Hoisin-glazed Chicken Rice Bowls (w/ Lazy Sauce)
February: A long, cold, sometimes miserable month. Apologies if your birthday is in February, but am I wrong? When the snow dumps on us (like it did this week) I naturally migrate to a head-down hair-up backend-work life, doing things like website updates, content planning, and troubleshooting. May, June July—those are the sexy months! Colorful foods, live videos, booking photoshoots, and the best light. But until then, I’ll take a(nother) coffee and a hair tie, please.
Current Health Goals
If you’ve noticed copious amounts of ground turkey and chicken breast in my life lately, it’s because I’m on a quiet weight cut. I usually do a gradual cut around January to tone up after the holidays. It’s not 30-day drastic, more like 8 weeks or so where I dial back my calories a bit (again, not too drastic, no one needs a hangry ape). I also dust off my tracker and live the macro life (which I’m more lax about in the warm months). It’s going good: down 3 pounds, still enjoying life, and my body’s tightening up! (I will share progress photos soon on Instagram!)
Enter: Chicken Breast
(The King of Lean)
Chicken breast is no one’s favorite food. It’s the blandest thing ever because it’s so lean. But where some see a bland piece of meat, I see a culinary opportunity*
*Not really, I mostly eat chicken breast because it’s high in protein.
Either way, this week’s chicken breast maintains its juiciness because it’s cooked in your slow cooker (or Instant Pot, see recipe note 1). Then we shred it to get more flavor contact. The last step is tossing the chicken in a lazy sauce—one of my favorite sauces from Soy Vay: Hoisin Garlic.
Soy Vay sauces have incredible flavor (and this is not at all sponsored, just an honest opinion). Full disclosure: They’re not all-natural and they have some sugar so this may be a choose-your-battles kind of meal prep. That said, I’m not sweating the sugar content because it imparts so much flavor into the chicken and makes me look forward to lunch! That beats staring at a bland piece of chicken in your fridge and opting for frozen corndogs instead, right?
Choosing Veggies & Rice
For the “rice bowl” part of this meal, feel free to adjust ingredients according to your preferences. Cauliflower rice is a great substitute for white rice if you’re low-carb. I went with zucchini zoodles and carrots for the veggies because both hold up awesome during the week. Some other vegetable considerations could be:
Just remember, like most meal prep recipes, to keep dry food dry. I would lightly steam your veggies (such as broccoli, pepper, snap peas) then store them un-sauced in meal prep containers.
Personally, I think forking up a piece of chicken + some veggies is flavorful enough, but you could also store a condiment cup with an extra ounce of sauce in your meal prep containers. Just drizzle it over the veggies/rice when you’re ready to eat.
As always, I love seeing your recipes and hearing about your experience. Tag #fuelingfunction on Instagram or send me your photos at firstname.lastname@example.org. Love you long time, hang in there—spring is around the corner!
Macros are calculated for one meal including 1 chicken breast, 1/2 c rice, and 1/2 cup zucchini & carrots (as pictured).
Calories: 454 (per meal)
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Hoisin Glazed Chicken
Yield: 4 Meals
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup hot water
Sesame seeds for garnish
Vegetable options (1/2 cup per meal): Spiralized zucchini (pictured), matchstick carrots (pictured), broccoli florets, chopped bell pepper, edamame, snap peas, bok choy, bean sprouts, green onion
2 cups prepared rice (1/2 cup per meal)
Slow cooker chicken prep: In a bowl, whisk together hoisin garlic sauce with hot water. This will stretch the sauce a little further and help keep chicken tender. Add 3 chicken breasts to the slow cooker and cover with sauce mixture. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. (See note 1 for Instant Pot cook times.)
Carefully remove chicken breasts and shred them against the grain with 2 forks. Return chicken to the slow cooker and toss to coat it in sauce. Let shredded chicken cook in the sauce for another 20 minutes.
To steam vegetables: Add 1 cup water to a large stock pot, followed by a steam rack. Add vegetables of choice. Over high-heat, cover vegetables and steam them for 5-8 minutes depending on how soft you prefer them.
Note: Spiralized zucchini, bean sprouts, and green onion do not need to be steamed.
For meal prep: Portion out chicken, veggies, and prepared rice into meal prep containers. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired. When you’re ready to eat, microwave for about 2 minutes and enjoy!
Optional: If you like very saucy veggies and rice, store 1 ounce of Hoisin Garlic sauce (from the bottle) in a condiment cup alongside your meal. Pour the sauce over the top before heating.
To prepare chicken in the Instant Pot, refer to this cheat sheet from my Meal Prep Staples Guide. You can get the 18-page e-book FOR FREE in my shop.