“Lora, are you having a pilaf!?”
I am currently in a heavy training block, as the Road World Championships in South Africa are less than 3 weeks away. When in a heavy training block i like to have a stockpile of simple, quick and nutritious meals at hand. One of these meals is my chicken pilaf, which I made earlier this week.
It takes just 30 minutes to make the pilaf, using only one pan, making it quick to clean up after. There are several variations to this dish, making it extremely adaptable. The recipe serves 2 athletes, but can be easily doubled, tripled or halved depending on your needs.
This week I used the following ingredients:
- Dash of coconut oil.
- 1 garlic clove grated.
- 1 onion chopped small.
- 1 leek sliced.
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped small.
- 2 large skinless chicken breasts cut in to small chunks.
- 125 g basmati rice.
- 300 ml chicken stock.
- Pinch of mixed dried herbs.
- Half a pack of closed cup mushrooms cut small.
- 100 g fresh spinach.
How to Cook:
- fry the garlic, onion, carrot and leek in a large lidded saucepan over medium heat for approx 5 mins.
- Add the chicken and mixed herbs to the pan and fry for another couple of mins, stirring as needed.
- Add the stock and the rice to the pan, put the lid on and turn the heat down low, leaving for 10 minutes to gently simmer.
- Add the mushrooms, give it a good stir, put the lid back on and leave it continuing to simmer for 5 more mins.
- Finally, add the spinach and stir for 1 minute, until the leaves have wilted, then serve.
Why it’s so good for you.
Other variations of my chicken pilaf I have made include:
- Swap spinach for kale. It just needs to be added to the pan at the same time as the mushrooms as it needs a little more cooking than spinach. As kale is also classed as a dark green, leafy vegetable, it is another good source of iron.
- Swap Carrot for peas, sweetcorn or both. Again just add them to the pan towards the end of cooking, rather than at the beginning.
- Swap rice for quinoa. If you want to increase your protein intake then quinoa is a good option. This is cooked in exactly the same way and tastes just as good.
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