A few weeks ago my friend made this amazing Chinese inspired dinner–cashew chicken and fried rice. Although the Cashew chicken was the star, the fried rice was so great that I started concocting ways I could amp up the nutrition in the rice and make it a complete meal. My version here is vegetarian but you could throw in chicken or shrimp or tofu if you want to increase the protein. Either way, what was once a mere side dish will no longer sit on the side lines…because nobody puts baby in a corner…or something like that.
The key to making this fried rice so incredibly healthy is by using a LOT of vegetables. The fried rice you get in a chinese restaurant might have a few sad orange specks of carrot or a lone pea or two, but not this fried rice. I used tons of broccoli, red peppers, carrots, edamame, and green onions.
But as wonderful and fresh as those veggies look, I’d be lying if I didn’t say my favorite part of fried rice is the egg. So for this recipe, I used one whole egg and one egg white to add protein and get some of the healthy fat from the yolk but reduce the overall fat and calories…win win! You quickly cook the eggs and then set it aside. Then you stir fry the the ginger, garlic, and vegetables. Then you add the brown rice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil.
After I had a big bowl full for dinner, I put the rest in some tupperware to bring to work for lunch. At first glance doesn’t it really look like takeout?? Well it’s not–cuz it tastes way better and doesn’t make you feel like you just ate a bowl of oil.
Nutritional highlights: This is a great vegetarian meal or side dish that is full of whole grains (if you use brown rice), vitamins from all the vegetables, and protein from the egg and edamame. It’s filling and flavorful and you get your take out fix without the calories or the deliver fee.
Vegetable Fried Rice
This made 2 meal sized servings for me but you can double the recipe if you want more (you might cuz it’s gooood)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup of broccoli florettes
- 1/2 cup each of: shelled edamame, diced carrots, red pepper, and green onions (or whatever veggies you have)
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
1. Heat wok and add a little bit of vegetable oil. Beat the egg and the egg white together and pour into the wok. Cook it quickly, breaking it up as much as possible. Once egg is cooked (only about 1-2 minutes) put it in a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the wok.
2. Heat wok again and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds. Then add the vegetables and stir fry until vegetables are just starting to get tender (about 4 minutes).
3. Stir in the rice. Pour in the soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. Taste test and season with a little salt and some red pepper flakes if you want a kick. Mix the egg back in and cook for 1 more minute.
4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.