This week, my meal prep consisted of chicken fried rice. I love this recipe because it is simple, it doesn’t need special ingredients and it can easily be adjusted for your needs. The dish can easily be made vegetarian by substituting tofu for chicken and vegan by omitting eggs. It’s also a super easy way of making use of the basics, making it a perfect meal for a beginner.
-Rice (1 ¼ cups)
-2 chicken breasts
-Sesame oil (substitute any other oil)
-Seasonings (salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, paprika)
- Mix your rice with 2.5 cups water and heat until boiling. Then lower the heat to simmer for 15 minutes until the water has evaporated.
- While the rice is cooking, heat a pan to high heat and lightly grease it with your oil of choice.
- Cut the chicken into small chunks, and season them liberally with salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika and cayenne to taste. You can also substitute in red pepper flakes for cayenne. When the meat is cut into small pieces, high heat will sear the outside while keeping the inside moist.
- After the chicken is done, heat up the vegetables and scramble the eggs. While these can be done together, I find that mixing the two often results in soggy eggs.
- Once the rice has finished cooking, transfer it to the pan with some oil. Once it has heated, mix it in with the other ingredients.
- Add two tablespoons of soy sauce and teriyaki sauce, or to taste. Feel free to add additional seasonings, though the soy sauce should take care of the salt.
This version of chicken fried rice averages around 500 calories per serving, with about 26 grams of protein, 21 grams of carbs and 21 grams of fats. For an increase in protein, you can add eggs or additional chicken.
While not everyone has access to Costco, that’s where I buy my ingredients. The amount of chicken used in this recipe comes out to about $4, the frozen vegetables are less than a dollar and the eggs come out to about a dollar for five. Factoring in rice, oil and spices, the whole recipe should come to about $8 for a per-serving cost of $1.60, making this the perfect dinner for a student on a budget. To cut the costs down even further, rice is frequently available at the A.S. Food Bank, located on the third floor of the UCen.
Overall, this dish is extremely customizable, so you can adjust it to suit your needs and your preferred taste; however, I like it best when you can taste just a hint of soy sauce with a bit of spice. This recipe is enough for five meals, which can be easily heated up by microwaving on high for two minutes. It can last in the fridge for up to a week, though I would recommend eating it over the course of five days, as it loses flavor and texture the longer you wait.