Learning the science behind food and how it benefits our bodies does us no good unless we actually DO some of the good things that we’ve discussed, right? Tuesdays are “recipe days” on Crumbs, where I share a recipe that’s been tried and true in my own kitchen. Some recipes are the (delicious) result of a kitchen experiment. Others are simply me sharing my version a great recipe that I’ve found elsewhere. In either case, the recipes will always be wholesome, packed with nutrition and related to the topic we’re currently discussing. They’re also husband and kid-tested. 🙂
Since we’ve been talking about fat, (and your Do Something yesterday was to find opportunities to use good saturated fats in your meal plan), I’m sharing my version of vegetable fried rice, based off of Rachel Ray’s recipe here.
Granted now, Ms. Ray is not known for her nourishing cooking style. In the last show of hers I watched (several years ago now) she was opening all sorts of packages so she could beat a timer. This recipe though doesn’t require any “from scratch” cooking. Making the rice ahead of time will put dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. Could this particular frame of time have anything to do with the originating chef? 😉
There are a few different opportunities to use fat in this recipe. For two in particular, we’ll have to dig up some of the information from the Truth About Fats series to make sure we’re not cooking up fried free-radicals with our rice. 😉
This vegetable fried rice recipe is incredibly versatile – just about any vegetables you have lying in the fridge will work well. A good portion of these ingredients are things we could easily keep in our pantry and freezer too, making this dish an excellent back-up plan when dinner plans go awry for some reason or another.
Since we only buy and prepare one whole chicken each month, my version is written without meat. However, you could easily add shredded chicken, diced pork, diced beef or even shrimp depending on what’s on sale and in your freezer. Remember that meat should accompany meals, not be the main attraction. Allowing 1/3 cup of meat per person should be plenty for this recipe, and this could even be reduced to 1/4 if necessary.
* Note: The rice must be cooled before making the rest of the recipe. Take this into consideration in advance when planning and preparing this meal.
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 2 cups homemade bone broth
- 3 Tbsp saturated fat for sautéing (bacon grease is excellent, but coconut oil, tallow or lard would all work well)
- 2 real eggs (no substitutes here!)
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 inches fresh ginger, minced finely (may substitute ground ginger in a pinch, but the flavor is noticeably better with fresh)
- 16oz bag of frozen mixed peas/corn/green beans/carrots (or the equivalent if using fresh)
- 2 ribs of celery, diced small
- 1 bell pepper, diced small
- ½ large onion, diced small
- 1¾ cups cooked beans, or one can drained (garbanzo, white and black beans would all work well)
- ⅓ cup naturally brewed soy sauce
- Prepare rice as directed on package ahead of time, using homemade bone broth in place of water.
- In a wok or very large skillet, add fat and heat over medium heat until it melts.
- Add eggs and scramble in the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon.
- Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often.
- When the eggs are translucent, add the remaining vegetables and stir-fry for 2-5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften a bit.
- Add rice and fold to fully incorporate with the vegetables. (Pre-cooked meat could also be added at this point.)
- Gently fold in beans before adding soy sauce.
- Stir vegetable fried rice well and serve.
This vegetable fried rice sounds simple, and it really is, but the key to making it flavorful is the garlic and ginger. Do not skip out on the fresh versions of either if at all possible.
You could also take this dish and significantly change the flavors with just a few minor adjustments.
- Peanut: Use peanut oil for sautéing, combine 1-2 Tbsp of natural peanut butter with the soy sauce before adding to the rice, and sprinkle the top with peanuts
- Cashew: Add 1-2 Tbsp of natural cashew butter with the soy sauce before adding to the rice, sprinkle the top with cashews.
- Sesame: Replace 1 Tbsp of soy sauce with sesame seed oil and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds.
If you’ve never made homemade bone broth before, my guest post at Kitchen Stewardship this week is a must-read. Transform one whole chicken into ten quarts of homemade immunity boosting goodness over the course of three days while spending maybe an hour in the kitchen. Read my super-easy slow cooker method for making homemade chicken broth here.
Here’s a thought to spend some time marinading on: if your chicken is organic and free-range to begin with, you’d be saving over $37 on chicken broth – in one month alone! 🙂