How To: DIY Your Dinner (And Crush It!)


It’s Thursday, which means I’m on Daddy Duty while Mrs. DIY caps off her 9-hour workday by working a couple of more hours in the evening. What a gal!

Bringing a lunch in to work is one thing, but dinner is a whole other animal, especially when it has to hold at least moderate appeal for the two small animals careening around the house. I was strongly considering cereal tonight, but at the last minute I thought I’d quit being so damn lazy and make something real. Hence tonight’s dish:

Rice And Beans

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Hey, where’d everybody go?

Alright, I realize that the idea of rice and beans is perhaps one small step up from a strict ramen noodle diet. The thing is, rice and beans can be dressed up in all kinds of ways, they are super healthy, and it is an incredibly cheap meal. And gosh darn it, the kids really liked it!

What I Used

For this particular iteration, I used:

  • 1 cup of Jasmine rice
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 chunk of fresh garlic
  • About 1/6 of a rotisserie chicken I found in the back of the fridge
  • Approximately 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • a handful of cilantro and dill from the garden
  • a handful of kale from the garden (finely chopped)
  • Lil’ bit of salt
  • Lil’ bit of pepper
  • Lil’ bit of onion powder
  • A splash of Sriracha

How I Used It

I started by bringing 2 cups of water to a boil, then stirred in the rice, covered it, and dropped it to a simmer. Rice is super easy and cheap, and it makes a great filler.

Once that was off and running, I put a big pan on the range and chopped up the garlic while I warmed up some olive oil. I put the garlic in, and while that was getting acquainted I chopped up the kale as small as possible. I don’t really like kale, so I like to chop it up into tiny little minuscule niblets so as to make them disappear into the meal as much as possible. Into the pan it went.

I then opened the beans up and dumped them into the pan as well. I like things easy, and I don’t like to measure. Whole can, into the pot.

Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 9.47.44 PM
My cooking face

While that all was cooking up, I ripped up some of a leftover rotisserie chicken and spread the pieces out into the pan. Adds a little protein and flavor without contributing much to the already sizable carbohydrate factor.

Bringing it All Together

At this point the rice was finishing up, so I fluffed it and dumped a bit of olive oil in with a sprinkle of salt. I also put some salt and onion powder into the bean pan, along with some fresh ground black pepper.

For the coup d’etat I scooped a bit of rice into the bowl, plopped a dollop of the bean mix on top of that, sprinkled on a hefty pinch of the cilantro and dill, and squirted a spiral of Sriracha sauce on top. Yum!

For the kids, I knew I would be hearing complaints if I put it all together the way it’s supposed to be, so in the interest of a (semi) quiet dinner I gave them each two bowls, one with rice and one with the bean mix. Not only did they eat it all without the need for manipulative psychological tactics on my part, they actually complimented the meal! Win!

Now For the Stats

Since this blog does have a financial undertone throughout, let’s take a look at the numbers. I got 2 kid’s meals and 3 adult meals out of this recipe. For simplicity’s sake let’s call it 4 meals.

  • Kidney beans $0.69
  • Black beans   $0.69
  • Chicken     $1.33  ($8 for the whole chicken, I used roughly 1/6 of it)
  • Rice    $0.57
  • The rest    $1 (probably not this high, but I’ll go liberal here for the naysayers)

Total cost: $4.28

Cost per meal: $1.07

Calories per meal: 561

Grams of fat per meal: 15.5 (with the major bulk of that coming from the olive oil)

Grams of carbohydrates per meal: 81

Grams of proteins per meal: 25

In other words, this meal adheres pretty darn well to a balanced diet pie chart.

Screen Shot 2018-08-04 at 9.29.17 PM

Last Hurrah

Like I said earlier, I get that this meal may not sound terribly appealing to the masses. But if you have decided to approach the idea of financial independence and possibly even early retirement, then you have already separated yourself from the masses. And by riding along with The Captain, you have risen above them!

You might not want to eat this meal every night, but once or twice a week would cut your grocery bill and your waist size noticeably. So give it a try! Let me know what you think, and if you have any improvements send them my way! I really don’t want to go back to cereal for dinner.

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