Happy Nutrition Month!
Each March, National Nutrition Month is dedicated to educating others about healthy foods and developing healthy eating habits. For Alisha Miller, Central Indiana Orthopedics Physical Therapist, nutrition month isn’t just limited to March. Not only is Alisha passionate about helping her patients get back to doing what they love, she also owns a nutrition coaching company and enjoys educating others on how to become healthier versions of themselves. Each week this month, Alisha will be sharing one of her favorite healthy recipes – first up, Chicken Orange Stir Fry!
Chicken orange stir fry is a high-protein meal. Not only is chicken a lean protein, which helps keep you feeling full for a long period of time, it’s also a complete protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. Proteins form vital parts of most body structures and act as building blocks for growth and repair of tissues. Some proteins act as chemical messengers, regulating body processes and helping to maintain the body’s resistance to disease, among other functions. Adequate protein intake can assist us when we want to gain muscle, lose weight or aid in recovery from injury.
For the stir fry ingredients, opting to use a healthy fat such as coconut oil can provide a high dose of vitamin E. However, feel free to substitute with another oil of your choosing. Olive oil is another great option high in vitamin E properties.
“I love this stir fry recipe because it uses a variety of colorful vegetables, which provide a great source of vitamins and minerals,” said Alisha. “Vegetables, while very low in calories, are nutrient rich. The more colorful your plate is with vegetables, the more vitamins and minerals you are consuming.”
Sesame seeds are a great heart-healthy addition to this meal. Benefits of sesame seeds include being a good source of fiber, a nutritious source of plant protein and may help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and control blood sugar.
Brown rice is a medium glycemic-index score food which is lower than white rice, which has a high glycemic index that increases blood glucose levels after consumption. Pairing the brown rice with the lean protein source of chicken and colorful vegetables will reduce the overall glycemic load and will not cause spikes in blood glucose after eating. Ultimately, this pairing keeps our blood glucose at a more steady level after eating.
The sauce in this recipe includes juice from one orange, which is an excellent source of vitamin C. Plus, one orange provides 100% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C for the day. You may opt to use lower sugar marmalade, which can help with calorie control and decrease spikes in blood sugar after eating your meal.
Ready to celebrate nutrition month? Start with this chicken orange stir fry and look for another healthy recipe next week. Enjoy!
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
For the sauce
- 1 orange, juice only
- 1/3 cup (100g) marmalade (low sugar)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) soy sauce
- 1 tsp. siracha (or as needed)
- 1 tbsp. buckwheat flour
For the stir fry
- 1 tbsp. garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot, grated
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 lb. (450g) chicken breast, chopped
- 3 springs green onion, chopped
- 1 cup (150g) snap or mangetout peas
- 3 cups (450g) cooked brown rice
- Mix all the sauce ingredients together. Add some water if necessary to thin it down slightly.
- Cook rice according to instructions on packaging or use leftover rice.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over high heat. Add in the chicken breasts and cook for 4-5 mins until chicken is cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Lower the heat and add the garlic and green onion cooking for 1 min. Keep stirring to prevent burning.
- Add the mangetout peas and bell pepper and cook for another 3-4 mins. Add in cooked rice and mix well with the vegetables.
- Add in the cooked chicken, grated carrot and earlier made sauce. Stir well until heated.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and more green onion to serve.