Fried rice is an easy dish to clear out little bits of left over vegetables in your refrigerator. Toss in some cooked rice and protein from egg or left over meat and season with soy sauce and you have a complete meal in one pan!
Of course, I have to UP the veggie content and give it a fully plant-based spin!
Here’s my formula for Fried Rice – remember the goal is one pan complete meal.
Base: Rice, Riced cauliflower
Protein: ground or diced chicken, turkey or pork, scrambled egg, tofu or tempeh
Vegetables: think COLOR – this is your opportunity to bring visual appeal to the dish. Shredded carrot or broccoli, edamame, green peas, sliced snap or snow peas, even green onions.
Feel free to get creative and use what you have and like.
Cauliflower Fried “Rice”
2 cups cauliflower “rice”
2 cups basmati or jasmine rice, cooked
1 T avocado oil
1 cup edamame
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 block Tempeh, diced
1 lb firm tofu, cubed
2 T soy sauce/aminos or soy alternative
2 t toasted sesame oil
Heat avocado oil in a large pan at medium heat. Add tempeh and 1 T soy sauce. Cook stirring frequently to brown.
Add tofu and stir to crumble and combine.
Remove tofu and tempeh mix to a separate bowl.
Add the cauliflower rice and broth to the pan. Stir to combine and cover. Cook to soften, stirring occasionally.
Once cauliflower rice is cooked add the rice and vegetables. Stir to combine. Cover and cook 3-4 minutes.
Add the cooked tofu and tempeh. Add the remaining soy sauce and sesame oil.
Serve with sriracha sauce if you want to heat it up!
I wanted a separate batch for me with out the Basmati rice – but they look and taste the same!
This is a variation on my Chicken & Rice Burrito Bowl recipe. Quick and easy to throw together, easy to modify by adding chopped bell peppers or omitting the olives – adding fresh herbs like parsley or more heat with smoked paprika or chili flakes. Top with fresh parsley, Feta or Romano cheese.
To make ahead as a freezer meal toss ALL ingredients EXCEPT for broth into a zip-top freezer bag and freeze until ready to use. Defrost before cooking or add 3 min to Instant Pot cooking time or 1 hour when cooking in a slow cooker on high.
VEGETARIAN/VEGAN option: Swap out 2 cans (3 cups) of rinsed and drained chickpeas for the chicken. Be sure to use vegetable broth.
Greek Chicken & Rice
1 lb chicken (breast or thigh), cubed. OR 2 cans (3 cups) rinsed and drained chickpeas
2 cans of diced tomatoes with juice
1 medium onion diced
3 T crushed garlic
1/2 c olives (whole or chopped)
1 c rice (I used jasmine), uncooked
1 T dried parsley
1/2 T dried oregano
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/4 t chili powder
salt and pepper to taste (olives and tomatoes are usually salty – salt sparingly, I didn’t add any)
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 c broth (chicken or vegetable)
OPTIONAL: chopped bell pepper, chopped green beans, green olives
TOPPINGS: feta cheese, Romano cheese, fresh parsley
In Instant Pot on Saute setting heat olive oil on medium heat and add onion and garlic. Saute until soft and fragrant.
Add seasonings and spices and heat until fragrant.
Add chicken or chickpeas, stir to coat, cook 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Place lid and set to SEAL setting. Cook on MANUAL for 12 minutes, then Natural Pressure Release for 15 minutes. Vent remaining pressure and serve.
FOR FREEZER MEAL: Dump defrosted bag into instant pot and add broth. Same cooking instructions. OOPS!!! Forgot to defrost! It’s ok – beauty of Instant Pot! Break it up so it fits in the pot. Add the broth, seal the lid and cook for 15 minutes, NPR 15 minutes. Ensure chicken is cooked through prior to serving.
Serve: top with optional toppings listed above. I serve hearty comfort foods with fresh greens – Roasted Asparagus and a chopped salad for us!
Oh what to serve or bring to Thanksgiving dinner that will be healthy and delicious? Get in a few extra veggies but not a traditional carrot and hummus platter or salad? Traditional Green Bean Casserole with the crunchy onions from a jar does NOT count. Sorry. Creamed Corn Casserole doesn’t either. Or the sweet potatoes from a jar topped with marshmallows!
Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m going to give you 3 great options here that are easy to prepare, delicious and nutritious!
4 T butter or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
3 cups of riced (fresh or frozen) or finely chopped cauliflower
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 t dry sage
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 t fresh rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
may need up to 1/2 c broth (chicken or veggie)
In large pan with sides, melt butter or heat oil. Sauté onion. Add carrots and celery and sauté till soft. Add about cauliflower and cook about 8 min. Add mushrooms and season with salt, pepper, sage, fresh parsley and fresh rosemary.
Cover and cook 15 min. Add up to 1/2 c broth if it seems dry. Using frozen cauliflower rice brings more moisture. Serve warm and eat it up!!!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
with Lemon Tahini and Roasted Red Pepper Sauces
Serving with two different colored sauces, white and bright red, adds color and variety and allows guests to customize their dish. When given an option to personalize kids of all ages get creative and are more likely to dive in!
2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered
2 T olive oil
1 t salt, 1 t pepper
2 garlic cloves crushed or 1 t garlic powder
Heat oven to 425° F.
In a bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Spread in an even layer on a pan with sides.
Roast for 20 minutes or until pierced easily with a fork and browning on the edges. Toss every 5-7 minutes for even roasting.
Lemon Tahini Sauce
Juice of one large lemon
1 garlic clove minced
½ cup water
½ cup raw tahini
1 t maple syrup or honey
1 T and 1 t apple cider vinegar
1 ½ t tamari soy sauce
1 t coriander powder
2 T olive oil
¼ t sea salt, pepper
Combine lemon juice, garlic and water into a blender and puree for 15 – 30 seconds. Add all remaining ingredients and puree again until smooth.
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
1 c jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained
1/4 c olive oil
3 T sherry or red wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped.
1 t smoked paprika
1/4 t salt, pepper
optional: 1/4 c Parmesan cheese or 1/4 sour cream.
combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree.
Marinated Vegetable Platter
Similar to the platter pictured above, select a variety of marinated vegetables of different size, color and texture. The variety draws in kids and picky adults that may turn their nose at traditional crudites. Select or prepare vegetables so that they can be picked up with a cocktail fork or small tongs and can be eaten in a bite or two with out cutting. You want your guests to eat it and not wonder how to do it with out making an embarrassing mess! Serve with a side of Marcona Almonds for crunch. Optional cheese: cubed feta or small balls of Mozzarella.
Some good options:
roasted red peppers, sliced into 1″ thick sections
sun dried tomatoes, drained and in halved or quartered.
whole artichoke hearts
hearts of palm, sliced lengthwise on the bias
variety of olives
marinated green beans
Giardiniara style marinated cauliflower and carrots – in bite size not finely chopped.
Happy Healthy Thanksgiving to you, your family and friends!