healthy_foodWhen trying to lose weight, meal planning and preparation becomes one of the most important aspects of your diet. Knowing what you’re having for breakfast, lunch and dinner allows you to stick to the program and also means that you have all the necessary ingredients etc to hand. It can be time consuming, coming up with a different option every day of the week, for both lunch and dinner, which is why dishes like stew, are an ideal addition to your healthy eating plan. 
The beauty of a stew or casserole type dish as that you can make double the portions to either eat the next day for lunch or freeze for a quick meal down the track. This cuts down on cooking time and also means that you’ve always got something diet and weight loss friendly in the fridge or freezer.
Add to that the highly nutritious nature of most stews (plenty of lean meat for protein and packed full of veggies) and it’s easy to see why adding a stew to your menu roster may be great for both your time management and waistline.
While we often think of stews and casseroles as wintery meal staples, a switch around of ingredients and a little creativity makes these dishes perfect for the warmer months. They are still a hot meal but by replacing some of the heavier, starchier veggies with things like legumes, lightens the load considerably.
This chicken and chickpea version combines lean chicken breast with a whole bunch of colourful veggies, including capsicum, chilli and red onion. There’s also a healthy helping of spices in the mix which adds flavour, without the need for salt or sugar. Ingredients like chilli and cumin have also been reported to have a positive effect on your metabolism, giving it a boost after consumption.
The extra addition to the pot is the chickpeas. High in protein and fibre and extremely low in fat, salt and sugar, chickpeas are a bit of a nutritional powerhouse. They help to keep your blood sugar levels regular while also filling you up, so you end up eating a little less of your meal when chickpeas are involved.
While we have used capsicum, chilli and red onion, you could add other veggies that you prefer/have at home. Just ensure that they are all cut to a similar size and added to the mix at the right point.

  • 600g chicken breast fillets, skin removed
  • 1 red capsicum, deseeded and diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and thoroughly rinsed
  • 500ml reduced salt chicken stock
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Preheat the oven to 170C
  • Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frypan over medium heat
  • Cook the chicken until sealed and golden and remove from the pan
  • Place chicken in a large casserole dish and set aside
  • Add remaining oil to the pan followed by the veggies, chilli and garlic
  • Cook gently for 5 minutes or until veggies are starting to soften
  • Add spices to the pan and stir to combine
  • Pour veggie mix into the casserole dish with the chicken
  • Add the chickpeas and stock
  • Place in the oven to cook for 20 minutes
  • After 20 minutes, add the rice and return to the oven for a further 20-30 min
  • Serve while hot

Makes 4 servings – Cal per serve – 370
If you are ready to lose weight then the Lose Baby Weight plans offer a healthy and safe exercise and diet routine.
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