With my new year's resolution to eat healthy fresh in my mind, I'm focusing this week on getting more vegetables into my diet. A light, bright, tasty meal that helps me pack in more produce is a fast chicken and vegetable stir-fry.
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What I like about a stir-fry is how easy it makes putting a healthy meal together. This recipe has lots of vegetables and chicken breast providing lean protein for staying power--and it clocks in at just 225 calories. I just need to remember to start the brown rice first, so when the stir-fry's done so is a healthy whole grain to serve it over (and if I don't remember, I keep instant brown rice or couscous in the pantry as a quick-cooking option).
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This Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry recipe is pretty popular on EatingWell.com (491 "Likes"!). One of the 34 people who reviewed it recently wrote: "I love to make this stir-fry and eat it over brown rice. I use green and red bell peppers, carrots, onions, mushrooms, and whatever I have around to throw in! It always comes out great for me. You can easily add or subtract things you do or don't like. Totally customizable. And you can serve it over anything!"
You zest and juice a lemon, chop up chicken breast and carrots and stir-fry them with mushrooms, snow peas, scallions and garlic. Dinner's packed with vegetables and ready in just 40 minutes!
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Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry
Makes: 4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each.
Active time: 40 minutes | Total: 40 minutes
Spiked with lots of zesty lemon, this delectable chicken stir-fry has a colorful mix of snow peas, carrots and scallions. But feel free to substitute other thinly sliced vegetables, such as bell peppers or zucchini. Serve with: Rice noodles or brown rice.
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
10 ounces mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 cup diagonally sliced carrots (1/4 inch thick)
2 cups snow peas (6 ounces), stems and strings removed
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces, white and green parts divided
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1. Grate 1 teaspoon lemon zest and set aside. Juice the lemon and whisk 3 tablespoons of the juice with broth, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate with tongs. Add mushrooms and carrots to the pan and cook until the carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Add snow peas, scallion whites, garlic and the reserved lemon zest. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Whisk the broth mixture and add to the pan; cook, stirring, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add scallion greens and the chicken and any accumulated juices; cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.
Per serving: 225 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 3 g fiber; 448 mg sodium; 796 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (112% daily value), Vitamin C (57% dv), Potassium (23% dv).
What's your favorite stir-fry combination?
By Wendy Ruopp
Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.
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