This story originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of our print edition.
After a long gym session, you’re tired, sore, and just want to chow down on something—anything—as soon as possible. It’s easy to reach for your stack of takeout menus, but that General Tso’s packs a surprising wallop of fat and sodium without much redeeming nutritional value. Sure, you’ll be full, but your body won’t get the proper fuel it needs to bounce back from the toll of climbing hard. No worries. We have a chicken fried rice recipe that you can throw together three times faster than it takes the delivery guy to get to your door. The cook time is less than 15 minutes, and it’s so easy to make you’ll have it memorized after one go. It also has a healthy dose of carbs, protein, and sodium, with a half serving of vegetables. Rice has carbs that are good for fueling recovery. It’s high on the glycemic index, which means it will digest quickly and give your muscles the immediate energy they need to start the repair and recovery process (see opposite page for more info on the glycemic index). Protein from the chicken rebuilds muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and the ample sodium will help your body absorb much-needed water to stave off dehydration and accelerate recovery. Dr. Allen Lim, founder of Skratch Labs, says, “The benefits of this meal are rather simple: It tastes great, it’s easy to make, keeps well, reheats easily, and it’s got a great ratio of carbs, protein, and fat. Mostly though, it’s just super-delicious real food.”
- 2 cups rice, cooked
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup boneless chicken thighs, cooked (2 to 3 pieces)
- 2 to 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas and corn
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Cook rice according to package instructions.
- Bring lightly oiled sauté pan to medium-high heat. Add garlic and green onions and sauté for about one minute.
- In a small bowl, beat eggs and soy sauce together and then pour them into the hot pan. The pan should be hot enough to cause the eggs to fluff. Stir quickly to cook.
- Add cooked rice and cooked chicken thighs, then fry mixture for five to six minutes.
- Add peas and corn and cook until vegetables heat through and are vibrant in color.
- Season to taste with Sriracha, soy sauce, or sesame oil.
Nutrition Facts (per serving, half the total amount)
Energy: 605 cal • Fat: 17g • Carbs: 68g • Fiber: 4g • Protein: 39g • Sodium: 727mg