This is one of my go-to food prep recipes. I whip it up on a Sunday, and then I’ve got my lunches from Monday to Friday ready to go!
I make my own pico de Gallo (that’s the tomato, onion, and jalapeño salsa) so there’s a bit of preparation involved. But once you’ve got all the pieces, it’s just a matter of assembling in a bowl and enjoying all those delicious Mexican flavours without the refined flour, cheese, or sour cream that you’ll get with take away. Just good quality lean protein, low GI carbs, and a whole rainbow of vegetables to fill you up and deliver vital nutrition.
Makes five serves, with each one delivering 37g of protein and 627 kcal.
For the chicken
500g skinless chicken breasts (approximately two large breasts)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
For the rice
1 cup brown rice
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock (gold star if you made it yourself!)
2 cups water
juice of 1/2 lime
For the pico de Gallo
1 red onion, peeled
juice of 1/2 lime
large handful fresh coriander
pinch sea salt
And the rest…
2 corn cobs, peeled, washed, and dried
1 avocado, cut into cubes
1 tin (approx. 400g) black beans, drained and rinsed
Greek yoghurt, to serve
1. Start by slicing your chicken breast into strips, then place in a bowl.
2. Add the olive oil, paprika, cumin, garlic, and chilli powders. Stir to ensure the chicken is coated evenly. Cover, and then leave to marinate for at least two hours, or overnight.
3. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. These can be discarded, as we just want to use the flesh so that our pico de Gallo isn’t too wet.
4. Slice the jalapeño in half down the centre, then scoop out and discard the seeds and membrane.
5. Finely dice the tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeño. Mix them together in a bowl.
6. Roughly chop the coriander and add to the bowl. Season with salt, add the juice of 1/2 a lime, and then stir to combine.
7. Wrap your corn cobs in aluminium foil, then place directly on a gas stove using a low-medium flame. Cook them for 8-10 minutes, using tongs to turn them every two minutes so that they are evenly charred. Remove from heat and then leave to cool before unwrapping.
8. On a plate (or in a shallow bowl) stand the corn cobs upright and use a sharp knife to run down alongside the core to remove the kernels. Place to one side and discard the cores.
9. Rinse your brown rice in cool water before transferring to a pot. Pour in the chicken stock and two cups of water. Bring to a boil over a high flame, then reduce to a simmer and leave to cook (covered) for 45 minutes. If the pot dries out, add a little more water.
10. Once cooked, remove from the stove and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes. Drain off any excess water, and then use a fork to fluff the rice. Squeeze over the remaining lime juice.
11. Now it’s time to cook your chicken. Place a fry pan over a medium-high heat and add the chicken strips. You shouldn’t need to add any oil, because they’re already coated. Cook for two minutes, then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until cooked through.
12. To serve, start with a bed of brown rice, then arrange the chicken, pico de Gallo, black beans, charred corn, and avocado on top. Finish with a big dollop of Greek yoghurt, then dig in!