The school year is officially here. I’ve been at work for a week but today was our students’ first day back from Summer. If you know me then you know I’m a schedule person. I thrive on routine and every year there’s a bit of learning curve when it comes to getting back into the school year swing.
Several months ago I purchased Cook Once Eat All Week by Cassie Joy Garcia and I haven’t looked back. Fundamentally, it’s changed the way that I look at meal prep. I use to look at it as an all-day event only to be left with the same meals all week that I could hardly stand the site of when Wednesday rolled around. I’m going to do a full review of the book soon but I’ve taken away a few key meal prepping hacks that I now use every single week- even when we don’t prepare a week from the book. Those are: preparing your protein ahead of time, chopping veggies, and getting the time-suckers out of the way like rice. *If you’re worried about rice drying out-try drizzling a little chicken broth on the rice before warming!
These sound like small things (especially the chopping of veggies) but they are small things that add up to a decent amount of work on a week night when your toddler is crying at your feet, the dog is barking at the door, your other kid is crying over spilt milk (literally), and your husband calls in the nick of time to say he’s running late.
Preparing a little ahead of time is key in making this meal come together super quickly. If I know that 2/3 meals that week have chicken as the protein, I throw 6 chicken breasts in the oven on Sunday with a little oil, garlic salt, and pepper at 400 for 20-25 min (or until internal temp is 165). Chop it up and separate into your favorite glass container.
Another great thing about this meal in particular is that my kids have no idea that there is cauliflower in this sucker and they eat it up (total mom win). I’m all for healthier swaps but I feel like things have gotten a little out of hand with the whole cauli rice/zucchini noodle craze. In the spirit of balance we love adding these to our meals, but never use them to replace that portion of the meal.
Use Organic when it’s an option
Store and reheat in glass containers
Skip the “boil in the bag” rice or microwaveable veggies stored in plastic (I used organic, steam-able cauli rice, however, I transferred a cup of it into a bowl to warm)
Weeknight Chicken “Fried” Rice
Total cook time: 10 min
2 Tbs avocado oil
2 C cooked brown rice
1 C warmed cauli rice
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 C frozen carrots and peas, thawed
1- 1 1/2 lb cooked chicken, diced
1 tsp cumin
3-4 Tbs coconut aminos
Salt and pepper to taste
Add oil and diced onions to skillet over medium heat. Cook until onions until they start to become translucent. Move to one side of the skillet.
Crack egg on the free side of the skillet, scramble.
Once cooked, add thawed peas and carrots, stirring until combined.
Once combined, add both the brown rice and cauliflower rice.
Add cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust as needed. Remove from heat and serve with coconut aminos.
Bam! Dunzo and now you can enjoy that weeknight glass of wine and more time with your fam! Try it out, I’d love to know how your family likes it, too!