This is Christmas season! The whole world is exited every year around this season. Christmas lights and decorations are in every city and every home. We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. So there isn’t any reason we can’t cook up some different Christmas dinner ideas.
What is going to be different about it this year? The difference is the fact that we will put a healthy twist to the Christmas dinner! The meal is Jollof rice and chicken.
What makes a dinner healthy
A good balance of carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins makes a balanced meal. But a meal containing all the important nutirents in the right proportions is a healthy meal. Healthy eating consists of the following characteristics: Less oil. Less salt. Little or no fried food. No alcohol. No fizzy. Less sugar. Water as the drink. Larger potions of vitamins than carbohydrate in a serving. Lots of fruits and vegetables. Food not over cooked. Food not under cooked.
Health benefits in this different dinner
This different dinner is a serving of Jollof rice with chicken cooked with some healthy twists to it. Jollof rice is a meal cooked in Africa at very special ceremonies such as weddings, christenings, birthday parties and Christmas. In a nutshell, jollof rice is rice cooked in tomato sauce. And served with chicken, beef or fish. It can be a very healthy meal but that depends on how it is prepared and cooked. There are a lot of health benefits in jollof rice, in chicken and in the ingredients used in cooking them:
Chicken – is rich in protein and Vitamin B6, this vitamin helps maintain a healthy brain and a healthy nervous system.
Health benefits in Jollof Rice.
Rice – Charbohydrates. Tomatoes – rice in vitamine C, excellent for the body immune system. Red Bell Peppers – very good for healthy skin. Scotch Bonnet Pepper – helps body metabolism. Onion – good for healthy heart. Garlic – known as the health herb is good for the general well being of the body. Sunflower oil – plant oil is much better than animal oil. and Spices – are rich in minerals that are good in maintaining sound health.
Here is my healthy twist to cooking chicken. We are not going to fry. And we are not going to cook our chicken whole!
What do we need?
Chicken 1 whole 2kg
Onion 2 medium
Garlic 1 clove
Scotch bonnet pepper 1
Spices: salt, curry powder, thyme, Italian spices and knorr cubes
How do we go about it?
Let your Christmas chicken defrost completely to room temparature. Cut off the legs and wings first. Separate the back from the chest and cut each of them into 4cm chunks. Wash all the pieces into a pot add salt, 1 scotch bonnet pepper, 1 garlic clove, 1 large onion, curry powder, knorr cubes and mixed herbs. Add water and boil till very soft.
When cooked, pick the pieces of cooked chicken out of the gravy unto a baking tray.
Brown the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes at 200 degrees centigrade.
Let the gravy from the chicken cool down. You can even put it in the fridge so the fat solidifies on top. Remove the fat on top and use the defatted gravy in cooking jollof Rice.
Here is my unique and delicious healthy twist to cooking Jollof Rice.
What do we need?
- Rice 4 cups (I prefer to use the easy cook basmati rice).
- Defatted Gravy (from chicken is more tasty).
- Fresh tomatos 4 medium size.
- Passata 1 box 500g (tomato purée preferably in a box).
- Onions. 2 medium size
- Garlic (one clove).
- Bell peppers 2 (red).
- Scotch bonnet pepper (only 1).
- Spices (salt, maggi, thyme, curry powder, Italian spices).
- Oil. 4 table spoons (vegetable oil is much healthier than animal fat)
How do we go about it?
Blend passata, tomatoes, bell peppers, 1 onion, 1 garlic clove and 1 scotch bonnet into a paste.
Grate the other onion and fry it lightly in 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil
Add the blended paste to the fried onion
Add maggi, thyme, curry powder and Italian spices. Cook till thick stearing all the time so it doesn’t get burnt.
Add the gravy from the chicken and bring it to boil
Wash rice in very hot water and drain out the starchy water. Wash and drain starchy water till the water coming from the washed rice has very little starch.
Add washed rice to the tomato and gravy mixture
Add water and salt to taste.
Cook till rice is soft, mix cooked rice till the orange colour is evenly distributed all over the pot of rice. Also mix the rice carefully so it doesn’t get mushed up.
Serve with chicken
*Other serving suggestions (a) with moimoi. (b) with plantain (c) with salad. (d) with a, b and c
Enjoy your Christmas dinner
Christmas Season is a time for lots of planning. One part of Christmas that needs careful planning is the dinner of the day. It’s very special when the planned dinner is a healthy one. This year the dinner is healthy Jollof rice served with chicken. Jollof rice is the healthiest type of rice to eat when prepared in a healthy way.
It’s a happy time, let’s dance! dance!! dance!!!
I would love to answer any question you have on jollof rice or give any more information you might require on jollof rice. Please leave a comment.