With a little advance planning on the weekend you can have these healthy Tex-Mex Chicken Meal Prep Bowls waiting in your refrigerator for a fast and easy meal anytime. Perfect for lunch on-the-go!
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Fresh off the food-fest we refer to as Super Bowl and as we prepare to dive head-first into all things chocolate on Valentine’s Day, I thought this was an excellent week to squeeze in a couple of healthy ideas.
It’s almost a cruel joke that these two fabulous excuses to ditch the diet resolutions take place so early in the year but it’s all about balance (truly). I’m starting today with these tasty meal prep bowls that make for a super wholesome work day lunch or an easy dinner on those nights when you have just enough energy to push a couple of buttons on your microwave and turn on Netflix. Yes, I’ve been there… frequently!
Working from home has caused lunch-time dilemmas I never anticipated. I have a tendency to either work right through lunch and end up light-headed and starving by the time I call it a day, or I just grab the quickest, easiest thing from the fridge to reheat, not usually the best choice.
I’ve been working on retraining my brain to do a little weekend prep so I can have these portion controlled, wholesome meal prep bowls on hand for myself, or an easy meal for the guys to grab when needed. They’re perfect for taking to work. All you need is a microwave and a fork!
One of the most important aspects to keeping it healthy is portion control so be sure to choose containers that are not too large. You can use the inexpensive plastic variety found at the grocery store but I love these glass containers I found on Amazon. They have lids that firmly clasp on which makes them excellent for traveling with no leakage and they’re freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe.
TEX-MEX CHICKEN MEAL PREP BOWLS
The first step is to sauté chopped boneless, skinless chicken breast in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. I seasoned the chicken with my Homemade Taco Seasoning but you could go with store-bought seasoning if you’d like.
Sauté the veggies in the same pan so they pick up some of that good flavor left behind by the seasoned chicken. I went with bell peppers, onions, zucchini, corn, and garlic.
Spoon some cooked whole-grain brown rice into four containers and top with a little chopped cilantro.
Divide the chicken, veggies, and some rinsed and drained black beans among the containers over the rice. Add a wedge of lime.
Cover and refrigerate for meals through the week. They will keep well for about 4 days if stored properly.
I filled some small plastic disposable containers with sour cream and salsa. When ready to reheat just remove the cover and the topping container and heat for a couple of minutes in the microwave. Squeeze the lime over the top and you are ready to eat!
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TEX-MEX CHICKEN MEAL PREP BOWLS
- 1 cup uncooked brown or white rice (I used whole grain brown basmati rice)
- 2 cups of water or low-sodium chicken broth (see recipe note)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (or as needed), divided
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small bite-size pieces
- 2 teaspoons homemade or store-bought taco seasoning mix
- 2 bell peppers (any color), sliced into thin strips
- 1/2 small white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained well
- fresh lime wedges
- optional toppings - sour cream, salsa, salad dressing
- Cook rice according to package directions, substituting chicken broth for the water, if desired.
- Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a saute pan and place over MEDIUM heat. Add chicken pieces and season with taco seasoning. Cook, stirring, until chicken is completely cooked through. Remove from heat and transfer chicken to a plate to cool.
- Add remaining olive oil to the same pan and return to MEDIUM heat. Add bell peppers and onion. Cook and stir until bell pepper is slightly softened, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini and frozen corn. Cook and stir until zucchini is crisp tender, an additional 2 or 3 minutes. Season veggies with a touch of salt and fresh ground pepper while cooking. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Divide the cooked rice among the 4 meal prep containers. Sprinkle cilantro over rice (if desired). Add an even amount of the cooked chicken, cooked veggies, and black beans on top of the rice in the containers. Add a lime wedge and a topping container filled with your topping of choice.
- Cover and store in refrigerator. When ready to eat, reheat uncovered container in microwave for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes just until warm. Squeeze with lime juice and top with sour cream, salsa, or dressing of your choice.