Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fried Rice Pilaf

I really have no business taking pictures of food.  I am not a photographer.  At all!

I have been calling this dish "fried rice."  The Beast informs me that that is totally inaccurate since I'm not actually frying the rice, and that it's better called a rice pilaf.  So I have been calling it Fried Rice Pilaf while grinning like I'm being as mischievous as a certain newly-minted 2-year-old (this really happened 2 years ago?!?).

Whatever you call it, this is currently a weekly staple around our house.  It's easy, it's pretty quick, I can walk away from it for several minutes and nothing burns, and it's tasty - the kids tend to pick out what they like and leave the rest, but since the only options are basically rice or vegetables, it's one of those meals that feels easy and satisfying and worry-free for everyone (except for that arsenic thing, which has kind of made me roll my eyes and wonder what the rest of my food is contaminated with...)

I wanted to make a few notes about the ingredients I use - this is an extremely flexible recipe!

First, about those vegetables.  I usually use frozen, so that I don't even need to chop.  I get a bag of "stir-fry mix" and some frozen edamame beans, add some frozen peas (sometimes peas and carrots), plus always some broccoli florets because that is what Bean picks out. I have also used chopped fresh carrot, green beans, and celery.  I'll use sprouts in the winter, too

And about the Bragg's Amino - this stuff is great for anyone on a special diet.  It is dairy-free, wheat-free, and it is lower sodium than reduced-sodium soy sauce.  Plus, it has a stronger (but very similar) flavor and mouth feel to soy sauce, so you use less of it.  In recipes that call for soy sauce, I usually half the amount called for and replace with Bragg's Amino.

Ingredients:
  • 2c. uncooked brown rice
  • 2 Tbsp oil (I usually use peanut)
  • 6-8c. vegetables of choice
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 TBSP fresh ginger (1.5 tsp ground)
  • 3 eggs (technically optional, could also add tofu)
  • 1/4 c. Bragg's Amino (explain this stuff)
  •  3TBSP rice vinegar 
  • optional:
    •  Leafy greens like kale (remove the stems) or shinginku (a Japanese chrysanthemum, we got it in our CSA last year and I loved it in this dish!)
    • chopped peanuts (for garnish)
    • shredded red cabbage (for garnish)
    • Sriracha sauce (for garnish)
Instructions:
  1. Start the rice cooking! 
  2. Heat the oil in the bottom of a large pot or wok (you can at least pretend it's stir-fry, right?).
  3. Add the garlic and ginger, then all the vegetables.  Mix. Cover - thaw the frozen vegetables while steaming fresh vegetables.  Stir occasionally (when you think of it) and play with kids while you wait for the rice to cook and the vegetables to be ready (if you're looking for kids for this step, I have a couple you could borrow).
  4. Add the rice to the vegetables and mix well.
  5. Make a well in the middle and add eggs, scrambling right in the bottom of the pot/wok and incorporating into the vegetables as it cooks.  (Alternatively, stir in tofu during this step)
  6. Add Bragg's and rice vinegar.  Mix well.
  7. Add greens and mix until they wilt.
  8. Serve with garnishes of your choice!

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