Friday, November 11, 2005

Vegan Barely Fried Rice

My daughter, Tasha, was kind enough to chop up the greens yesterday. What a relief to have that done. Fried Rice is super easy to make, although the version I make is really more honestly called Vegan Barely Fried Rice. I usually use just plain old brown rice but basmati rice would work nicely too. Honestly, any rice except arborio rice (think risotto) would work well.

Cook the rice, per package instructions. While that's cooking, you get to be creative. Chop up some onions, mince some garlic and then poke around your fridge to see what else you have in there. Chop up any veggies you like or use frozen veggies. I've used bok choy, napa cabbage, regular cabbage, peas, carrots, broccoli, anything I feel like. Try to organize your vegetables by the time they take to cook to your liking. (Personally, I'm a tender crisp kind of a gal.)

Root around in the fridge a little more to come up with some tofu, tempeh or leftover beans. If the fridge has nothing to offer, open a can of beans from the cupboard.

When the rice is cooked, spray the bottom of your frying pan or wok with canola oil and add a few drops of sesame oil, toasted sesame oil is even better. (The sesame oil adds a nice flavor but it has more polyunsaturated fats and a bit more saturated fat than canola oil. It also has a lower smoke point. By mixing the oils you get the flavor without as much of the other stuff.) Heat the pan and toss in your onions and other long cooking veggies, like carrots. Next add the garlic, remember to keep stirring. Toss in any veggies that need a little less cooking, adding quick cooking veggies last. Toss in tofu, tempeh or beans and stir to avoid sticking. If things do begin to stick add a little water to the pan.

Pour in 1/4 cup tamari (remember I'm cooking for 6 hungry people, so this is a huge stir fry. You may want to use less tamari.) Add in rice and stir to mix evenly with tamari vegetable mixture. For a sweeter taste, add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the tamari before adding it. Serve and enjoy. This is one of the simplest recipes that my kids like the most.

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