After long, cold training runs, marathon-running chef Mark Bittman refuels and warms up with a veg-packed version of a classic winter comfort dish. He serves his stew atop energy-boosting carbs such as brown rice or wholewheat pasta.
Preparation: 25 minutes
- 60ml olive oil
- 2 leeks, sliced
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 240ml dry white wine
- 240ml vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or tarragon
- 2 boneless chicken breasts
- 3 large potatoes, cut into 3cm cubes
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 230g sugar snap peas
- 230g asparagus, cut into 3cm chunks
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Put half the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Cook the leeks with the salt and pepper for five minutes. Add the wine, thyme and stock, and boil for one minute.
2 Add the chicken, reduce the heat, then cover and simmer for five minutes, until just cooked. Remove the chicken, add the potatoes and carrots, and simmer for five minutes. The liquid should thicken - if it doesn't, turn up the heat and cook for a further few minutes while stirring.
3 Slowly add the remaining oil, along with the peas and chopped asparagus. Cook for a further three minutes. Slice the chicken, returning it to the pan with its juices to warm through.
Leeks: Now at their seasonal peak, leeks are a great source of kaempferol. This flavonoid keeps your heart healthy by protecting against damage to blood vessel linings.
Asparagus: A single serving packs in 60 per cent of your daily vitamin B9. Also known as folic acid, you need B9 to regulate the formation of new red blood cells.
Sugar snap peas: They are loaded with vitamin C, an immune-boosting nutrient that athletes tend to run low on, says the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.
Many thanks to Mark Bittman for providing this recipe, which is taken from his Food Matters Cookbook (£22.60, Simon & Schuster).