Welcome to the 2nd installment of my “Lunch Bag Food” Series- a simple chicken and rice recipe. In the spirit of back to school, I am offering up some healthy, different and easy recipes to pop in your kids’ lunch box (or you own), add some variety and make your life a little bit simpler.
Let’s face it, eating a cold sandwich out of a bag everyday gets really boring. Even if your kids are lucky enough to have a microwave that actually works at school, they have to stand in line to use it, seriously cutting into precious lunch break time. I remember this from my university days. It gets to the point where it’s not even worth it to bring food that requires heating. A thermos is handy but stewy/ soupy /casserole stuff just doesn’t cut it all the time.
So here is an alternative for you. This easy chicken recipe was the grand prize winner in the 2013 Wild Rice Council’s “Chicken and Wild Rice Recipe Competition”. It was a fun contest for me because I was only allowed to use 5 ingredients in addition to the set ingredients. My inspiration for the recipe was my love of Mediterranean flavours. But not to worry, it is also kid tested and approved!
This is an easy recipe with chicken and rice and you can make them ahead, as they freeze well. Then heat them up in the morning and wrap them in aluminum foil, just before putting them in an insulated lunch bag. However, they still taste great luke-warm or even cold. Send a plastic spoon and some store-bought tzatziki sauce in a Tupperware container and you have a tasty, interesting and healthy kids lunch or snack!
Mediterranean Chicken and Wild Rice Cups Recipe
These easy Mediterreanean chicken and wild rice cups can be made in 30 minutes, freeze well and make a great lunch box meal, snack, appetizer or main dish.
- 1 cup wild rice
- 2 cups brown rice
- 1 ½ cups shredded Chicken for vegetarian substitute tofu
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 large eggs slightly beaten
- 2/3 cup sliced black olives
- 1 cup Feta cheese I use light, crumbled
- 1 cup tzatziki sauce optional
Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
Cook brown rice and wild rice as per package directions.
Cook chicken breast in olive oil on stove top over medium heat until no longer pink
Finely chop sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and chicken in the food processor. If you do not have a food processor, they can be finely chopped with a knife.
When rice is cooked, add eggs, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, feta cheese and mix well.
Press mixture into muffin tins, and fill to about ¾ full.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes. Use a knife to loosen edges.
Let cool another 5 minutes before removing.
Note: Here are some time-cutting tips:
1) use the canned wild rice (no cooking required) as well as brown Minute Rice. If you can’t find canned wild rice, then use a fast cooking wild rice. Uncle Ben’s has a selection of wild/brown rice combos that cook quickly (10 minutes -that is very short for wild rice)!
2) Use minced or pureed garlic from a jar.
3) Take it a step further and use a grocery store rotisserie chicken.