500 Calories Set Meal: Warm Your Body To Lose Weight

Why Warm Your Body To Lose Weight?

Eating vegetables that warm your body is very import if you want to lose weight. Your intestine is working 24 hours a day. You may think that you do not burn calories when you don’t excise. That’s not true. Your body continues to burn calories, even while you sleep. However, when your body is cold, the intestine becomes less active. Your metabolism will slow down. Then, you are prone to gain weight no matter what you do, such as less eating and more exercise.

It’s getting cold enough to talk about vegetables that warm your body. I feel like it was just last month that I wrote about vegetables that cool your body. These days you never know what kind of weather will you get. Just like the time I visited Tokyo in November. It started with days that were unusually warm for November. It was almost like spring time. My mom’s garden started blooming as if plants thought it was spring. Oh, and I got a couple of mosquito bites. Can you imagine? It was a mid-November. That’s not all. The day I left Tokyo, it snowed! It has been 54 years since Tokyo had snow in November! Yes, I was lucky enough to witness it!

Warm Your Body Ingredients

First, let’s start with three vegetables that warm your body. These vegetables are also common to be used as spices.  They have benefits to promote blood flow and keep your body warm.

Green onions – the spicy component is allicin which promotes blood flow and makes your body warm. The green part contains carotene and vitamin C, and prevents from getting a cold.

Ginger – the spicy components are zingerone and shogaol. Not only do these promote sweat but also improve poor circulation and the beginning condition of a cold.

Red peppers (chili pepper and cayenne pepper) – the spicy component is capsaicin. It will expand blood vessels and improve blood circulation. It also helps to burn fat and improves the metabolism.

Next, let’s look at other vegetables that warm your body when eaten.

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Burdock
  • Red bell pepper
  • Pumpkin
  • Potato
  • Broccoli
  • Shiso (Japanese mint leaves)

As you notice, there are many root vegetables in the list. Root vegetables are rich in dietary fiber. Therefore, it  mproves poor circulation and prevents constipation. Also colored vegetables contain vitamin C & E. It works to improve poor circulation.

Of course, you will not find summer vegetables in the list. Basically, eating raw vegetables will cool your body. It really makes sense that your body wants hot soup instead of fresh salad during winter.

Do you know that the same vegetable can make you both cold and warm? For example, cabbage belongs to cold vegetables. However, when cooked, it becomes a vegetable that warms your body. Also when vegetables are dried, they become vegetables that warm your body.

Furthermore, eating good quality protein will improve body temperature from inside. You eat some type of meat every day. But, it is important to add beans, nuts and seeds to your diet as well.

Finally, eating delicious food with the same calorie count (the 500 calories set meal vs. Weight Watchers meal) will warm your body. Especially, when you enjoy the good food with your family and friends!  Happy Holidays!

Let’s cook 500 calories set meal: Spicy Chicken Breast!

Menu

Main: Spicy Chicken Breast

Side 1: Stir-fried Cabbage with Shirasu (Japanese Anchovy)

Side 2: Kaki (Japanese Persimmon)

Soup: Ginger Egg Drop Soup

Sekihan (Sweet Rice with Red Bean)

***All recipes are made for 2 servings. This printable recipe box will allow you to change the serving size to adjust the recipe.

 

500 calorie set meal spicy-chicken-breast
Main: Spicy Chicken Breast
139 calories

This recipe is perfect to warm your body. It has good protein from chicken and spicy component from green onions. That is not it. It has spicy miso paste! The spicy miso paste is common to be used for many Chinese dishes like Mabo Tofu. It gives a deep spicy flavor and warm your body. Be careful, when you add a small amount of the spicy miso paste to a dish, it makes the whole dish spicy.

Spicy miso paste is available at the Asian market. It is also called Dou Ban Jiang in Chinese and Chinese hot bean paste in English.

500 calorie set meal spicy-chicken-breast
Spicy Chicken Breast
Print Recipe
139 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
500 calorie set meal spicy-chicken-breast
Spicy Chicken Breast
Print Recipe
139 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Slice chicken against the grain. Salt chicken and leave for 10 minutes. Cut green onion into one inch length.
    spicy-chicken-breast-step-1
  2. Sprinkle potato starch and mix.
    spicy-chicken-breast-step-2
  3. Place oil and chicken in cold pan. Turn on heat and cook both sides.
    spicy-chicken-breast-step-3
  4. Stir in spicy miso paste and cook for one minute.
    spicy-chicken-breast-step-4
  5. Add green onion.
    spicy-chicken-breast-step-5
  6. Stir in sake and soy sauce. Cook for one minute.
    spicy-chicken-breast-step-6
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500 calories set meal stir-fried-cabbage-with-shirasu-japanese-anchovy
Side 1: Stir-fried Cabbage with Shirasu (Japanese Anchovy)
60 calories

About Shirasu

It is too bad that Shirasu is not common to sell in the U.S. Shirasu in Japan is made out of baby fish, mostly sardine. I’m not sure what regular anchovies look like. But Japanese anchovy, called Shirasu, is about 2 cm in length. And it is good for you because you can eat the whole baby fish! Shirasu has a good amount of calcium and 100g of it satisfies the daily dietary recommendation. There are two kinds of Shirasu, Kamaage-Shirasu and Chirimen-Jaco. The first is boiled and has a soft texture. The later is boiled and dried. As a result, it has crunchy texture. I hope you can get some from a Japanese grocery store. Shirasu can be a good accent to a dish because it has the right saltiness. Japanese people enjoy it over steamed rice, vegetables, pasta and more! During winter, forget about coleslaw. Let’s cook cabbage to warm your body!

500 calories set meal stir-fried-cabbage-with-shirasu-japanese-anchovy
Stir-fried Cabbage with Shirasu (Japanese Anchovy)
Print Recipe
60 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
500 calories set meal stir-fried-cabbage-with-shirasu-japanese-anchovy
Stir-fried Cabbage with Shirasu (Japanese Anchovy)
Print Recipe
60 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut cabbage into large chunks.
    stir-fried-cabbage-with-shirasu-japanese-anchovy-step-1
  2. Stir fry cabbage with 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise for one minute.
    stir-fried-cabbage-with-shirasu-japanese-anchovy-step-2
  3. Add Shirasu and stir fry for one minute.
    stir-fried-cabbage-with-shirasu-japanese-anchovy-step-3
  4. Add one teaspoon of mayonnaise and stir fry for one minute.
    stir-fried-cabbage-with-shirasu-japanese-anchovy-step-4
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Kaki Japanese Persimmon
Side 2: Kaki (Japanese Persimmon)
60 calories (100g)

About Kaki

My mom gave my husband a big orange fruit when he visited Japan the first time. He still remembers that how sweet it was. Persimmon, called Kaki in Japanese, is a popular winter fruit in Japan. There are many varieties of Kaki, but the most popular one is called Fuyu Kaki. Fuyu Kaki is my favorite because it doesn’t have any seeds. The seeds in Kaki can be very large, and it is hard to eat.

We have an old saying “When Kaki turns red, a doctor turns blue.” It means that if you eat Kaki, you don’t need a doctor. Indeed, Kaki is very nutritious. It contains good amounts of potassium, vitamin A and C. Potassium helps to release sodium from the body. Eating one Kaki will satisfy the amount of vitamin C that you need to intake per day. It helps to recover from fatigue. Also It helps to prevent a cold, cancer, and premature aging.

Buying Kaki

Good news! Here in Southern California, there are many persimmon growers. I can buy it at the local farmers market, grocery stores, and even Costco. Look at the leafy stem. The good Kaki should have the equal sized four green leaves and it looks like the leaves are growing into the fruit. Also, pick the one that has a dark orange color. Finally, touch to check the firmness and heaviness of the fruit. Kaki keeps ripening after harvested. If you like crunchy but less sweet, don’t wait too long after purchasing. If you like soft but sweeter, then wait for a longer period. Enjoy!


500 calorie set meal ginger-egg-drop-soup
Soup: Ginger Egg Drop Soup
83 calories

Ginger Soup for Cold Night

This soup is very soothing and will warm your body. And it is easy to make! Ginger has a spicy note and medicinal effect. Ginger is one of the well-known ingredient to warm your body. It promotes gastric and salivary secretions. It does make sense to drink ginger tea when you are having a cold. Ginger also helps boost the immune and digestive systems. Lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels are just a few of the other benefits.

Thickening soup with potato starch even keeps the soup warmer. Potato starch is gluten free and easily dissolves into hot liquid after mixed with two to three times the amount of water. Find dried herbs from your kitchen cabinet and sprinkle over the soup before serving. It will add aroma and color to the soup. I used dried parsley for this recipe, but you can try basil or cilantro.

500 calorie set meal ginger-egg-drop-soup
Ginger Egg Drop Soup
Print Recipe
83 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
500 calorie set meal ginger-egg-drop-soup
Ginger Egg Drop Soup
Print Recipe
83 calories
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut ginger and onion into thin strips.
    ginger-egg-drop-soup-step-1
  2. Place oil and ginger and cook with low heat for one minute.
    ginger-egg-drop-soup-step-2
  3. Add onion and cook for two minutes.
    ginger-egg-drop-soup-step-3
  4. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes.
    ginger-egg-drop-soup-step-4
  5. Turn off heat. Stir in potato starch mixed with water.
    ginger-egg-drop-soup-step-5
  6. Stir in egg. Stir in a circle a few times.
    ginger-egg-drop-soup-step-6
  7. Sprinkle dried parsley to complete.
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oseki-han sweet rice with azuki red beans
Sekihan (Sweet Rice with Red Bean)
160 calories (100g)

About Sekihan

Sekihan means red rice because sweet rice is cooked with red beans. It has been eaten for Japanese celebration since the Edo period (over 400 years ago!). It is because red will chase bad spirits away, and rice was a luxury at that time. Japanese people love Sekihan. They eat to celebrate the New Year, children’s day, elder’s day, and even every day! It is supposed to bring good luck!

Azuki Powerful Ingredient

According to oriental medicine, ingredients are divided into three categories. Warm, Medium, and Cool.  Both sweet rice and Azuki (red bean) belong to the warm categories. Therefore, sekihan is an ideal food that warm your body. Azuki is written as small bean in Japanese Chinese character. The small bean is a very powerful ingredient. It is rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, polyphenol, saponin, zinc, calcium, iron, phosphorus and more. The red liquid comes out when beans are cooked. It has been known to have a detox effect. Azuki is an ideal ingredient for diet. No wonder Japanese people enjoy sweets when made with Azuki!

How to Cook Sekihan

  1. Wash red beans and soak in water over night at room temperature. Need 17 g Azuki per 1 cup of rice.
  2. Discard the water and add a cup of fresh water.
  3. Microwave for 5 minutes on medium.
  4. After cooling down, place the Azuki with water over washed sweet rice. Do not stir.
  5. Leave it for 30 minutes. Make sure that you have the right amount of water when you cook.
  6. Cook for about 15 minutes depending on equipment. Leave it for 10 minutes after turning off the heat. Then mix gently
  7. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds to complete.

Read more about How to Cook and Store Japanese Rice.

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