New York Giants executive chef Camilo Baquero and team nutritionist Heidi Skolnik cook up a lean and healthy lunch or dinner combo.
• 2C brown rice
• 2 4-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• Assorted vegetables
• Soy sauce
• Olive oil
• Salt and pepper
Add one cup of brown rice to one cup of water and bring to a boil. Baquero says it’s important to start the rice first because it takes the longest to cook (about 10 to 12 minutes). “The [rest of the] stir-fry pretty much comes together fairly quickly,” he says.
While the rice is cooking, add a little olive oil to a pan and put it over high heat. Cut the chicken into thin strips “to make sure they cook fairly fast,” Baquero says. Once the oil is heated, add the chicken. “You don’t want to move [the chicken] around too much at first,” he adds. “You just want to make sure it gets brown on both sides.”
Skolnik notes that if you don’t like chicken, you can substitute turkey breast, shrimp, scallops or even lean beef.
When the chicken is half cooked, start adding vegetables. Baquero suggests broccoli, peppers, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, carrots and bok choy (Chinese cabbage). He points out that “the advantage of using a fresh vegetable would be that it’s going to maintain its crunchiness… [which] you’re looking for in the dish.”
Lower the temperature, and let the chicken and veggies cook for about five minutes. At this point, check the rice. “If it’s pretty much [boiled] all the way to the top, you want to lower [the heat], and let it simmer for at least five to six more minutes,” Baquero says. Stir the rice, and place a lid over it as it simmers.
As the rice is finishing up, toss the chicken and vegetables over low heat to make sure everything is cooked, then add a dash or two of low-sodium soy sauce to give the dish its distinctive Chinese flavor. Skolnik says, “For most young, healthy athletes, sodium is an important part of their diets because it does help with fluid regulation.”
Finally, Baquero adds sprouts and green onions to top off this easy and delicious meal.