A topic that comes up from time to time with my clients is how to find time to cook a whole foods meal post workout. I had this situation arise myself recently and thought I would share how I managed to cook, stretch post workout, take a shower and fold laundry all within 50 min! I had started preparation for a meal on a Sunday afternoon but by time dinner came around our plan had changed and the meal was not going to get cooked. On Monday afternoon, I was on my bike in Central Park and negotiating how I was going to manage getting this meal cooked. I’m strict about refueling within an hour of a workout (in this case a 2 hour bike ride) and sometimes turn to shakes and snacks, although they are great supplementation, sometimes these post workout mini meals turn into extra calories that I would prefer not to consume.
So here is the Spicy Coconut Chicken Casserole that I cooked, and the steps I took to get it all done in 50 min.
Spicy Coconut Chicken Casserole
This was originally a Martha Stewart recipe. This serves 8 small dishes (1thigh each) or 4 large dishes. Nutrition data is for 8.
Ingredients: 1 Tbsp coconut oil 3 lbs chicken thighs 1/2 tsp sea salt 1/4 tsp black pepper 13 1/2 fl oz coconut milk 2 tsp curry paste 1 cup Arborio rice 2 bell pepper (red) 8 oz green beans 6 oz red onion 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
You can use chicken thighs or drumsticks. Arborio or jasmine rice are good choices. I used light coconut milk and went with red curry paste, 2-3 teaspoons is just a guide.
1. Start with prep work and cut all veggies into 1-inch chunks or pieces. Skin chicken and trim the fat.
I completed these steps the day before.
2. In Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, cook chicken until browned 3-4 min per side. Transfer to a plate.
While browning the chicken I brought my mat into the kitchen and stretched for a good 15 min, longer than I would usually stretch.
3. Scrape chicken bits from bottom and add coconut milk, broth, 1/2 cup water, and curry paste. Taste and adjust spice while bringing to a boil. Stir in rice. Add chicken and any remaining juices arranging pieces in a single layer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, without stirring until rice is done, about 15 min.
I made sure heat was adjusted and would not boil over. Took my shower and dried my hair for 15 min while this simmered.
4. Scatter bell pepper, onion, and green beans on top, cover, and cook until vegetables are crisp tender, 8-10 min.
I folded laundry and cleaned up around the kitchen for the last few minutes of cooking time.
Calories 385; fat 17g; saturated 7g; carb; 28g; protein 23g
Done! Within 50 min post workout, got a great stretch in, got cleaned up and was refueled in less than an hour. Plus this simple one dish meal gave me plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week.