Here in Australia, we are two thirds of the way through Autumn and the chill of winter is setting in before its time. It’s got me thinking about comfort food and food to send to school warmed in thermoses.
Pretty soon I’ll be making big pots of soup. The slow cooker’s already getting a good workout with lovely warming casseroles.
Looking back on my recent lunchtime recipes, it appears that I’m in a bit of a rice theme. There’s the Sushi Squares and the Pumpkin and Rice Salad. If I’d made them a series (“Here’s the latest in my series of rice recipes…”), maybe it wouldn’t look so much like I’m stuck in a rut! But I am and one of the reasons is that I tend to keep cooked brown rice on hand in the fridge. It’s a good quality, high fibre carbohydrate, so it’s a great choice for me when I’m in a hurry. Brown rice and lean cooked chicken breast are my fast foods of choice.
The fantastic thing about fried rice is that you can put just about anything in it. Whatever you have in the fridge. Really! If your little one has an egg allergy, or you are looking for another protein, try tossing through some lean cooked chicken breast. You can poach a chicken breast by putting it in a saucepan, covering with water and boiling for about 15 minutes. You can then shred it with a fork.
For best results, it’s a good idea to cook the rice the day before, or at least a few hours before, you need it.
The other thing I love about this recipe is that it’s great to send to school warmed in a thermos, but would also be just fine served cold. That makes it a year-round lunchbox choice.
This recipe will make 4 serves as a light meal or as a meal accompaniment. If you want a more substantial meal with leftovers for lunchboxes, simply double the quantities.
2 cups cooked brown rice (cook according to packet directions)
2 tbs oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 large carrot, peeled, trimmed and finely diced
2 large mushrooms, diced
Fresh kernels from 1 cob of corn (or ¾ cup frozen or canned corn kernels)
8 snow peas, trimmed and sliced
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
2 tbs tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
Rinse the cooked rice in a sieve to remove any starch. Drain thoroughly and allow to completely cool.
Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Pour the eggs into the pan and allow to spread to form a thin omelette. Cook for two minutes on each side and then remove from pan and set aside.
Add carrot, mushrooms, corn and snow peas and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes or until starting to soften.
Add the remaining oil and the rice. Stir to combine with other ingredients. Stir occasionally.
In the meantime, roll up the omelette and thinly slice into strips. Add to the pan, along with spring onions and tamari (or soy sauce). Stir to combine. Cook for two minutes, stirring occasionally.
Makes 4 small serves.