I was asked to write a recipe to contribute to an app related to emotional triggers in food, in particular to reduce anxiety. Now although I am a true believer that food can improve your mood, health and wellbeing I have not actually done a great deal of research into it. I usually just live for the principle that you are what you eat, and therefore if you eat rubbish you feel like rubbish; but in order to fully fulfil my request I wanted to do some research for this and produce the most suitable recipe I possibly could; without sacrificing amazing flavour.
There is plenty of research out there, for those that are interested in this further, but the key principles in anti-anxiety eating is more about what you shouldn’t eat. For example; avoid fried foods, food that is high in glycemic carbs (white bread, white pasta), unrefined sugars and alcoholic beverages. Food that is recommended is oily fish, wholegrains; such as wholemeal pasta and brown rice, yoghurt, seaweed, almonds, chicken and of course lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Based on the above I concocted this super meal that was not only fresh and healthy but also blooming delicious. I got so involved in the task that I didn’t even poor myself a glass of wine!
For the Chicken
– 2 small chicken breasts
– 1 tbsp light soy sauce
– ½ tsp five spice
– Juice 1 lemon
– Mixture of colourful peppers – finely sliced
– 1 red onion – finely sliced
– 1 thumbsize piece ginger – finely chopped
– Splash of sesame oil
– 115g samphire (If you can’t find samphire then a selection of green vegetables will do)
For the Rice
– 150g brown rice
– 1 chicken stock cube
– 1 egg
– Salt and pepper
For the Chilli and Garlic Yoghurt
– 1 green chilli
– 2 large garlic cloves
– Handful of mint
– Handful of coriander
– Juice of 1 lime
– Pinch sugar
– Twist salt
– 3 tbsp natural low fat yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 180’C
Slice the chicken breasts into thirds lengthways and mix together with the soy sauce, lemon juice and five spice in an oven proof dish.
Leave to stand at room temperature for ten minutes and then roast in the oven for 20 minutes
At the same time as you put the chicken in the oven, cook the brown rice with the chicken stock cube in boiling water for 25 minutes
In the meantime, make the dressing by roasting the chilli and garlic cloves whole (skin and all) for 15 minutes. These can go in the same container as the chicken to save on washing up, or you can cook them separately
Once the time is up on the chilli and garlic, remove from the oven. Peel the garlic (you should just be able to squeeze it out) and top and seed the chilli
Put all the ingredients for the yoghurt into a blender and whiz until smooth. Set aside until needed
Once the time is up on the chicken remove from the oven and the dish and leave to stand until cool enough to handle
Heat the sesame oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the onions, peppers and ginger for 3-4 minutes.
Add the samphire to the pan and cook off for another 3 minutes.
One the rice is cooked, drain and return to a low heat.
Crack the egg into the pan and give the rice a good stir.
Add a hearty twist of salt and pepper and regularly turn the rice until the egg is cooked through
Finally, bash the chicken with a rolling pin so it becomes flaky and stir this into the samphire pan.
You can either plate up the rice and the stir fry separately with a drizzle of the yoghurt or you could go for the messy option and combine everything together before serving; after all it all goes down the same hole.