Rating: 4/5 stars. Throw whatever is in your crisper drawers into this healthy, quick veggie fried rice. Works with brown or white rice!
Ways that #1 is a typical toddler:
- She’s obsessed with Elmo. (Ugh.)
- She has never met a dog or cat she doesn’t want to hug.
- She needs at least three drinks of water between bath and bedtime.
- She loves to “help” with laundry, meaning that she likes to sit on top of the drier and meticulously place each individual sock into the washer, a process that takes about fifteen minutes per load.
- She refuses to understand that I only have two hands and therefore cannot simultaneously hold her brother, fetch her a cheese stick, read her a book, and help her put her sock back on.
Ways that #1 is not a typical toddler:
- She is developing an imaginary friendship with the hawk that nests in our woods, whom she’s convinced is going to take her for a ride someday. (This “friendship” wouldn’t be so weird except for the fact that she also “talks to” the hawk about the mice he likes to eat for lunch… the ones whose half-eaten carcasses we find in our yard on occasion.)
- She’s a huge fan of vegetables.
That’s right, folks. #1 frequently asks for seconds or thirds of broccoli. She eats her peas before her pasta and sneaks pieces of raw onion and pepper as I’m cooking. Though I’d love to claim the credit for her good habits, I’m pretty sure I just got lucky. Or maybe she was influenced by her in utero tenure in the Bay Area, where fetus-Lily got weekly doses of Thai, Indian, Mexican, and Ethiopian.
All of this to say, I made a major miscalculation when I was preparing this veggie fried rice a few days ago. I wanted it to have lots of veggies, but #1 spotted my peas coming out of the microwave and demanded her portion: “No, not little bit. Lots of peas!” AKA half of them. And there went my rice-to-veggies ratio.
Time Commitment: This really only takes about 30 minutes. Chop your veggies while you cook your rice. Then everything stir fries up in no time.
Mess: Low mess–a frying pan, something to cook the rice, and a single cutting board
Mom Fails: Not predicting my daughter’s (utterly predictable) appetite for peas
Special Equipment: Due to my limited storage space, I’ve never had a rice cooker. But this would probably be a great place to use yours, if you’ve got one.
Feeds 3-4 as a main dish or 6 as a side
- 1 c rice, cooked according to package directions, omitting salt (I used jasmine rice, but any long-grained variety should work–brown or white.)
- 1 c frozen peas, cooked and drained
- 2-3 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
- 1/2 a bell pepper, diced small
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Veggies I might add next time: broccoli, mushrooms, snow peas, baby spinach
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp oil (sesame oil is great if you’ve got it, but olive oil worked fine for me)
- 3-4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- Chili paste or hot sauce, to taste
- Cook your rice and peas according to package directions, but don’t add any salt.
- Heat your oil in a large frying pan or wok. Toss in veggies (reserving veggies that cook quickly or are pre-cooked, like peas, spinach, mushrooms, etc) and stir fry for about five minutes, or until tender. Then crack eggs into the pan and push around until cooked.
- Add rice, soy sauce, and vinegar and stir fry for another couple of minutes.
- Add chili paste to taste and serve.