Eating well is one of the foundation stones for good health, especially in later life. If you can stick to a wholesome balanced diet, with a variety of foods in the right proportions, you’ll have more energy, find it easier to maintain a healthy weight and generally feel better all round.
One of the best ways to know exactly what you’re eating and avoid many of the additives and preservatives in pre-packed foods is to cook plenty of your own meals at home. Older people are generally better at home cooking than younger ones, not having grown up in the ‘fast food’ and ‘ready meals’ era, but some people still shy away from the stove. There’s really no reason to, as many healthy and nutritious meals are quick and simple to prepare, and taste delicious.
This easy-to-follow recipe for a tasty and warming Chicken and Banana Korma is from the NHS’s Change 4 Life website, which has lots of ideas for healthy and nutritious meals. A korma is a very mild and creamy curry which certainly won’t ‘blow your head off’.
Serving four people, this healthy version is packed with flavour while avoiding the high calorie content of many takeaway curries. It takes just 20 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes’ cooking time.
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 500g skinless, boneless uncooked chicken breasts, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp korma curry paste
- 400ml reduced-salt vegetable or chicken stock
- 25g sultanas or raisins
- 25g ready-to-eat apricots
- 200g easy-cook long grain brown rice
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 banana, sliced
- 4 tbsp low-fat plain yoghurt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper (optional)
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped (optional, to garnish)
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped chicken, onion, apple and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the curry paste and cook for a few seconds while stirring.
- Add the stock, raisins or sultanas, and apricots. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 35 minutes. Add a little more stock or water if necessary.
- Brown rice takes 30 to 35 minutes to cook, so put it in plenty of simmering water.
- Just before serving, blend the cornflour with 2 tbsp cold water and add to the curry, stirring until thickened. Add the banana slices, cooking gently for another few moments. Check the seasoning and add the pinch of pepper if desired.
- Drain the rice and split into four portions. Stir the yoghurt into the curry just before serving to give a creamier texture, then serve with the rice. Garnish each portion with the coriander if you’re it.
Tips: You can make a vegetarian version by swapping the chicken breast for a 300g pack of meat-substitute chicken-style pieces (such as Quorn) and making sure you use vegetable stock. If you prefer, you can top each portion with a tablespoon of the low-fat yoghurt rather than stirring it into the curry just prior to serving.
• Each portion (as per the recipe) contains: Energy 2335kj/552kcal; protein 41.2g; carbohydrate 77.7g, of which 21.1g sugars; fat 7.1g, of which 1.4g saturates; fibre 6.3g; sodium 360mg, equivalent to 0.9g salt.