Now that I’m back at uni (and doing it so slowly that I’ll be here for about 5 years, which is vaguely horrifying!), while still teaching full time, raising kids, maintaining a marriage, pretending to have a social life,
spoiling a high-maintenance dog, playing sport, making noises about work-life balance (hahahahaha) and trying to stay sane through it all*, I’m relying harder than ever on quick meals that are nutritious, delicious, cheap, and require no mental energy to prepare.
I’m rather fond of this one-pot wonder, which is very tasty, allows the throwing in of whatever you have on hand, can absolutely be made the night before, is basically begging you to use pre-cooked rice (but is still a one-pot cinch if you cook it from scratch) if you’re feeling particularly rushed, and is full of veggies and protein. We use brown rice most of the time, so there is some wholegrain goodness going on there, too. It takes all of 15 minutes in front of the stove, and is an absolute treasure on those evenings when you’re pulled from pillar to post after a long day at work, but want dinner to consist of something decent (does anyone else have those nights when you don’t even have time for takeout? We call them Thursdays around here).
As if this wasn’t already the dinner that keeps of giving, it’s relatively low calorie, with 1/4 serve consisting of 400 calories. I routinely eat 1/5, and it’s more than enough for me, but I generally don’t eat huge meals at night. One day, I’m sure I’ll use barley instead of rice, but that kind of defeats the quickness of the whole thing.
*Note to self: don’t list it all out like that again in black and white if you want a snowball’s chance of that last one!
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 yellow capsicum, diced
500g chicken thigh fillet, cubed
400g tomatoes, diced (quartered cherry tomatoes are particularly nice, but regular sized tomatoes are completely fine)
375g microwavable rice (or 3/4 cup rice, cooked however you please. I steam mine, leaving it just underdone)
200g chicken stock
400g red kidney beans, drained
1 zucchini, diced
pinch cayenne, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
- preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in an oven-proof skillet over low heat, and cook onion, garlic and capsicum until softened.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add chicken, cooking for five minutes, until well browned.
- Add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine and coat rice with juices. Ensure that the rice has separated, as it sometimes comes out of the pack in clumps.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden.