[RM 4.50 Meal Prep]: Spiced Chicken & Broccoli

Preparation Time: 10 minutesCooking Time: 10 minutes

At 33 years old, dad-bod is a real problem, and the worst part is that I’m not even a dad yet. So, ladies and gentlemen, I’m trying meal prep recipes as a Hail Mary attempt to regain control of my diet. The goal is to cook at most twice a week because who has the time?

So if you’re new to cooking and looking to try it out to save money, time, stay healthy, and cook something that tastes better than eating out, then this recipe is for you.

Why I Recommend This Recipe:

  • The cooked meal ages well in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Tastes good even if you microwave it.
  • It’s cheap at around RM 4.50 a meal.
  • It’s healthy: Loads of veggies & protein with no carbs and little oil.
  • Quick-cooking time of 15 minutes.
  • Requires low cooking skills (yay me).
  • Tastes better than eating out (debatable).
  • If someone is so adjusted to eating junk food (guilty), this is a smooth transition.

Bonus: If you’re a guy, and cooking for a dinner date, I would rate this meal 5/5 would impress the misses.

Ingredients & Cost

ItemsQuantityPrice
Chicken tenders or breasts400gRM 5.40
Broccoli1 headRM 5 a head
Carrots1 stickRM 3 for a bag of 5 sticks
Garlic2 gloves
Paprika or smoked paprika powder2 teaspoonsRM 3.60 for a pack of 30g
Salt & Pepper1/2 teaspoons
Olive oil1 teaspoon
TOTALRM 13.40

The above ingredients can make at least 2 to 3 meal servings, with some leftover carrots for you to cook something else.

This translates to a cost to you of RM 4.50 a meal 😎

I omit the costs of some ingredients like olive oil, salt and spices because:

  1. You’re only using too small of an amount to be quantified in RM.
  2. These are staple ingredients that you should always have in your kitchen anyway if you cook at home.

That’s it! Let’s get to prepping:

Chicken Marinate Instructions

Tip: Chicken tenders or chicken breasts? If you’re an amateur cook like me, I’d recommend chicken tenders as they are typically slightly juicier.

Chicken breasts are thick muscles that are easy to overcook, and you’ll end up with a dry, rubbery meal 🙁

Also, chicken tenders are already the perfect size, you don’t have to waste time cutting anything!

Check out where the breast and tenders are located on a chicken:

What's the difference between chicken breast and chicken ...
Source: Quora

Cool, now you know the difference between the chicken breasts and tenders, let’s move on to the marinade:

STEP 1: Place the chicken tenders in a large bowl with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. The oil is necessary to make the spice mix stick to the chicken.

STEP 2: Finely chop two cloves of garlic and place that into the bowl with the chicken.

STEP 3: Place the remaining spices in; salt & pepper (half teaspoons each), and 2 teaspoons of paprika powder.

STEP 4: With clean hands. mix everything together. Make sure every piece of chicken is coated in your spice mix. It should look something like this:

Marinated chicken ready for the fridge

Caution: Make sure you don’t go overboard with the paprika powder. Or else the paprika flavor will overpower everything else. The color should look similar to the picture above.

STEP 5: Place the marinated chicken in a seal-able container or Tupperware and stick it in the fridge (bottom, not freezer). Allow the spices to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes. But if you can get this done a day before, that would be best.

When you take out the raw chicken later on and take a whiff, the spices will kill off any slimy or raw chicken smell. That’s why I love garlic and paprika!

Vegetable Boiling Instructions

The cool thing about this recipe is that you only have to boil the veggies. Quick and easy!

STEP 1: Cut the carrots, broccoli, and bell pepper to your desired bite-size. Place the cut vegetables in a bowl:

STEP 2: Boil water in a pot and toss the vegetables in. I don’t even put seasonings in it. Let the veggies boil for 3 to 4 mins.

Tip to the Fellas: Don’t boil the crap out of your veggies. It needs to be a little crunchy.

Drain the veggies and set aside in a bowl.

Chicken Cooking Instructions

STEP 1: Heat a pan on medium-high, and place a teaspoon of olive oil into the hot pan.

STEP 2: Place the chicken in the pan. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. Let the medium-high heat sear the chicken until it has a nice brown color going. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes for me:

STEP 3: Flip the chicken and do the same thing for another 2 to 3 minutes. Lift off the pan once the chicken is golden brown on both sides.

Place everything on a plate and serve:

It’s a little burned, but honestly, I like the burn taste. Total: 3 meal servings

OPTIONAL EXTRA: The chicken spices are good enough on its own. But if you want a little bit of kick, you can put just a dollop of Nando’s peri-peri sauce. I only end up using max 1 full tablespoon of this sauce a serving.

At RM 17 a bottle, make this last!

Storing Cooker Meal in the Fridge

As mentioned, this whole cooking session can serve 3 meals for me. So my dinner and lunch for the following days are all sorted out.

Once everything’s all cooled off, I place the individual items separately in Tupperwares before I put them in the fridge:

Key Takeaway

There’s no better feeling than being able to feed yourself well. I like that this recipe makes me feel healthy and costs next to nothing. Yay to adulthood!

To see at my Other Dad-Bod fighting recipes, click on the button below:

Helmi Hasan

Hi, I'm Helmi Hasan, the founder, and writer for the personal finance blog, Balkoni Hijau. Read more in the 'About Me' page or follow me on Twitter.

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