My current eating regimen has me cycling carbs; that means higher carbs on training days and lower carbs on rest days. As a result, you end-up eating a lot of lean proteins, which for me means a lot of chicken and fish.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like a perfectly grilled chicken breast as much as the next person; I also like broccoli. But there comes a point at which grilled chicken and broccoli is just no longer satisfying. First world problems, no doubt; but a problem all the same.
Tonight, I decided I’d try to make chicken and broccoli interesting… something I did with aplomb! Apologies in advance for not having a picture — by the time I realized it would be great to share, I’d eaten it all. That’s what happens when you are in calorie deficit!
- One or two chicken breasts
- A small head of broccoli
- A handful or two of spinach
- Low/zero-fat sour cream
Let’s start with the broccoli; I hate having anything else out after raw meat has been prepared. Grab a head of broccoli, and chop the small heads into mouth-size pieces. You don’t want a lot of stalk for this recipe; a little wasteful, so feel free to put the stalks aside for soup or stir-fry. Put the chopped broccoli into the bowel you’ll eventually eat from — no point in dirtying another container.
I added a good-sized handful of spinach too; this was pre-washed and ready to go. Don’t mix it with the broccoli; the spinach will need a lot less cooking.
Shredding the chicken
- Take your favorite skinless chicken breast(s); wash, trim the fat and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Grab a good-sized chopping board; you’ll need a little room.
- Grab a glass bowel for the shredded chicken.
- Grab your sharpest kitchen knife — preferably a chef’s knife — and give it a clean.
- Place the first chicken breast shiny (outer) side down on the chopping board.
- Hold the chicken steady and scrape the knife down the back of the breast, moving on a slight diagonal.
- It takes a little while to get the technique right, but this motion scrapes/shreds the chicken.
- Place the chicken scrapings in the bowel as you go.
- Once you’ve shredded all the chicken, add salt, pepper, garlic and/or onion powder, or your seasonings of choice.
- Be generous; stir it through with a fork until all the shreds are covered.
Take a large, high-sided frying pan or wok. Stick it on medium heat and add a little sesame or olive oil to the pan; no more than a teaspoon. Let that warm for 2 minutes.
- Throw the broccoli into the pan and essentially stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
- I add a tablespoon or two of water throughout the stir-fry process as it helps keep the broccoli moist and helps avoid burning/browning.
- One the broccoli has started to brighten in color (but before it’s cooked), remove it from the pan and put it back in your eating bowel.
- Add a little more oil to the pan if needed.
- Add the shredded chicken to the pan; stir and move the chicken to separate; let it cook for a couple of minutes.
- Stir the chicken, turning and separating the pieces to ensure even cooking.
- Depending on the size of your shreds, the chicken will cook quickly.
- Once the chicken is almost cooked, throw in the broccoli and your handful of spinach.
- Stir occasionally, mixing the broccoli and spinach with the chicken.
- When the spinach has wilted, you are just about done.
- Turn out the heat.
- Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of low/zero-fat sour cream.
- Transfer directly to eating bowl(s).
Mine was delicious!! And yet, the only additional calories were the zero-fat sour cream, which is only 2g carbs per two tablespoons, and a little olive oil. The cream literally transformed this boring dish into something quite decadent, with the seasoning adding a little zing!