Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Healthy Dinners in Minutes: Easy Pork Sirloin Curry and Chinese Chicken

People often say, "I don't have time to cook healthy! I am tired at the end of the day, and I don't want to slave in the kitchen for hours just to have a healthy meal." They might resort to such atrocities as Lean Cuisine (hey I have done it!) or fast food. But cooking healthy can be really fast and easy. All you have to do is have a few basics on hand and you can have a delicious meal in minutes!

I want to teach you how to make a yummy quick meal that you will really enjoy. You can make this meal from practically any meat, vegetables, and spices you have in the kitchen. The technique is the same, and the results can be as varied as your tastes! You can use chicken, lean beef, or lean pork for this recipe. Broccoli is by far, in my opinion, the best vegetable for this, but you can use cabbage, carrots, celery, peas, green beans, whatever. Try different things and play around with it. You can also vary the sauces.

So here's the basic technique, using pork sirloin and curry. I will give variations at the end!

For one serving:
Slice 6 ounces of raw pork sirloin roast into thin small pieces. This took me under 3 minutes.
While that is going on, heat a nonstick pan on medium high. Spray it with Pam, toss in the pork in a single layer, and season with onion powder, garlic powder (generous), and black pepper. Cook until browned, flipping once. This takes maybe 3 more minutes.
While it's browning, cut up 2 cups of broccoli.
Add some chicken broth to the pan... enough to cover the bottom of the pan about 1/4 inch deep. Doesn't need to be exact at all! Just pour some in there. Toss the broccoli on top, put a cover on the pan, lower the heat a little, and let it steam until tender. This takes about 5 minutes.
Get out 2 wedges of Laughing Cow Light cheese, original flavor, and toss them in the pan too. If you don't have any, use 2T light cream cheese instead. Sprinkle a good dose of curry powder into the pan. Stir and mash the cheese around into the broth, adding more broth if needed (this will make the sauce.) Just stir it around until the cheese melts into the broth and the broccoli is covered in rich yellow curry sauce.

That's it! Done! It looks like this:

It's very good. Filling and nutritious. You can easily substitute 7 oz of raw sliced chicken breast and follow the same recipe for chicken curry. You can use either chicken or pork to make a Chinese "stir fry" type dish also. The only difference is:

Follow all the steps up through cooking the broccoli, but do NOT add any cheese, Instead, add a few shakes of soy sauce, some ginger (fresh or powdered) and a little more garlic. Stir til coated (if you want a thicker sauce, add a half teaspoon of cornstarch to the broth). I had this version yesterday and it was excellent.

This dish takes under 15 minutes to prepare, easily. It is even faster if you have your broccoli already cut up (you can do this on the weekend for the whole week) or have your meat already sliced. You can make this with chicken or pork you had already cooked and you can use frozen vegetables too, although fresh is definitely better. You can make larger batches of this for your family and serve it over rice if you like (I use riced cauliflower instead... which is just grated cauliflower, steamed until tender like rice). It's a simple, easy, tasty way to get in enough protein and veggies for dinner without all the salt, fat, sodium and carbs that many meals include. Enjoy!


Twix said...

I truly enjoy broccoli. Your meal looked very good, thank you for sharing. It's amazing isn't it? How easy it is to cook something tasty and nutritious! For the last two nights I've steamed a cod fillet and vegatables (broccoli, cauliflower, & carrots) in the same pot and added a bit of Mrs.Dash at the end. Low calories & delicious, enough so that I was able to add a little bit of alfredo on the side. Of course I made mine with almond milk. Just slightly modified for less bang and all taste. Such fun to play with food!! Hope you have a wonderful Thursday! :D

TB said...

That looks DELISH! I'm going to try something similar with chicken breast.

Rosie's Weight Loss Blog said...

That actually looks really good! I love pork and broccoli. I'll have to try it out next time I have money to buy food!

Shane G. said...

I so stole this just so you know. I am gonna harass Kathy til she cooks it!

Anonymous said...

I love stuff like this. I cook healthy dishes most every night after working all day and they really do not take very long! It's all in the choosing of what types of food to make -- obviously I'm not going to make a homemade stew that needs to simmer for hours (unless you count the crock pot). I also preprep a lot of the meat, which saves even more time.

Michelle said...

Such atrocities as Lean Cuisine?? The meal looks delicious and yes, I agree that cooking for yourself is healthier than even "healthy" microwave dinners but for a person who has been living on fast food, deep fried foods, cakes, etc. Lean Cuisine is a huge step-up and is nowhere in the same realm as McDonalds or KFC. I don't mean to be on a soap box or anything, I just thought it was a little insensitive. Is Lean Cuisine any less natural than the heavily processed Medifast food you are using to lose weight? Lots of people have lost weight using convenience items like Lean Cuisine or Slim-Fast. We should all be in this battle together, not judging others on their methods :(

moonduster said...

It looks delicous, Lyn!

Another quick tip for people who don't want to slave away for hours in the ktichen when they've just arrived home from work:

Spend Sunday (or whenever your day off is) chopping up bell peppers, onions and whatever other vegetables you will need chopped for the dishes you'll be cooking during the week and freeze them until needed in portioned bags or containers of the amounts you will need. That way, when you get home, everything is already chopped and portioned and ready to add to your cooking.


Tammy said...

I got what you meant when you mentioned Lean Cuisines. :)

That looks delish...I think I'll make a stir fry this wknd. :)

Shanilie said...

Yum!! Looks amazing or like something you'd get served in a Chinese food restaurant. I LOVE Broccoli

Lyn said...


honestly, if that is all you got from this post I don't know what to say. I think some people go through life looking for something to be offended about.

As I said, I have eaten them myself. There is no "judging others" anywhere in this post; it was a lighthearted comment about the ultra-processed foods we often resort to when we think we don't have time to cook.

Michelle said...

That wasn't the only thing I got from your post and I don't look for stuff to be offended were being insensitive, plain and simple. I get a lot from all your posts and I save all your recipes as they are all awesome. But you're my favorite weight loss blogger and I use Lean Cuisine so it made me sad. Imagine if you went to your favorite weight loss blogger and they said something about Medifast being an atrocity when you have had so much success on it; it would kind of piss you off, no?

Lyn said...


No, it would not piss me off. I would probably know where their heart is by their past posts if they were one of my favorite bloggers. I would hope that people who read my writings regularly know I am not a judgmental person and have repeatedly said, use your method and have success! I do not judge anyone's method. As I said, it was light hearted. If Lean Cuisine is giving you weight loss success, I am very happy for you! And yes, some of the Medifast food is an atrocity, too, to my taste buds! :)

spunkysuzi said...

I am definitely going to make this!!

beerab said...

Yum- I've already got dinner planned for today but that is definitely something I want to try. I tell people that all the time- healthy is NOT hard to make NOR does it taste bad. When people come over for dinner at my house they always love my food and are surprised it's simple to make AND healthy.

Stephanie said...

My tummy is rumbling over this, looks so yummy!

fitby42 said...

When I first saw the picture, I said to myself how much food it looked like. The broccoli really looks delicious.

When I have cooked a "Lean Cuisine" type of meal, I am always amazed at how LITTLE the portion is. I am always hungry afterwards.

The amount of time a Lean Cuisine takes to heat in the microwave is about the same as cooking this 3 times as filling meal. Great job!

I get what you meant about the comparison. Why have one that is so processed when you can have a really delicous and filling meal. So much better for you.

The sodium alone in the pre-packaged meals is enough to make anyone want to try a healthier option.

Anonymous said...

I will say, in the defense of Lean Cusine type meals that the fact that most of us find the "so small", really shows how huge our portions are compared to what they should be. Personally, I have to eat 4-5 Lean Cuisines to feel full. Seriously. I think they can be a useful tool to shrink your stomach down. Eating huge quantities of food and having a stretched out stomach is one of my bigger problems (lots of binging going on here!). I find after I have dieted for a while and gone through the effort of shrinking down my stomach, it is a lot easier to be satisfied with less food.

Anyway, I understand Michelle's upset... because if it works for you Michelle it is a GREAT method! WHATEVER works for a person individually. We are all so sensitive about this stuff because it is something that most of us, (if you all are anything like me) have shamed yourselves day after day for years about. I think of my weight/dieting no less than 200 times per day, everyday... and have for years. To look at me you'd think that I don't care how I look at all! So I understand if Michelle is sensitive and I also understand that Lynn is only trying to help. Heavens know we all have all own battles. :)

Anyway, I've made 100's of variations of what Lyn is showing in this recipe. The easiest fastest (and often cheapest) way to do that recipe is with the mixed oriental vegies from the frozen section. Seriously fast and delicious.

Anonymous said...

It just matters what kind of fozen meals you are eating. Most of them are filled with sodium and sugar and end up leaving you hungry. I have talked with several nutritionists and doctors who only encourage certain frozen meals because a lot of them are too high in sodium and overly processed. For someone with a busy lifestyle it is understandable to eat them from time to time, but eating them as the sole diet method seems like a bad idea.

I don't think Lyn was trying to offend anyone's weight loss program (she doesn't say anything like that at all or rant about lean cuisines in a negative way). I think she was just stating how she felt about them. I think you are being slightly sensitive, but she was in no way insensitive.

Cynthia said...

A quick favorite of mine is scrambled egg whites plus one whole egg (Eggbeaters are an atrocity to my taste buds, LOL!) and a big bowl of steamed veggies with fresh ground pepper and a bit of fresh grated parmesan on top.

Or dump some spinach in a bowl, slice a bit of onion and red pepper (or whatever salad veggies you like) and add a tin of herring fillets and a bit of vinegar. Very fast, very tasty, very healthy.

Trixie's hint about pre-prepping meat is a good one too! I just cooked up a bit of ground turkey with onion, mushroom and jalapeno today. I can now reheat that and serve over salad or a grain or with steamed veggies very easily.

At any rate, there's lots of food that is fast or even grab n' go without cooking that is good and healthy. It's all in finding the options that work for you!