...I GET FAMILIES COOKING HEALTHY FOOD FROM SCRATCH...

Healthy fried rice & work smarter not harder in the kitchen!

Brown Fried Rice
Being the type of person I am, when I hear mums talking about the struggles they have with feeding the family, my mind is always ticking over trying to find a solution. The world of a mum is no easy feat, especially when it comes to feeding the family. Fussy eaters, sweet tooth, rejection of vegetables, chewy meat, hours of torture at the dinner tables….geez, the pain! We are all feeling it, we are all busy and we all put so much effort into thinking, shopping & preparing the meal all to have the rejection of a meal – so very un-inspiring.

The Internet is FULL of awesome inspiration, great recipes that could potentially win your family over. Today I want to inspire you to think a little further ahead, and maximise your time in the kitchen and really rock it out!

During my studies with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I picked up a wonderful tip. It was 

COOK ONCE - EAT TWICE................

Most of us know this, and we subconsciously do it & call it 'left-overs'. However after listening to my very inspiring lecturers, we could be so much more efficient. I always talk to my clients about cooking extra, and this is exactly what it is about. I will give you some examples;
If you are making a Bolognese, make a double batch.
Pasta bakes – make 2 & freeze one.
Cooking rice or quinoa? Cook extra for lunches, it is a perfect protein source for cold salad, not to mention scrumptious.
Baking a loaf for lunch-boxes, double the recipe & make 2

If you adopt this simple method, you will feel like you are winning & rocking it in your kitchen – totally owning it!! Of course, this system will need a little planning for it to be successfully executed and to minimise waste.

Now moving onto this week’s recipe feature. Fried rice is a staple for many families it is a wonderful way to sneak in beautiful vegetables into your child’s diet, adding complex carbs, proteins and healthy fats. It really is a well-balanced dish when it comes to nutrition.

This recipe has been adapted many a time, and this is my healthiest version yet. It is just as delicious cold, and works very well in lunchboxes. It is a winning recipe & I am confident that most kids will LOVE it!

BROWN FRIED RICE
Serves 4-6 with leftovers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Prep Notes

BROWN RICE PREPARATION/COOKING TIPS:

 - As a general rule my ratio of rice to water is 1 cup rice to 1.2 cups water - for a nuttier-chewier texture, which is great for fried rice, as it will continue to cook in the final stages of the fried rice. For a softer texture of rice use the ratio 1 cup rice to 1.5 cups water, it all comes down to personal preferences really!
- For best results, rinse rice well [until water has run clear] then soak your rice for a minimum of 30 minutes, longer if possible. This will remove a natural enzyme inhibitor from the grain, and assists with digestion, as well as speeding up the cooking process.
- After rice has been rinsed & soaked allow to drain well, prior to cooking the rice, you need to extract as much of the water off the grains.
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice will give you approx 2 cups cooked rice
- To cook the rice, best method is absorption. If you have a rice cooker - best ever, simply pop rice and water with a pinch of salt into cooker, place on the lid and cook away, the automatic function will do its thing or use a thermomix/stove top [refer below]

STOVE TOP METHOD:
- simply place rice and water in pot, add a pinch of salt. Place lid on pot and cook on high until water comes to the boil, reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for approx 25 minutes, or until water is fully absorbed. Once cooked, fluff rice up with a fork.
For fried rice, allow rice to cool - simply place cooked rice on a large tray, fluff up with a fork and set aside until ready to use.

TOP TIP: 
When chopping vegetables, chop at the same size, it will allow for even cooking!

INGREDIENTS:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 x eggs
4 - 6 x rashers bacon [omit for a vegetarian version], finely diced
2 x carrots, finely diced
1 x stick celery, finely diced
4 x spring onions, finely sliced - seperating white & green sections
1/2 x large or 1 x small red capsicum, finely diced
1 x cup corn [fresh off the cob is best]
1/2 cup sugar peas
Salt & pepper
2 - 4 tablespoons tamari [soy free alternative], soy sauce or coconut aminos
3 x cups cooked brown rice [refer above]


METHOD:
1. To start, cook your eggs. Lightly whisk eggs, add a dash of tamari, season with pepper. Using your chosen frypan or wok, add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, bring to a medium/high temp. Add eggs to frypan cook in pan as an omelet. Once cooked, chop it up & put aside. 
2. Add a little drizzle of oil [if necessary] to wok, add bacon and cook. Once brown, remove from wok, drain on absorbent paper - set aside.
3. Next, wipe wok clean with paper towel, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. On a medium heat, add chopped carrot, celery, capsicum, corn & white bit of shallots [green bits will be use at the end] season with pepper. Continue to cook on low—medium heat for 6 - 8 minutes until slightly soft, with a slight crunch to the bite but not brown. Towards the last minute or so of cooking, add corn and sugar peas.
4. Next, add cooked rice, combine well and continue to cook and stir until rice has warmed through and is started to toast. Add remaining cooked ingredients - egg + bacon. Toss well.
Prior to serving add half of the amount of soy sauce, taste and adjust according to personal preference. 
Upon serving, add green shallots & lightly toss. 

Serve immediately with extra soy [if required] + Enjoy!
Store leftover in airtight container in fridge for up to 2 days.
 

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