How to eat rice for a week without getting ill

I am lucky enough to live in a place and have means such that I can make a statement like this title. I am very thankful for that.

I must admit that my life of privilege–despite my limited grad school income–has spoiled me, and I hate eating the same thing every day. One of my good friends can have the exact same thing every day for lunch and never tire of her turkey and cheese sandwiches. I envy the simplicity of packing such lunches.

Despite disliking repetitive meals, this is a busy time of year (when isn’t really), so I’ve been making large meals I can eat through the course of the week. This week, I made a big pot of rice on Monday, and I’ve been eating it different ways each day. Here’s what I’ve managed so far:

Monday: Rice and black beans with cheese. I like to make beans from scratch, but it was canned this time. What’s worse, I have class on Monday nights, so I packed a resealable, microwavable container with a layer of rice, a layer of rinsed beans and some salsa. I took shredded cheddar cheese with me in a separate container and added it after heating the rice and beans.

Tuesday: Sauted some julienned carrots in a touch of oil, then seasoned with garlic powder, ground ginger and pepper. I removed the carrots from the skillet, trying to leave most of the oil behind. Then I made some veggie potstickers in the skillet (frozen ones). While those were cooking, I heated up a bowl of rice. Then I mixed the carrots into the rice. Voila: rudimentary fried rice and potstickers. Tasty.

Wednesday: Farmer’s Market! Wednesday is my one break during the work week, so I did some real cooking tonight. I got some beet greens for free at the market today, and I had some leftover arugula that I wanted to use, so I created the recipe below. It’s different (black beans in Asian food…), but pretty good I think.

Thursday: Stuffed Bell Peppers. Recipe will follow soon.

Friday: Yet to be determined. Possibly rice and cheese quesadillas. Suggestions?

Asian Bitter Greens and Beans over Rice

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Servings: One very large serving


  • About 3 or 4 cups beet greens
  • 1-2 cups arugula
  • 1/3 cup carrots (when chopped)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed
  • 1 small to medium garlic clove
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • small amount Asian chili sauce (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • dash ginger
  • dash ground pepper
  • one serving of rice
  1. Thoroughly wash the greens and shake out most of the excess water (I used a salad spinner). Tear any large pieces into smaller ones. (Be careful with the stems of the beet greens–they’ll turn your fingers pink just like the beets.) Mince the garlic. Julienne the carrots (tip: use baby carrots and chop lengthwise into 4-8 pieces depending on width of carrot). In a small bowl, mix together apple cider vinegar through pepper.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic and carrots together for about two minutes, or when the carrots begin to get tender. Add beans and saute another minute or two. Meanwhile, reheat the rice if necessary. Add the beet greens and saute about two minutes before adding the arugula. Saute about two minutes more, or until all the greens are bright and wilted.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir the sauce again quickly, then pour over greens. Toss well. Serve over rice.

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