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Easy Leftover Solution: Make Kitchen Sink Fried Rice

It’s the end of the week, I have a strange collection of misfit leftovers, and all I want is a comforting (and cohesive!) dish. Enter: Kitchen Sink Fried Rice.
eating stir fry

Stir-fry can be so forgiving and allow you to throw in almost anything you have on hand. I’ve found my favorite hodgepodge ingredients to combine, but feel free to let your imagination run wild! Have some greens wilting in the back of the fridge? Throw them in! Questionable lentils from last week? Throw them in! Old bag of frozen peas? …Well, you get the idea.

First of all, I have my brown rice cooked ahead of time—that’s the first leftover I’m looking to repurpose! You can also use an instant brown rice to cook the day-of and save on some wait time. Rice n Simple is a brand we’ve tried and enjoy; makes things super easy!

Rice n Simple

While many prefer the taste of white rice to brown, the nutritional benefits of brown rice (extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals) make it clearly superior and the other yummy flavors of this dish help hide the taste of the brown rice.

This is one of my go-to recipes because of it’s flexibility and freedom for it to be different each time. Here are the key steps I’ve stuck with so far:

Heat a large non-stick skillet on high heat. When warm, add the oil, small slab of all-natural butter, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, and a small splash of soy sauce. Introducing the Asian flavors as quickly as possible really helps it soak through the entire dish. Plus, it will make your kitchen smell great! I like using real, unsalted, organic butter (or Earth Balance for our vegan friends!) because it keeps the texture of the fried rice creamy and extra satisfying. A little bit of real butter goes a long way. Also consider these 3 healthy fats you should be eating.

fried veggies

Add any and all diced, raw vegetables you have on hand except the greens: my favorites include yellow onion, red and green peppers, mushrooms, even shredded carrots! Add small doses (a few teaspoons) of oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce as needed. Cook until onions are translucent, veggies have softened, and are heated through. Throw some extra soy sauce and small slab of butter in for good measure!

Push the veggies to one side of the pan, and with the clear space, scramble three eggs. Don’t worry if the soy sauce seeps in, it will only add to the flavor of the dish!

Lower the stove temperature to med-high. Now you can finally add in the rice! Here you will need to add at least a tablespoon each of oil and soy sauce in order to coat each grain thoroughly. Fun fact: I used to think all fried rice was made with brown rice because of the color of the grain. Imagine my surprise when I learned it was really just white rice soaked in soy sauce! This time you’ll get double brown rice: the color and the grain itself.

stir fry

Once all ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add in any leftover meat, beans and frozen veggies you’re looking to toss into the concoction. My faves are lentils, frozen peas, and corn. Here is where you can add more authentic ingredients like water chestnuts or bamboo shoots. These are four other ways you can use leftover chicken.Stir until evenly mixed and cover until heated through. The last few minutes before serving, toss in any leftover handfuls of greens (spinach and chard work surprisingly well. I’ve even used purple cabbage!) and cover to soften and steam.Serve hot and topped with soy sauce, sesame seeds, and green onions. Who needs takeout anyway? You saved on the delivery fee and now your fridge is cleaned out and ready to be restocked for another week. All that isn’t in this dish is your kitchen sink!
ingredients for fried rice

Kitchen Sink Fried Rice
Serves 4 as an entree; 6 as a side

INGREDIENTShealthy fried rice

2 Tbsp. oil, like vegetable, peanut, coconut, or soybean
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 cup Tamari or soy sauce
2 Tbsp. all-natural, organic butter or vegan butter substitute
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs, beaten
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 bag frozen veggies, like mixed peas, corn, and carrots
4 cup cold, cooked brown rice

Optional ingredients include:
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 c baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 c carrots, shredded
2 cups leftover protein of choice such as baked chicken breast, pork medallions, lentils, or beans
4 c raw greens (spinach, kale, collards, cabbage, etc)
Sesame seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat large, non-stick skillet on high heat. Once hot, add small slab of all-natural butter, 2 cloves minced garlic, and a small splash of soy sauce.

2. Add all raw, diced veggies including onion, peppers, and mushrooms. Heat until cooked through then add remaining clove of garlic, and oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar as needed.

3. Push veggies to the side, and scramble 3 eggs on open space of the pan. Mix with veggies, still adding liquids as needed.

4. Lower stove temperature to medium heat and add in 4 cups cold cooked brown rice. Pour in 1/2 c soy sauce to evenly coat each grain of rice, mix until thoroughly coated. For a creamier rice consistency, add in remaining all-natural butter and rice vinegar.

5. Add in any remaining protein and frozen veggies such as leftover chicken breast, lentils, frozen peas, corn, shredded carrots, etc. Add remaining oil, cover skillet and cook until heated through.

6. The last few minutes before plating dinner, toss in 4 cups raw greens such as spinach into the pan and recover until leaves are wilted and steamed.

7. Mix all ingredients together and serve hot with chopped scallions, sesame seeds, and soy sauce as needed. Enjoy!

yummy stir fry

Also Read:
Sticky Red Wine Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry

Southeast Asian Cuisine Healthier Than Your Average Egg Roll

Cumin Scrambled Eggs with Taco Night Leftovers

Recipe by Katie McGrath; Photos by Kacy Meinecke

June 23rd, 2014

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