By Kendra Atkins-Boyce, Portland, Oregon
Every family needs a few fallback recipes (you know, the meals you can cook without too much thinking). I attempt to be creative and try new recipes every now and then, but sometimes that seems like too much work, and pulling out one of the family favorites is better than having pizza for the third time in one week (don’t judge, you know you do it, too).
Though she was born in Tennessee, my mother grew up in Southeast Asia, so I grew up learning how to cook Pad Thai and vegetable curry along with traditionally American fare. This recipe for fried rice is a blend of cuisines and cultures, especially considering the list of optional garnishes at the end. There are plenty of ways to make it suit your family’s dietary needs, as well, as you can make this recipe vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and free of common allergens like peanuts and soy.
- 1-2 T oil (whatever variety you usually use)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¼ to ½ cup onion, chopped
- 1-2 cups cooked rice (I usually use brown rice left over from another meal, but you can use white rice if your family prefers)
- 1-2 cups assorted vegetables (This is a great place to throw in the tablespoon of peas and corn that your toddler didn’t eat.) Some vegetables we’ve used: broccoli, carrots, celery, green or red peppers, mushrooms, kohlrabi, chard, spinach, frozen mixed vegetables, canned corn, and canned peas.
- Soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos, to taste
- A source of protein (eggs, tofu, salad shrimp, chicken, pork, or cubed beef)
- Optional Garnishes: raisins, chopped peanuts, ketchup, cut up tomatoes, chopped spring onions, Sriracha, chili garlic, fresh grapes, and cubes of SPAM®.
Sautée the onion and garlic in the oil until the onion is transparent. Use a wok if you have one; if not, a skillet or other shallow pan will work. Add the rice, vegetables, and soy sauce to the pan and mix everything together. Add the protein. If you are adding an egg, make a well in the middle of the pan, crack the egg into the well, and mix the egg as if you were scrambling it. Allow the egg to cook for a couple of minutes before stirring it into the rest of the mixture. Serve the fried rice straight from the pan. Lay out small bowls of the optional garnishes and let your family have fun adding additional ingredients to taste.
Source: LLL USA – http://www.lllusa.org/blog/