Coconut products such as coconut oil and coconut water are popular in the U.S.. Of course, any products that are popular in the U.S. will make it to Japan. I found my first coconut oil at my mom’s local store in Japan. I don’t like any coconut drinks or sweets. My mind goes good luck selling them in Japan. Next to the product, a book was displayed, which was unusual. The title said “Eat coconut oil and prevent dementia”. 25% of Japanese population are 60 years old or older. A study shows 1 out of 5 people over 65 years old develop dementia. Dementia is one of Japan’s big problems such as healthcare, pension, economy, and more. There are many programs available in Japan to prevent it such as physical exercises, mental exercises and diet. I was sure that my mom would find out about the benefit of coconut oil through a TV show!
As I suspected, Japanese national TV talked about the benefits of coconut oil. First, coconut oil works for diet. Coconut oil doesn’t stay in the body as fat because it is burned quickly. Furthermore, coconut oil burns the existing fat stored in the body as well. Secondly, coconut oil works for anti-aging and healthy skin. It is rich in vitamin E which is an antioxidant. Finally, coconut oil helps to prevent Alzheimer and Arteriosclerosis. American doctor Mary Newport wrote a book about coconut oil and Alzheimer’s. Coconut oil helped to improve her husband’s Alzheimer condition.
2 tablespoon a day is recommended for the health benefits. Add a teaspoon to coffee and tea, spread it over bread or make salad dressing or sauce. It is hard to consume that much coconut oil unless you really like coconut flavor. It is healthy and great for diet, but I have to overcome the smell first. I decided to cook chicken breast. Let’s cook 500 calories set meal: Coconut Oil Chicken.
500 Calories Set Meal: Coconut Oil Chicken Breast
Main: Coconut Oil Chicken Breast
Side 1: Hijiki Nimono (Boiled Hijiki and Carrot)
Side 2: Snow Peas Ohitashi (Boiled Snow Peas)
Soup: Lite Tomato Cream Soup
Total 465 calories
All recipes are made for 2 servings. This printable recipe box will allow you to change the serving size to adjust the recipe.
Main: Coconut Oil Chicken Breast 151 calories
Just like olive oil, pick organic cold pressed refined virgin coconut oil. Pick extra virgin coconut oil for strong coconut flavor. I used chicken breast to keep calories lower so that you can drink the sauce that was left in pan. It is healthy fat!
Coconut oil is almost like butter. It becomes solid when room temperature is cold. Cook with low to medium heat because extra virgin coconut oil tend to burn.
- 200 g chicken breast
- 2 teaspoon sake
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon potato starch
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 40 g lettuce
- Slice chicken against the grain. Add sake and salt and hand massage. Leave it for 10-15 minutes.
- Coat chicken with potato starch.
- Place coconut oil and then chicken on frying pan. Turn on heat to medium. Cook both sides.
- Add soy sauce. Stir until meat gets coated with sauce.
Side 1: Hijiki Nimono (Boiled Hijiki and Carrot) 57 calories
Japan announced 4 foods that people should eat every day to prevent dementia. The article was translated into English because they are so effective. The 4 foods are soy beans/soy products, milk/other dairy products, vegetables and sea vegetables.
Hijiki is a teeny tiny sea vegetable, but it comes with big benefits. Hijiki is a great diet food because it contains tannins that reduce fat and prevent fat from getting stored in the body. It tends to expand in the body so that it makes you feel full. Hijiki contains 12 times more calcium than milk! It improves bone and teeth health. It is rich in dietary fiber which prevents constipation. It contains iodine that maintains healthy skin, hair and nails.
Hijiki is sold at Japanese grocery stores, near the seaweed section. They are in small bags, but it expands up to 10 times more volume when you soak in water. Then drain and wash with running water in colander.
Read more Miso Soup with Fried Tofu to learn how to prepare abra-age (fried tofu).
- Soak Hijiki in water for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse well with running water in colander.
- Cut carrot and fried tofu into thin strips.
- Make sauce with dashi, sugar, soy sauce and sake.
- Add carrot and bring to boil.
- Add fried tofu and Hijiki.
- Cook until the sauce evaporates.
Side 2: Snow Peas Ohitashi (Boiled Snow Peas) 44 calories
Why do we call them snow peas in the U.S.? In Japan, they are called, Kinusaya, which means silky pod/shell. That doesn’t make sense either. Buy snow peas that are bright and shiny green. It means they are fresh. Avoid large pods or big peas inside of pods because they are overgrown and tougher. Pick small and soft ones which is very different from snap peas.
Snow peas contain protein, beta-carotene, vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. It is good for your skin and hair health. It also prevents constipation.
Snow peas have tough strings go around pod, top and bottom. The strings need to be removed before cooking. Grab top end with fingers, pull the string down. Flip it and then grab bottom end, pull it down. Now you are ready to cook.
I like the crunchiness, so cook for 1 minute. Drain and immediately rinse with running water to stop the cooking process.
- 100 g snow peas
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 25 ml dashi Japanese fish broth
- 1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
- Remove strings from snow peas.
- Bring water to boil in pan. Cook snow peas for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with running water.
- Mix sugar, soy sauce, dashi, and sesame oil in bowl.
- Add cooked snow peas. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds to complete.
Soup: Lite Tomato Cream Soup 53 calories
This soup becomes tasty with tomato and milk. Actually, tomato and milk has a multiplier effect for diet. Fat in milk helps to absorb lycopene into body. By eating tomato and milk together, it helps to reduce stress and burn fat.
We don’t want to forget about the role of cabbage for this soup. Cabbage secrets a hormone, called melatonin, which promotes good sleep. Lite tomato milk soup can be your favorite soup for dinner. Relax, sleep well and lose weight!
Read more Sautéed Pork with Ginger Sauce to learn about multiplier effects.
Read more Tomato Vegetable Soup learn about the benefit of lycopene.
- 10 g bacon
- 20 g onion
- 50 g cabbage
- 40 g canned tomato
- 210 ml chicken broth 1sp chicken base with water
- 40 ml milk low fat 2%
- Cut bacon and onion into small chunks. Cut cabbage into large chunks.
- Place chicken broth, bacon and onion in pot. Bring to boil.
- Add tomato and cook for 1 minute.
- Add cabbage and cook for another minute.
- Add milk to pot.
- Turn off heat right before boiling. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Steamed Mixed Grain Rice 160 calories
Click here to learn how to make tasty grain rice.