Cool Cooking Method will save you during hot summer days. It means that it requires less cooking heat and cooking time. One of the common cool cooking methods is to prepare raw vegetable dish like salad and coleslaw. Use summer produce, such as cucumbers and tomatoes that are harvested in peak. Making a side dish by using fresh cut fruits is a good cool cooking method. Apples, pears, kiwi, melons, berries, oranges and grapes are good candidates because they are lower in calories among fruits. That’s not it. You can do much more with cool cooking method!
How is your summer so far? Here in Southern California, we don’t have hot and humid weather like Japan, but it gets quite hot. When the temperature shows over 80 degrees in my kitchen, not only am I reluctant to cook at home, but also we want to avoid hot soup. I have to challenge myself to continue cooking 500 calories set meal through summer.
Cool cooking method is to minimize cooking heat and cooking time. How do you do that? You will need to skip dishes that require frying, boiling, and simmering. Then, how do you cook? It’s easy! Cut vegetables and meat into smaller sizes so that they get cooked quickly. For example, chicken breast will be thinly sliced so that it gets cooked in one minute. Cut carrot into thin strips so that it requires less than one minute to cook. You can also bring water to boil in microwave instead of heating on the stove.
Cool cooking method also includes cold soup that does not require heat at all. Use chicken broth or fish broth, and then throw in your favorite vegetables that are edible without cooking. Cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions are good choices. Keep in refrigerator for a few hours before serving. Not only will vegetables absorb the flavor from broth, but also broth will absorb the flavor from vegetables!
Cool cooking method will give you so many benefits. It will leave your kitchen cooler. It will leave money in your wallet because you are conserving energy. Best of all, it will leave more nutrients to the ingredients! Are you ready to cook 500 Calories Set Meal with Cool Cooking Method?
Chicken Breast Shabu Shabu Set Meal with Cool Cooking Method
Main: Chicken Breast Shabu Shabu with Sesame Soy Sauce (Boiled Chicken Breast)
Side 1: Carrot Shiri Shiri (Stir-fried Carrot with Egg)
Side 2: Salad with Coconut Oil Miso Dressing
Soup: Cold Cucumber Soup
Steamed Mixed Grain Rice
Total 485 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: Chicken Breast Shabu Shabu with Sesame Soy Sauce (Boiled Chicken Breast) 151 calories
Have you eaten Shabu-Shabu? Shabu-Shabu is a Japanese dish with thin sliced meat. At the table, you pick up a thin sliced piece of meat with chopstick and submerge in hot water in a pot. You move the meat to one direction and the other. It takes only a few seconds to be cooked perfectly. Then dip in your favorite sauce such as sesame or Ponzu. Chicken breast is a healthier and cheaper alternative. The dish is great when it’s served cold, like shabu-shabu salad.
There are a couple of cool cooking methods used for this recipe. Cut meat into thin slices so that meat gets cooked quickly. It is not so easy to thinly slice chicken. Place the chicken breast in the freezer long enough to make it partially frozen. Then thin slice it. You will know the difference.
Boiling water process on the stove creates too much heat. You can microwave water in a large measuring cup. Then carefully pour into a pot. Make sure you turn off heat before boiling. If you cook meat in boiling water, meat gets tough. You can place meat all at once and stir so that meat gets separated.
Good protein like chicken breast is very important to fight hot summer. You lose appetite as your body gets tired and sleepless. More protein can be consumed than what is taken into the body. Therefore, you will need to eat more protein. Chicken is gentle to stomach and easy to digest. Think about chicken noodle soup.
Side 1: Carrot Shiri Shiri (Stir-fried Carrot with Egg) 83 Calories
If you travel to Japan, you enjoy many local cuisine. As I wrote about Taco Rice, Okinawa offers many unique dishes. Carrot Shiri-Shiri is a popular healthy food originated in Okinawa. The name Shiri-Shiri came from the sound when you shred carrot with slicer.
The main ingredient is carrot and egg. Carrot contains a good amount of carotene which is converted to vitamin A in the body. It works as antioxidant and makes blood flow smoothly. It helps to promote the immune system and reduce swelling. It is good for your skin and eyes. Do not peel carrot skin as it contains more carotene than inside.
Carrot also contains a good amount of dietary fiber. It helps to improve intestinal environment and prevent constipation. And the volume of the dish makes you feel full. Cooking carrot with oil helps to absorb carotene into the body and make carrot taste sweeter. Cooking with egg, which is complete food, makes this dish special. The dish is even more special because it is prepared with cool cooking method. Cut vegetable small and cook fast!
Side 2: Salad with Coconut Oil Miso Dressing 53 calories
We all go for this cool cooking method to prepare cold salad because we have craving for it. Summer vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers are so fresh and available at the farmers market. Cherry tomatoes are easy to grow in a pot. I can brag about how many tomatoes we harvested and how sweet they are. Sweet means more sugar. More sugar means more calories. Cherry tomatoes have 1.5 times more sugar than regular tomatoes. But wait! How about nutrition wise?
Tomatoes have lycopene that is strong antioxidant. Lycopene doesn’t change to Vitamin A in the body. Cherry tomatoes have 2 times more lycopene than regular tomatoes. Read more Tomato Vegetable Soup to learn about lycopene. Cherry tomatoes have 1.8 times more beta-carotene than regular tomatoes. They have more vitamins, minerals and linoleic acid than regular tomatoes. Linoleic acid works great because it helps to burn fat and lower sugar blood! Enjoy sweet cherry tomatoes!
Coconut oil miso dressing makes your salad so special. Miso promotes healthy digestion and clean intestine. Coconut oil is “good fat” and comes with so many health benefit. Read more Coconut Oil Chicken Breast to learn about the benefit. I didn’t like coconut oil so much at the beginning. But started liking it after the discovery of the coconut oil miso dressing. It makes vegetables sweeter!
Make sure coconut oil has creamy texture when mix with miso. It cannot be hard nor completely melted.
Soup: Cold Cucumber Soup 38 calories
No matter how hot it is, soup is very important to come up with 500 calories set meal. You will not have problem if you know this cool cooking method. And it is so easy to prepare! All you need is good broth and fresh vegetables. One of the main summer produce is a cucumber. Crispy and juicy cucumbers are very soothing for hot day. Actually, cucumbers are great food to eat during hot summer days. Cucumbers will help to sweat so that it will cool your body down. It is not super food because 90% of the vegetable is made out of water. But Cucumbers are low in calories and well balanced with vitamins and minerals. It contains oxygen, called phospholipase, which helps to break the fat. Eat more cucumbers for diet!