I am a picky person… I don’t like to eat the same meal more than once a week. I need meals for only one person. I don’t like to cook unless I can be eating in 20 minutes or less (preferably much less). I am trying to stay away from pastas. I like to eat protein with every meal, but I hate spending money on meats. Basically, I am impossible to cook for.
But there is hope! I have made a huge (well, to my non-chef-self anyway) list of recipes that help satisfy all of these things. As an added benefit, most of these can be considered at least somewhat healthy and very Megan-simple.
One thing I’ve learned is that rice is nice and cheap
So I just bought a rice cooker! So I’m going to be making enough rice for a week’s worth of meals. We already have a great start, here. Obviously substitute with quinoa, brown rice, whatever the heck you want. I just find plain white rice easy and not… intimidating.
I’m also going to buy some of the cheapest meat I can: frozen chicken breasts
Get a huge bag, because they keep forever in the freezer. Throw a whole bunch of them in the crock pot — one for each day of the week! Add enough chicken broth to just cover most of them. Cook on low for eight-ish hours. Take out the chicken and shred. It’s fine if some shredded chicken stays in the broth, since we’ll be using that too!
So now you have chicken and rice, which is a very nice base for almost any flavor you’re craving.
So now here are some ideas for the week:
1. Indian curry. Fry up some onions, add desired curry seasonings, add tomato sauce, add cream, throw in some chicken, serve over rice. If this is too much work, buy a jar of curry sauce and just throw that over chicken and rice.
2. Throw in some beans from a can with some chicken and cheddar cheese over some rice. Add seasonings like garlic, onion powder, and black pepper. Microwave. Stir. Eat. Fresh tomatoes and green onions taste great with this, too.
3. Make chicken fried rice with your pre-cooked chicken and rice and a bag of frozen veggies.
4. Make a paprikash-like sauce by cooking some cut up bell pepper, onions, and garlic in some oil until soft, then throw in a bunch of paprika. Add a can of tomatoes and some tomato paste or flour to thicken it up. Add the chicken to heat up the chicken, then add a dash of sour cream and serve it over rice.
5. Make some stir-fry with frozen vegetables. Toss in the chicken at the last minute to warm it up, serve over rice. If this sounds like it would just take too much time when you get home from work and are HANGRY, just throw some teriyaki sauce over some chicken and rice.
6. Make “Hawaiian haystacks.” Throw the chicken on a pile of rice, cover in chicken gravy and cover with whatever toppings you want. Toppings usually include shredded cheese, green onions, pineapple, chinese noodles, olives, etc.
7. Take some of the broth and throw in cajun spices and some flour to thicken it, serve it with the chicken over rice. If you have the time, saute some veggies with the cajun spices first.
There! One full week of filling, quick-ish dinners that don’t repeat flavors.
But wait, there’s more!
Run out of rice, but still have chicken? Just plain sick of rice? Try these:
- Put the chicken on a salad with some caesar dressing and croutons, maybe add a tomato.
- Mix some taco seasoning in with some salsa and serve it with some chicken in tortillas.
- Make a chicken salad sandwich by adding grapes or dried cranberries, celery or onions, and mayo. Add nuts to feel really fancy.
- Make cheap ramen, throw some chicken and an egg in, along with green onions and soy sauce. Or dress it up however the heck you want; at least you have protein in it!
- Make a pasta salad and throw some chicken on it to make it a meal. Easy pasta salad: cold pasta, onions, tomatoes, cheese, black pepper, garlic, onion powder, olive oil, and vinegar. Mix.
Sick of chicken? Still have rice? No problem:
- Saute some shrimp in butter and oil with some garlic, throw in some parsley and server it over rice.
- Make easy Korean beef, serve it over rice.
- Saute some onions in oil, throw in some sliced up smoked sausage. Once it’s browned, throw in some chicken broth and the rice. Eat. Some cheese goes really well with this. Can add beans, too, if you want.
- Make some kind of chili (any kind!) and throw it over rice.
Guys, I’m not even done yet…
Remember the broth you cooked the chicken in? Throw a bunch of veggies in it and add some chicken back, and you have chicken soup. Had chicken soup last night but still have a lot leftover? NO REPEATS. Take that chicken soup, put it over a bunch of rice, and add a bunch of cinnamon. Trust me, it’s delicious and homey and probably cures all illnesses.
Ok, now I’m done.
What other Megan-simple recipes would you add to this list?