My healthy Cheat Meal: Chicken Tomato Somen

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Those on a diet please stand up! Most of us know that eating healthy is an uphill task and from time to time, we do need our cheat meal without having feeling too guilty about it afterwards.

Here's a flavourful dish that uses less fatty ingredients to make and yet turned out pretty well! First things first, yes, we have to watch our diet, but that doesn't mean cutting out carbs totally. Instead, we should switch to eating alternative carbs (healthier ones, of course), with more nutritional value.

So on one Sunday afternoon, I made this on a whim when I was feeling very lazy yet didn't want to go downstairs to get takeaway (dabao). As you know, most foods in hawker centres aren't the most healthy ones (albeit tasty).

For this dish, I went with an organic somen. Somen is really interesting. They are very thin white Japanese noodles made with wheat flour, and are usually less than 1.3 mm in diameter - like vermicelli! I also love its texture and went to the supermarket to get one which is organic and 98% fat-free (yay!)

Okay, I know they are usually served cold but this time, I want it piping hot. So that's what gave rise to this dish. Also, I knew I needed my vegetables so I just made this with whatever was left in my fridge - yes you guessed it - cucumber and baby carrots. Also, an added 'yay' to this dish is that I used chicken breast instead (healthier, yay!)

If you notice, I also used normal diet stuff like sugar, cheese and light soya sauce. Don't judge me okay, I did say this was a healthy 'cheat' meal and even a healthy diet needs some sugar!

But for those who wants to totally replace sugar, you can also try this recipe with this sugar replacement called Gavia Sweet. It tastes the same as sugar, but without those added calories, which uses the sweetness from the Stevia plant. This sugar replacement is allegedly suitable for diabetic patients to consume (but as I always say, confirming it with your doctors first is key!)


Chicken Tomato Somen

Recipe type: Main Dish, Noodle
Serves 1-2

Ingredients: 
- Olive Oil
- 1 red onion, sliced / diced
- 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
- 3 cheese slices
- 500g chicken breast, sliced into strips
- Baby carrots, a bunch of them (up to you), diced
- Cucumber (half), diced
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce
- Tomato Puree
- 5 tablespoons of water mixed with a pinch of cornstarch
- 1/3 of the Organic somen packet (the one I'm using already has the somen split into 3 bundles, hence I only used up one and it was just nice for 2 people)

Steps:
1. Prepare all the ingredients for stir-fry. Mix the chicken slices with light soya sauce and some of olive oil.
2. Heat the wok with some olive oil. When the wok is well-heated, throw in the red onions and chopped garlic and let it sizzle and cook for a while.
3. When the garlic starts to brown, throw in the chicken and let it cook. Make sure it is 90% cooked and then throw in the diced cucumbers and baby carrots.
4. Stir-fry it for a while and put in half a can of tomato puree (about 6 tablespoons). I used the tomato puree from Leggos.
5. Put in 2 tablespoons of sugar into the mix and 5 tablespoons of water with cornstarch. Stir it a little and switch to low heat, let it simmer about 5 mins (with the lid closed). Check on it once in a while. If the stew gets too thick, add some hot water to loosen it up.
6. Start cooking the somen according to package instructions. I used Hakubaku's Organic Somen for this. So good and 98% fat-free! Boil the somen for 2 mins and set aside, rinsing in cool water.
7. When the somen is cooled down, throw it into the tomato stew and let it simmer for another 5 mins.
8. Optional: Get some sliced cheese to add in some cheesy goodness. I use Kraft Hi-Calcium Singles for this (60% less fat). When the cheese has all melted in the stew, switch off the fire and get ready to serve.

That's all!

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Try it and let me know what you think!