(makes 2 servings)
As any fan of Asian takeout knows, most items on the menu go heavy on oil, sodium and portion sizes. But as usual, Chef Devin Alexander found a way to create the flavors you crave without breaking your calorie budget.
"I love serving this dish in lettuce cups when I'm looking for a super-satisfying, low-carb meal," says Devin. "As an alternative to poaching the chicken as directed below, you can use up any leftover grilled, roasted or baked chicken you have on hand."
2 cups all-natural, low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 pound trimmed boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 medium cucumber, seeded and cut into very thin strips, about 2" long
1 recipe Asian Peanut Sauce (see below)
1 whole scallion, trimmed and minced
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Add the broth to a medium saucepan big enough to accommodate the broth covering the chicken breasts by at least 1". Place the saucepan over high heat. When the broth comes to a boil, add the chicken, turn the heat to a simmer, and poach the chicken in the liquid (see note) uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until no longer pink inside. Drain the chicken from the liquid and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate it until chilled, if desired.
When the chicken is completely cooled (or chilled), use your fingers to pull it apart, creating small shreds. Mound the shreds in the center of two plates. Sprinkle the cucumber evenly around the chicken, along the edge of the plate. Pour the sauce evenly in the center. Top it with the scallions, then the sesame seeds, and serve.
Note: If the chicken is not covered by the broth, either when it's originally added or during cooking, add enough water to the broth so that it is covered.
Nutritional Information per serving
Protein: 31 grams
Carbohydrates: 10 grams
Sugar: 5 grams
Fat: 9 grams
Saturated fat: 1 gram
Cholesterol: 66 milligrams
Fiber: 2 grams
Sodium: 338 milligrams
Asian Peanut Sauce
(makes 1/4 cup)
This is one of my favorite go-to sauces, and I use it in many of my Asian recipes. It contains much less fat and sugar than any bottled version I've been able to find in the supermarket, and it adds a real richness to a variety of Asian dishes.
1 tablespoon all-natural lower-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili-infused extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt-free Szechwan seasoning (I used The Spice Hunter Salt-Free Szechwan Seasoning Blend)
1-1/2 tablespoons all-natural creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce and sugar. Add the oil and seasoning and mix until combined. Whisk in the peanut butter until smooth. Whisk in the vinegar until smooth. Add immediately to your favorite dish or refrigerate it in a resealable container for up to 5 days.
Nutrition information per serving (2 tablespoons)
Protein: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 8 grams
Sugar: 4 grams
Fat: 7 grams
Saturated fat: 1 gram
Fiber: 1 gram
Sodium: 256 milligrams
Adapted from "The Biggest Flavors of the World Cookbook" by Chef Devin Alexander. Copyright © 2011 by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP, The Biggest Loser™ and NBC Studios, Inc., and Reveille LLC. Reprinted by permission of Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098.