Chicken and broccoli … again

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!

Ingredients

  • One or two chicken breasts
  • A small head of broccoli
  • A handful or two of spinach
  • Low/zero-fat sour cream
  • Seasoning

Preparation

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

  1. Take your favorite skinless chicken breast(s); wash, trim the fat and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Grab a good-sized chopping board; you’ll need a little room.
  3. Grab a glass bowel for the shredded chicken.
  4. Grab your sharpest kitchen knife — preferably a chef’s knife — and give it a clean.
  5. Place the first chicken breast shiny (outer) side down on the chopping board.
  6. Hold the chicken steady and scrape the knife down the back of the breast, moving on a slight diagonal.
  7. It takes a little while to get the technique right, but this motion scrapes/shreds the chicken.
  8. Place the chicken scrapings in the bowel as you go.
  9. Once you’ve shredded all the chicken, add salt, pepper, garlic and/or onion powder, or your seasonings of choice.
  10. Be generous; stir it through with a fork until all the shreds are covered.

Cooking

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.

  1. Throw the broccoli into the pan and essentially stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add a little more oil to the pan if needed.
  5. Add the shredded chicken to the pan; stir and move the chicken to separate; let it cook for a couple of minutes.
  6. Stir the chicken, turning and separating the pieces to ensure even cooking.
  7. Depending on the size of your shreds, the chicken will cook quickly.
  8. Once the chicken is almost cooked, throw in the broccoli and your handful of spinach.
  9. Stir occasionally, mixing the broccoli and spinach with the chicken.
  10. When the spinach has wilted, you are just about done.
  11. Turn out the heat.
  12. Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of low/zero-fat sour cream.
  13. 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!

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