This recipe was one of my go-to lunches as a busy grad student. It's quick to make, gluten free, filling, and can be easily modified for other diets.
This recipe is high in in vitamin A, vitamin K, thiamin (B1), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), and selenium. It's also a good source of riboflavin (B2), folate, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Yes, this is a nutrient powerhouse! Did I mention it provides 9g of fiber?!
While this recipe is higher in fat than most people would expect, the majority of the fat present is healthier monounsaturated fat, primarily from the olive oil included in this recipe. Each serving of this recipe includes 1.25 Tbsp. olive oil. Why so much? Well, the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes the recommendation for 2 Tbsp. of oil (preferably a monounsaturated oil like olive oil or avocado oil).1 This recipe gets you over 60% of the way there!
But it has trans fat! Yes, this recipe has 0.2g of trans fat from the chicken & the feta cheese. The recommendation is to have less than 1% of your Calories from trans fat.1 For someone who needs 2000 Calories, that's 2.2g, so you're only 9% there. When it comes to trans fats, the most harmful effects on our health come from partially hydrogenated oils found in processed foods, so I'm not overly concerned by 0.2g from chicken and feta cheese.
You can also modify this recipe for nearly any diet.
Vegetarian: Eliminate the chicken & double the beans to 2 cups..
Vegan: Eliminate the chicken & feta. Double the beans to 2 cups.
Dairy free: Eliminate the feta.
Lower fat: Reduce the olive oil by half to 2.5 Tbsp.
Lower carb: Reduce the brown rice to 1/2 cup (uncooked) and the black beans to 1/2 cup.
Lower calorie: Reduce the oil by half to 2.5 Tbsp. Reduce the brown rice to 1/2 cup (uncooked) and the black beans to 1/2 cup.
Lower sodium: Eliminate the hummus, feta, & olives. Use salt sparingly.
Modify this recipe as needed to fit your needs.
As always, enjoy!
U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. Published December 2020. Available at DietaryGuidelines.gov.