonal slices
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) snap peas
2 tsp (10 mL) coconut sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) coconut nectar or low-sodium tamari
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh cilantro leaves
4 whole green onions, diagonally sliced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) crushed red chili peppers
Generous pinch of black pepper
1 lime, cut into wedges
Sriracha sauce (optional)
In mini high-speed blender or mortar with pestle, place spice paste ingredients. Blend until a smooth paste develops. Scrape down sides of dish with spatula and continue to blend, adding a splash of water if needed. Set aside.
Bring a kettle with water to a boil. In large bowl, place rice noodles and cover with boiling water, stirring a couple of times to loosen noodles. After about 2 minutes, noodles should be cooked through but not mushy. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again and place in clean, dry bowl. Stir in a splash of coconut oil to keep them from sticking. Set aside.
In large, heavy saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut oil. Add spice paste and stir over medium-high heat until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add a splash of chicken broth if it begins to stick. Stir in remaining broth and coconut milk, and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in chicken, reduce heat to medium, cover, and poach chicken for 5 minutes, or until almost cooked. Stir in peas; cover and cook for 3 or 4 more minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and peas are tender-crisp. Taste and add coconut sugar and coconut nectar.
Divide noodles among 4 soup bowls. Ladle soup over noodles and sprinkle each with equal amounts of cilantro, green onion, crushed chilies, and pepper. Serve with lime wedges and Sriracha sauce, if using.
You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.
Tender tofu and fresh-tasting mango sauce combine to make a nutritious, Japanese-style dessert with little effort. But don’t worry: your dessert will not taste beany. Silken soft tofu has a rather neutral flavour. The key here is to use blocks of very soft tofu as opposed to firm or extra-firm versions. Silken tofu is undrained and unpressed tofu. It has the highest water content of all types of tofu and is made by coagulating soy milk without curdling it. It’s ultra-soft texture means it can be easily blended with other ingredients and used to boost protein numbers in puddings, cakes, tarts, ice cream, and even smoothies.
Fool is a classic English dessert made, traditionally, by folding a stewed fruit into a creamy, sweet custard. This modern take adds layers of sweet pumpkin flavour and swaps out much of the cream for higher-protein Greek yogurt. The crunchy chocolate topping is a special finishing touch. Beat it It’s the fat in cream that helps trap air bubbles that make it light and fluffy. If it gets too warm, the fat melts and the air escapes. Start with a cold bowl and beaters (or a cold balloon whisk, if you’re whipping by hand). Put your bowl (ideally a stainless one) and beaters in the freezer for 15 minutes before whipping. They’ll chill easily and help keep everything cool during the whipping process.
Blondies are basically “blonde brownies.” There is no cocoa or melted chocolate in the batter of a blondie. Here, the nutritionally lacklustre all-purpose flour is swapped out for puréed beans for a higher dose of protein. The end result is just as tender and chewy without any noticeable bean flavour. A great potluck dessert option, too. If desired, chopped nuts can be used instead of chocolate chips. Squeeze play To easily fit a piece of parchment paper into a baking dish, run it under cold water for a couple of seconds, scrunch it up, and then squeeze out the excess moisture. Now it will effortlessly form into the pan.