Amped up Fried Rice

Are you a plain rice or fried rice person with your Chinese food?  I’m about 50/50.  I prefer plain rice to put under my entrees, but I don’t feel completely satisfied without fried rice somewhere in the mix.  Although lately, I feel like the fried rice I’ve been getting has been pretty lackluster and not even worth ordering.  This is especially sad, when a few ingredients take fried rice from blah to amazing.

Fried rice is great for making at home.  It makes a great side dish or a really simple entree as well.  Your veggies and proteins are entirely up to you.  It’s a great way for using up leftover rice or meat sitting in your fridge, including any from a takeout restaurant.  I love serving this with salmon or pork chops.  When serving it with a protein entree, I usually skip adding any eggs or meat to the rice.  But feel free to customize.

Enjoy!

Fried Rice  (Serves 4-6 as a side dish)

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1 cup uncooked brown rice (or 2 cups cooked)
¾ cup chopped carrots
½ tablespoon canola oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (or more, to taste)
1 ½ cups frozen peas
2 large eggs (optional)

1. Cook rice according to package directions in rice cooker or on stovetop. For last 10 minutes of cooking, stir in chopped carrots. Set aside and let cool.

2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and pepper until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic, cook 1 minute more.

3. Add rice and carrots to skillet. Stir in soy sauce and frozen peas. Stir everything to combine.

4. Scoot ingredients to one side of skillet. Crack eggs into open area in skillet. Stir to scramble. Once cooked, stir into rest of rice. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Serving):

Calories: 181
Protein: 6 g
Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 62 mg
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 208 mg

Recipe notes: If using leftover rice, you can omit the carrots or use frozen carrots that will heat up quickly like the peas. Try to add as little soy sauce as possible and still get the flavor you want. The sodium will add up quickly. If adding in chopped chicken or pork, you can sauté that with the onions and peppers. Or if using cooked meat, stir it in with the soy sauce and peas.

Source: Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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