I enjoy Chinese take out just as much as the next person, but tend to not eat it too much because I never know what oil they use cook the food in and most everything that is delicious is fried in one way or another. This is not to say that I don't eat it, I just try to limit my intake of Chinese take out - because it's sooo delicious and it's always hard to control myself. But, I have some good news for you. You can take some of your favorite Chinese dishes and make them at home. No need to go out and you can enjoy them in your pajamas. These homemade dishes are lighter, healthier and taste just as fabulous. I promise!
One of my favorite dishes and a must when I order Chinese is fried rice. I mean, you have to have the rice to sop up all the delicious sauces from the other dishes. Am I right? I know I am. I just wish I could figure out how to get most of the rice on my chopsticks and not have to use a fork. Those pesky grains of rice are slippery! But I digress. This recipe was inspired by the captain's dad, Dean. He mentioned to me awhile back that he began making his own fried rice at home. Why had I never thought of this before? For some reason, I thought it would be hard, but it's super easy. Too easy. And even better, so fast to put together. It's really the perfect anytime meal.
First and foremost, you will need cooked brown rice. If you have leftover rice sitting in your fridge, this is a recipe you must make this week! You can use whatever rice you have on hand and if you need the perfect way to make brown rice, check out this link. It's seriously fool proof. Well, not as fool proof as a rice cooker, but not everyone has one of those. Once your rice is ready, heat up your pan (if you have a wok - bonus!) and then cook up your veggies and garlic for just about a minute. Don't step away from the pan at this point or you will burn the garlic and have to start all over! Add in the sauce, rice, cooked egg and a handful or two of frozen peas and you are done! To give yourself an added protein boost, if you like chicken, throw it in. If you don't like chicken, you can add tofu, beef, pork or even shrimp. Or a combination of whatever you like. If any kind of additional protein doesn't appeal to you, well, you can leave it out all together. If I were to give you my two cents, I would add the protein of your choice. It's really good. I've made this with both chicken, pork and even salmon. Yes, I said salmon. It was really yummy!
Dinner cooked in a jiffy and just under 250 calories for one cup (without protein) - winning! It really is the perfect meal in a bowl. Another way I love to enjoy this and get that full Chinese meal feel is to cook up a few of Trader Joes' chicken or veggie pot stickers. They are totally delicious and are only 230 calories for seven (that's right, you heard me, SEVEN!) pot stickers. With a little sweet and spicy dipping sauce on the side, you have a totally filling and comforting meal for under 500 calories. If that doesn't make your tummy jump with joy, I don't know what will.
|I cut up the veggies ahead of time. You don't have to do this.|
|cooking the egg whites|
|cook those veggies quick|
|add in the peas and soy|
|ready to eat!|
Skinny Brown Rice Fried Rice (slightly adapted from www.skinnytaste.com)
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 egg whites, scrambled
1 whole egg, scrambled
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
5 green onions, chopped, whites and greens separated
1/2 cup shredded carrots
cooking spray, such as PAM
1 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce, tamari for gluten free (or more to taste)
salt and fresh pepper to taste
Whisk eggs and egg whites, season with salt and pepper. In a hot wok, spray a little oil and cook the eggs. When cooked, remove from pan and set aside. Let the wok get really hot. Add oil and cook onions, scallion whites, carrots and garlic for about 30-60 seconds, careful not to burn. Add brown rice and stir well a few minutes to heat through. Add cooked egg along with soy sauce, scallion greens and peas, mixing well for about 3-4 minutes.
This crock pot honey sesame chicken would make a great addition to this fried rice! Next up on the Chinese remake menu - egg drop soup. I always have to order it and it's one of the main reasons I love Chinese food. There is just something about it!