As a Nutrition Coach and Head Chef for Venice Nutrition, I always recommend that my clients have 2 food staples on hand for the week: cooked chicken and cooked brown rice. Preparing these two high quality, nutrient –rich food items in bulk is a great way to create simple and delicious meals in minutes all week!
We all know that skinless, boneless chicken breasts are a fantastic source of natural protein. Brown rice is a high fiber whole grain that naturally keeps blood sugar stable when paired with a protein and fat in a meal. The challenge is, how do you make these two nutrition stars go from bland to wow? It’s simple with these tips.
Chicken- I recommend that you buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts and season with a little kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, minced garlic or garlic powder, dried or fresh thyme and red pepper flakes if you like a little kick. Bake or grill until moist and no longer pink. Another option is to purchase chicken breasts with the skin on, season, bake and remove the skin after the chicken is cooked. Keeping the skin on during the cooking process keeps the meat tender and moist (just make sure to remove it after). One convenient option to guarantee you have cooked chicken on hand is to purchase a cooked rotisserie chicken at your local market. Throw on a pair of plastic gloves and remove the skin and bones. Save the meat in a plastic container for later use.
Brown Rice- Though it’s best to use the brown rice that needs to be cooked for a while, I’m still a fan of instant brown rice because of its convenience. Make up a batch and store in the fridge for the week.
Now that you have these 2 staple items cooked and ready to go, it’s time to get creative!
Some delicious combinations that you can stir-fry in a small frying pan within 5 minutes (just make sure to use cooked chicken and cooked rice!):
-Cubed or sliced chicken, brown rice, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, minced garlic or garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Cook until heated throughout. Top with fresh parmesan cheese
-Cubed or sliced chicken breast and brown rice cooked with Pam Cooking Spray, salt and pepper until heated throughout. The last minute add your favorite salsa to the pan. Top with guacamole or fresh sliced avocado
-Cubed or sliced chicken breast and brown rice cooked with Pam Cooking Spray, salt, pepper, garlic and oregano until heated throughout. The last minute of cooking add your favorite marinara or tomato sauce and fresh herbs like basil. Top with a small amount of fresh mozzarella, ricotta or parmesan cheese
-Cubed or sliced chicken breast and brown rice cooked with sesame or peanut oil, salt, pepper, garlic, your favorite stir-fry vegetables and a dash of low sodium soy sauce.