Variety isn't just the spice of life. It's the key to a healthy lifestyle. Experimenting with new foods allows you to mindfully enjoy each bite of a meal. You'll eat more slowly and maintain proper portions while opening yourself up to a wide range of nutrients. (Read more in this WebMD article.)
If you experiment with new foods and flavors in the kitchen, you're also less likely to be tempted to eat out. You can fight the urge that strikes you when you open your fridge and see the same foods staring back at you.
This month, I challenge you to try coconut milk. I discovered it during my two-week honeymoon in Thailand. Coconut milk is prominent in many Thai dishes, and it does wonders for adding great flavor.
Coconut milk is the liquid that comes from the meat of fresh coconuts, which is packed full of nutritional value. Rich in vitamins C, E and B, it's also a good source of magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and iron. Coconut milk is also high in lauric acid, which acts against viruses and bacteria and may reduce cholesterol and triglycerides.
Coconut milk is much easier to digest than cow's milk, making it a great alternative if you're sensitive to dairy products.
I stuck with the Thai theme to experiment with a recipe for you right from my own kitchen.
Coconut Curry Chicken with Chickpeas and Broccoli
Ingredients (for two servings)
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 cups broccoli, chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 4-ounce chicken breasts, cooked and diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews
- Mix the coconut milk and spices in a small bowl
- Meanwhile, sauté the onions and broccoli over medium heat until soft
- Add chickpeas and cooked chicken and stir for another 2 minutes
- Pour coconut milk mixture into pan and heat for another 1-2 minutes
- Serve with brown rice or quinoa or eat as is
Coconut Curry Chicken is high in fiber and protein from the chicken, broccoli and chickpeas. The cashews and coconut milk provide healthy fats and nice flavor, limiting the need for butter or heavy cream. Although some of the main ingredients are probably similar to what you're used to, adding coconut milk (plus a few spices) makes it a unique dish. Once the chicken is cooked, this meal can come together in 10 minutes or less. Perfect for busy weeknights.
Source: recipe adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers.
Photo: Peanut Butter Fingers
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock