Chickpeas Mix in Mushroom Sauce with Poached Chicken Breast

This protein rich main course can be easily adapted to a vegan diet simply by leaving out the chicken breast. Chicken breast is a good source of protein, but so are kale, almonds, mushrooms, and chickpeas.
Protein is an extremely important macronutrient in our diet. The amount consumed is also very important, particularly with regards to animal protein as this should be moderate. Twice a week is ideal for the majority of people. Still healthier sources of protein include vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts and whole grains, which are also rich in fibre, good fats, and many other nutrients.

Serves: 4, 5.

Poached Chicken

4 or 5 skinless chicken breasts, about 600g
1 bay leaf
4 fresh thyme sprigs
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 tsp Himalayan salt
2 big garlic cloves, crushed
Filtered water

Sauce

1tsp coconut oil
1 small white onion, about 30g, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
270g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
350ml almond milk
½ tsp Himalayan salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1tbsp cold pressed oil
15g fresh basil, extra for garnish

Chickpeas mix

1 tsp coconut oil
1 small onion – about 30g
2 garlic cloves, chopped
180g cherry tomatoes
400g cooked chickpeas
Seasoning – Himalayan salt and ground fresh black peppers
140 kale leaves, ripped into small pieces
1 tbsp olive oil plus 1tsp to drizzle
Large pinch of herbs de provence
70g black olives , finely chopped
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Optional: almond flakes, sprinkle on top along with sesame seeds and black olives once mixture is ready.
 

1. In a large saucepan or stock pan add the chicken, herbs, seasoning, olive oil and cover it in water, bring to boil and then simmer for about 20min, until chicken breast is thoroughly cooked. To check, poke each piece with a fork - don’t pierce it – if it seems soft then is probably ready.

2. While the chicken is being poached, prepare your sauce. In a medium saucepan add the coconut oil, and when melted, add the sliced onion and sauté until translucent. Next add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Then add the mushroom and cook until soft. Add almond milk, seasoning, ground nutmeg. Bring mixture to boil and let it cook for 10min. Keep and set aside.

3. For the chickpeasmixture, in a large fry pan add the coconut oil, let it melt, repeat the same process as above. First cook the sliced onion until translucent, then add the garlic and sauté for 1 more minute. Then add the cherry tomatoes cook for 3 minutes. Finally, add the chickpeas, seasoning and cook for 5 more minutes .

4. Next place the kale on top of the tomatoes and chickpeas with olive oil and herbs de provence. Let this cook until the kale is wilted, mixing with a spoon few times. This takes about 7 minutes. Set aside.

5. Place the mushroom mixture into a blender with 15g of fresh basil and blend well until it has a smooth consistency. Pour the sauce on top of the chickpeas and mix well.

6. In a small fry pan toast the sesame seeds and set aside.

7. Once the chicken is poached, drain the water out - throw away the herbs or if you prefer, you can keep them as garnish. Place the chicken breasts on top of the chickpeas mixture and drizzle the remain olive oil on top.

8. To finish sprinkle the chopped black olives and toasted sesame seeds on top of all, adding some fresh basil for garnish and you are ready to serve!

Note: This recipe can be served alone or even with salad on the side. It also goes well with baked baby or sweet potatoes. As the mixture is moist and tasty it works very well served on top of pasta or rice, for higher nutritional value, choose whole grains, such as short brown rice, red Camargue rice, or black rice.

For the chickpeas, you can buy it in tin or preferably, you can soak and cook your own. That way, you will have a more nutritional legume and still you can save any extra cooked chickpeas for freezing to use later, adding to soups, salads or making your own hummus.

When consuming chicken or any other type of animal protein, try to use organic when possible. The amount of hormones and antibiotics in non-organic meat can be harmful to our body and its function.  Large scale meat production is also harmful to our environment. Avoiding this market is a conscious act regarding our planet and our own health.
Always try to get organic, fresh and local food.

Souce: Patricia Nunes - Natural Chef in Training

Allergy advice: Sesame seed