Thursday, July 28, 2011

Not-so-fried Rice

No arteries need to meet greasy, limp Chinese take out. But this *healthier* version is easy, tasty, and has endless possibilities. For this adventure, I used a food I've never cooked with before:  

napa cabbage.
It gave a bit of crunch, some filler (besides rice), and color to this dish. After making a batch, I put the leftovers into 2-cup containers and have been grabbing it for an easy lunch at work or a no-thought dinner after a long day. (PS: Napa cabbage has 28 calories per cup, according to this awesome USDA Food-a-pedia.)

Not-so-fried Rice
4-6 servings

4 cups water + 1/3 cup water
2 cups wheat rice
1 1/2 cup carrots
1 zucchini
3 stalks celery
1/2 cup peas or snow peas
1 egg + 1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash of ground ginger 
3 cups Napa cabbage
1/2 TB sesame oil (optional) 
Garnish: sesame seeds, 1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce

pot for water with lid, large wok or skillet with lid, wooden spoon 
step one: Heat a pot of water with rice and cover. When it boils, remove lid, stir, and recover, reducing heat to a simmer. Let cook 15 or so minutes.
step two: While waiting for the rice, chop up the carrots, zucchini, and celery and put into the heated wok with 1/3 cup of water. Cover and let cook on medium-high for 5 minutes. Add the egg and peas and let egg cook for a few minutes. (Some people like to scramble and cook egg first, before adding to veggies.) Next, add the garlic powder, ginger, sesame oil, and cabbage. Gently stir with spoon and recover for a few minutes.
step three: Check on the rice. If all of the water has been absorbed and a taste test of the rice shows it's cooked, remove rice from heat and gently add to wok. Combine with spoon and add soy sauce. Toss thoroughly. Let cook in wok for a few more minutes and serve in a bowl with garnish.

I mentioned the USDA's new My Food-a-pedia 
This is super helpful. You can look up nutrition values of various foods, get personalized meal plans, etc, and it's also great for kids to use, too. Try this: Click on "Look up a food." Put in anything...I did popcorn. Not only does it give you the nutrition facts for popcorn (and which category it goes in on your plate), it gives you the facts of buttered, low fat, natural popped with butter, air popped, and other varieties. So simple! I hope this helps keep you and your family healthy and happy. 
Happy eating! 

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