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Healthy Fried Rice -- Vegetable Fried Rice Recipe
Yummy Fried Rice -- My Frequent Vice!
For as long as I can remember, I've loved Chinese food. When I was younger, I preferred dishes like chicken with broccoli and wonton soup. Then when I was 11, I was fortunate enough to actually go to China with my parents, and discovered a few new favorites.
I was surprised by how different the food was over there compared to the standard Chinese-American cuisine which I'd grown used to. There were exotic vegetables like winter melon and lotus root. I was also introduced to bean curd. At that time -- this was in 1985 -- tofu hadn't become that popular in the United States, so I was intrigued by the delicious, silky substance. Though I like chicken and some cuts of meat, I'm not that big a meat eater and don't eat fish at all. While there, I survived on bean curd whenever we were served a seafood meal.
These days, I still have Chinese take-out at least a couple of times a month. It's not quite like the cuisine I had in China, but I still enjoy it! I could probably eat fried rice every single day, but it's not the healthiest of dishes.
That said, I came up with this healthy alternative to standard fried rice. Instead of using eggs, I use an egg substitute. I also use a low-sodium soy sauce and pile in the veggies. The great thing about this dish is that it's versatile, so you can use any combination of vegetables that you like. I'm not a big fan of peas, but they'd work well in this recipe; so would chopped peppers or onions.
What I particularly like about this rice is the texture -- that crunch of the veggies against the softness of the rice. Therefore, be careful not to overcook the vegetables. Obviously, you don't want to break a tooth on a frozen piece of broccoli, but you don't want it to fall apart in your mouth, either.
This recipe is great as a side dish or even as a main meal. It's the perfect comfort food to make on a cold winter's night -- and it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare.
Ingredients For Healthy Vegetable Fried Rice
2 Tbsp cooking oil (I use olive, but any other kind works)
1 cup white or brown rice, uncooked (I like using Uncle Ben's boil-in-a-bag rice because it's already portioned out and easy to prepare).
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup firm tofu, cut into cubes
1/2 cup chopped broccoli, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup baby corn, chopped
1/2 snow pea pods (keep pods intact)
1/2 cup water chestnuts
1/2 cup bamboo shoots
1/2 cup shredded bok choy (Chinese cabbage; regular cabbage can be used instead)
1 cup EggBeaters egg substitute (this is the equivalent to four eggs, which can be used instead. You can also use eight egg whites).
Alfalfa sprouts (optional)
How To Make Veggie Fried Rice
1. Cook rice, according to the package directions. Strain and let cool slightly.
2. On medium heat, pour oil into a large, flat pan (or Wok). It's important that the pan is large enough so that you can easily stir the ingredients. Make sure to keep the temperature on medium so the ingredients cook evenly and don't burn. If you see them turning black around the edges, lower the temperature.
3. Add rice to the oil, stirring until they're well-mixed together.
4. Keep stirring the rice; add the soy sauce, mixing that in.
5. Gradually add the tofu and various veggies, stirring the entire time. You want to make sure they're evenly-coated with the sauce and mixed in with the rice.
6. When the veggies are soft enough to eat, but still have a crunch, add the Egg Beaters or eggs, stirring them into rice so that they're thoroughly mixed in.
7. Let rice mixture cool. Serve with alfalfa sprouts sprinkled over the top, if desired. Makes about four servings.