Midweek. Wednesday. A day that cuts the week in two. By now, part of our energy has sunken, maybe some inspiration and enthusiasm has been forgotten. Thankfully, we’ve made it till here and there are only a couple of days left before the weekend, to fuel up again. Unfortunately, this tends to be the day that we tend to be stuck in a rut, seek comfort and order some take out.
I’m not going to lie, this introduction is pretty representative of my own habits. And it’s been helpful to have a chinese restaurant right down the street. I have become a true passionaria of fried rice. Yes, fried rice. Unfortunately here in Luxembourg there’s not much more that you can choose to eat as a vegetarian and it’s a pity because I’m sure chinese cuisine would have way more to offer given the presence of buddhism and non-meat culture.
So here we go again, wednesday night, eating a nasty fried rice, probably filled with msg and gmo soy, tucked with some bits of frozen imported vegetables. NOT.
Well, not anymore.
Of course, at some point it’s good to be aware that these choices aren’t the best for our health. But then again, there’s no reason to beat ourselves up.
I think the best and most positively reinforcing way is to simply find a healthier way to indulge in this pleasure. Engaging in something like this provides physical and mental nourishment. Just try it out. Because making a killer fried rice at home is so darn easy and it can taste delicious. And the best part: you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen, as it’s customisable.
So use some courage, put that phone and menu back down and make yourself a –yummy– favor. Let’s check your kitchen.
– sesame oil (best, but can sub with vegetable oil)
– soy sauce (organic if possible)
– vegetarian “oyster” sauce or a mushroom based broth.
PICK YOUR GRAINS:
– White rice
– Brown rice
PICK 2-3 VEGGIES:
– Bell Peppers
– Snap peas
– Soy sprouts
PICK YOUR PROTEIN (optional):
– Free range eggs if you’re not vegan.
– Tofu or smoked tofu. Yum
PICK YOUR TOPPINGS (optional):
– Toasted sesame seeds
– Bits of nori seaweed
– Chilli flakes
– Crispy onions
– Chopped spring onions
– Hemp seeds
– Almonds or peanuts
– Nutritional yeast
- Cook 4 cups of your grains in salted water. Depending on the grain, this should feed 2 hungry people.
- While you’re at it, prep your veggies and protein by chopping them to small bits if needed. Chop your onion. 1 should be enough, feel free to add more if you’re an onion freak.
- Prep your pan (your wok, if you’re fancy) with 2-3 tablespoons of sesame or vegetable oil on high heat. When the oil is hot enough, throw in the onions. Let them sizzle and soften for about 2 minutes.
- Right then, add your veggies, stir well and keep cooking for 5 minutes. Lower down the heat just slightly and add the protein, splash 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce and 3-4 tablespoons of “oyster” sauce or broth.
- Stir it around for another 5 minutes, then add in the grains. Mix it really well, let the seasonings color the mixture for a little while.
- It will be ready when it looks dry and sticky enough. Taste it and adjust seasonings if needed. Don’t be afraid, this is how you’re going to learn to cook for your very own tastebuds! This is where you can experiment with your own toppings and flavours. I love to add nutritional yeast for an ‘umami’ flavour, some chilli flakes, sesame seeds and spring onions.
Serve in a nice bowl or eat straight from the pan! Oh, and give yourself a pat on the back for defying the take-out devil. You’re officially the boss now.