The other day when I was out in Kuala Lumpur Sentral to conduct a personal training session, my client was sharing her concerns about not having access to healthy food at her workplace. When I asked her why she doesn’t prepare her own food and bring it to work, she said she couldn’t really cook. So I showed her this recipe and explained to her that cooking can be very simple and fun. The result is a healthy meal-prep that you can take with you to the office, wherever you work in Kuala Lumpur, or in Malaysia. The ingredients can be easily found in any of the major supermarkets in KL, and there are two ways to make this recipe even more simple than it is.
Nowadays everybody is busy and in rush al the time, and as a personal trainer in Kuala Lumpur I am no exception. So to cut the time, I often pre-cook the sweet potato and carrot cubes in the microwave oven on high heat for about 10 minutes. Sweet potatoes can take long time to roast in the oven, and they often get too dry. By pre-cooking them in the microwave oven they stay more juicy and it only takes 20 minutes to make them crispy in the oven on 230C degrees after that.
The second way to keep this meal-prep super simple is to cook everything together in the oven. If you don’t have a grill pan for example, or don’t want to panfry the chicken breast in oil, because you’re worried about the calories, or just don’t want to make more mess and extra dishes to wash, just season the chicken and add them to the spicy sweet potato carrot mix in the oven, and cook them until they’re done. If you decide to prepare the meat together with the potatoes, cook them on lower heat on 200C degrees, and finish on high 230C in the last 5minutes!
4 medium size ORANGE colour sweet potatoes - RM12
2 medium size carrots - RM2.80
2 broccolis - RM5.80
4 medium size chicken breasts - RM17
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chilli powder (add more if you want it spicier)
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Salt and Pepper
Approximate cost for 4 servings: RM40.
Cost per serving: 10RM
Cut the sweet potatoes and carrots roughly into 1 - 2 cm cubes; Cover it in a heatproof container and cook it on high heat in the microwave oven for 10 minutes, stirring it gently half way. (Careful when you touch the container and remove the lid, it will be very hot!)
Add the spices and extra virgin olive oil to the sweet potato and gently mix them, then pour the seasoned vegetables onto a tray;
If you want to cook the veggies together with the chicken breasts; then season the meat with the same spices and add them to the tray.
Cook it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes on 200C degree until everything is done (chicken is cooked all the way inside if you cut it, and the vegetables are soft but not mushy). You can turn up the heat to 230C in the last 5 minutes to add some crispness.
If you want to grill the chicken breasts, make them flatter with a meat tenderiser, and just add them to the pre heated grill pan (maybe you need to rub the meat with some oil to avoid sticking to the pan)
Cut the broccoli into florets (you can keep the stalks for soup) and throw them into boiling, salted water.
Once the boiling is back, cook it for about 30 seconds then remove the broccoli and drain it.
Enjoy fresh or let it cool on the open air, and store it in airtight containers in the fridge for up to three days, and just warm it up in the microwave whenever you need it.