This past week I’ve been spending time with my very cool teenage cousin while her parents are out of town. She has been vegetarian since she was very, very young. As a kid she learned what meat was and then couldn’t bear to eat it once she knew where it came from. She didn’t even know what the word “vegetarian” meant at that time, and is only really starting to feel comfortable describing herself as such since she now knows others who have meat-free diets! 16 year-olds are often hesitant about standing out in a crowd of their peers, but she told me that she’s still worried about what to eat and has no idea what to incorporate into her diet as a picky eater as well. How do you get protein when you don’t really cook but want simple, fast meals?
She also wanted to know how to deal with situations such as meeting her boyfriend’s parents for the first time and being offered a steak for supper, and that was a longer conversation!
So, once I got here, we tried cooking some things. Simple recipes that she’d make on her own, such as the veggie chilli (we made it into chilli cheese fries and she loved it!), and this one also made the cut! This was kind of a high school and university staple when you wanted a colourful side dish or if you wanted to make simple rice a more substantial meal. This is supper simple, but maybe something you haven’t thought about in a while. You can even dice veggies quite small if certain people don’t like something but want to get more vegetables into their diets! (hint hint!) The eggs are optional, but if you eat them they do offer more protein, but you can incorporate seeds and nuts in here instead for a vegan version (I’ll usually add both the eggs and some nuts/seeds).
This is great leftover, but you may just need to add a little water to the rice when heating it back up if it becomes hard in the fridge. It’s prefect for a potluck, BBQ, or a quick lunch while you’re at summer school. 😉
Veggie Fried Rice
The Tasty Bits
-1c of uncooked rice
*Try different kinds- white works fine but wild or brown rice are great, and there are “minute” versions of brown if you want something richer in nutrients but can’t spend an hour waiting on it to cook. Other quicker rices that are great include basmati or jasmine, if you can find them.
-1 or 2 cups of your favourite veggies, diced small.
*A couple cloves of fresh garlic, a small onion PLUS you can add things such as sliced mushrooms, bell peppers (any colour), a handful of spinach, red cabbage, green peas, carrots, corn, tomato, broccoli florets, etc. Eyeball your veggie amount and use as much as you’d like, but it’s a great way to really load good stuff in here!
-2 eggs, whisked
*Optional. If you’d prefer no eggs, feel feel to use more nuts or seeds.
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Soy sauce, to taste
-Oil for sautéing
-1/4 cup of your favourite nuts or seeds (slivered almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.)
*All of your protein favourites, add more or less accordingly.
How to Assemble
-Cook the rice, as per it’s instructions.
-In a large frying pan, sautee your onion and garlic in some olive oil over medium heat. Add your veggies and cook until they are done (soft, but not mushy).
*If you’re adding spinach, it doesn’t need much time to cook. Add it at the end- it just needs to wilt.
-Scramble your eggs in a bowl and add to the cooking veggie mixture. Sauté until the eggs are incorporated with the veggies and cooked.
*It will look like scrambled eggs mixed in with your veggies, and your eggs should be cooked through and firm.
-Add the cooked rice to your pan full of veggies and turn your heat on low. Mix veggies into you rice.
-Season with soy or another sauce of your preference. Add spices, herbs, and serve hot.
Top with some nuts or seeds to even up the protein game in this dish, plus it looks pretty as a garnish! Green onion also compliment this dish.