I love my son to pieces but when it comes to meal time, he knows how to push all my buttons. My charming, adorable, cuddling, and hilarious 3 year old turns into another kind of animal. Refusing to eat anything that is not tofu, tempeh, sweets or candy (his words) it can be a full on battle to get him to eat his vegetables. He would rather forgo dessert than bite into one single green bean. As far as I know, there is only one way to get that kid to eat anything green: vegetable fried rice.
Thai food takeout night is rare at my house, but there are those days when the cabinets are bare and I’m one meltdown away from completely losing it that I pack up the kids in the car and we order out. Then one day recently I realized that I could start making my own vegetable fried rice and it was a win-win-win. My kid eats his vegetables, I save money, and there are leftovers for days.
This vegetable fried rice recipe came about on one such bare-cabinet, almost-losing-it kind of evening. Only this time the thought of getting two crying kids out the door and in the car only added to my complete exhaustion. Yet there were mouths to feed and one can only eat so many peanut butter sandwiches. I took a quick scan of my supplies: about a cup of mushrooms on the brink of going bad, half a block of tofu, some frozen peas, and day-old cooked rice.
And then I saw it – fried rice, people!
Since then I have made this recipe several times, adapting it with each remake and, friends, my kids and I are both loving this new homemade vegetable fried rice era.
I love this vegetable fried rice recipe for many reasons. It’s:
- deliciously filled with so many flavors
- super cheap to make
- high in protein and filled with vegetables my kids will eat!
- easy to make – can be made in under 30 minutes
- totally versatile and adaptable depending on the vegetables you have on hand
What’s not to love?
So before you order out, consider cooking in.
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
- 8 oz extra firm tofu, cute 1/2" cubes
- 3-4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 4-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, quartered
- 1 1/2 cups peas
- 1/3 cup raw cashews
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 green onions, minced
- Cook the rice according to package instructions. Once cooked, fluff with a fork and let cool for 5 minutes.
- While rice is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or a large cast iron skillet. Sauté onions for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add ginger and garlic and sauté for another minute. Once fragrant, add the carrots, mushrooms, and pea and cook until tender, about 5 more minutes.
- Heat the remaining oil in medium skillet. Once hot, add tofu and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally.
- Stir together sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Once vegetables are tender, create a well in the center and add cooked rice. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Once rice is lightly cooked, combine with vegetables, add tofu, and sauce and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Serves 4-6
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