Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chicken Fried Rice

Hey Internet! My friend, KG, inspired my recipe choice this week…truly! KG was thinking about fried rice dishes and what she could do to make them both health-ful and do it frugally. As the dish implies, most of the ingredients are typically fried some way…so doing a healthy makeover on this ubiquitous meal is wonderful!

Here’s her email to me, edited to maintain her privacy:

“… so I was thinking about J’s fried rice dish she's bringing to [the] pot luck on Sunday. And eventually I started formulating recipes since that's what I day dream about and I thought of you and your blog! Your blog as lots of recipes for cheap and I came up with a fried rice one! I don't know if you have one or not, but this one is packed with protein and veggies. I prefer more ‘stuff’ than rice! My recipes don't include measurements (I'm a cook not a baker!), so taste as you go along. I'm trying it out tonight, so if it’s bad I'll email right away and tell you to tear it from your recipe book!

Using just enough sesame oil to coat the pan, stir fry [your] veggies of choice, garlic, ginger, touch of cumin, [and] white pepper. (When I need veggies I get them off the salad bar at the grocery. They're inexpensive, pretty fresh, and I don't waste anything.)
Add eggs and finely scramble (2-3 eggs)
Add Morning Star Meal Starter "ground beef"
Add cooked brown rice with soy sauce to heat through.

Dish out and enjoy. (Hopefully)

I just wanted to share because assuming the most expensive thing is the Morning Star, and assuming you have spices on hand, I think it’s about $3.50 per serving. And I’m excited that someone else is looking for cheap recipes!”

That was so awesome of her to think of me and my blog! I made the fried rice last night and it turned out great!

Changes that I made: 1) I used chicken instead of Morning Star because I already the cooked chicken on hand, see the previous post . 2) I forgot to add eggs. I even bought eggs to put into this recipe! Oops! I might add them in later, as I have method for making eggs for fried rice that I learned from my mom. There’s no secret recipe, but there is a way to get the “chiffonnade” of the eggs. It’s more time consuming than just scrambling them but I think it makes the eggs taste better…or maybe it’s because it reminds me of my mother! 3) I used frozen veggies (corn and peas), fresh carrots (a few “leftovers” from last week), and fresh whole mushrooms, quartered. I don’t think that there’s a salad bar at the Super Wal-Mart…if there was, I forgot to look for it… I will probably use Morning Star “ground beef” crumbles in a future edition of fried rice because they really do taste like ground beef…and that’s coming from a definite meat eater. 4) I forgot the sesame oil…I blame my shoddy memory once again. Sesame oil (or sesame seeds) would be an outstanding addition to this dish. 5) Not really a change but a note about the spices I used. I happen to have a large collection of dried spices which drives down the costs of this recipe considerably. Fried rice is the casserole of the Asian world...just use what you have.

I wanted to add some bean sprouts but there weren’t any at the grocery store…bummer. My mother also traditionally adds cooked Chinese Sausage…which tastes divine, but doing so also increases the fat content considerably. Sigh. Decided to leave it out.

I have somehow misplaced my camera…I will add a picture if I find it before I eat all of the fried rice!


Chicken Fried Rice

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
¼ cup water
¾ cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
8oz whole mushroom, washed, and cut into quarters
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite sized pieces
½ tsp sea salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground red pepper, or to taste
½ tsp dried basil
½ ground dried coriander
½ tsp oyster sauce. May also substitute plum sauce or hoisin sauce or even honey.
½ tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dried onion (or 1/4 - 1/2 cup fresh chopped onion. I used dried because I forgot to chop the real onion that I had!)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced. Adjust amount to taste.
1 cup cooked white rice, preferably a day old
1 cup cooked brown rice, preferably a day old
Splash of apple cider vinegar. Rice wine vinegar would also work well…might even be better!
½ tsp soy sauce

Directions:
1) Heat a large, non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the carrots and the water. The water should sizzle slightly. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low. Then add the frozen peas and corn. Stir to mix the veggies. Cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and stir to mix the vegetables together. Add another splash of water if needed so that the veggies on the bottom of the pan don’t stick. Cover the pan and cook until the mushrooms have reached a desired “done” consistency; about another 3-5 minutes.
2) Add the chicken and stir to mix everything. Mix in the sea salt, ground cumin, ground red pepper, dried basil, dried coriander, oyster sauce, ginger, and garlic cloves. Allow the chicken to warm through, 1-3 minutes more.
3) Mix in both the white rice and the brown rice. Add the splash of the vinegar, about ½- 1 tsp, then the soy sauce. Mix well and cover the pan, allowing everything to heat through. About another 3-5 minutes. Then dish out and enjoy!


Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving

Calories 217.3 Total Fat 1.8 g Saturated Fat 0.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g Cholesterol 45.6 mg Sodium 314.3 mg Potassium 502.9 mg Total Carbohydrate 28.1 g Dietary Fiber 3.4 g Sugars 3.8 g Protein 22.4 g

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