I really enjoy cooking, no doubt about it. But it’s no secret that I just don’t follow recipes well. I start to skim the ingredient list and instructions, and then my inner dialogue begins.
I don’t have half of these ingredients, maybe I should find a different recipe.
Well, that’s okay, chimes in the side of my brain that produces exploding mug cakes, bone-dry pasta dishes, and chocolate-covered Doritos. I mean, you can probably substitute all those things with coconut flour and mayonnaise.
My eyes travel down to the instructions. Oven temperature…cook time…
That’s all you need to know! I’m sure there are absolutely no important instructions in this 3-page recipe. Let’s get started!
Baking isn’t my strong suit, nor are cooking methods that require attention to detail.
When I’m cooking independently, though sometimes it works out really, really well! That’s what happened today and now I wish I had taken a picture. I decide to make some fried rice, which I LOVE. Fried rice is great because you can put essentially anything in it — leftover proteins, almost wilted vegetables, any kind of grain — and it can still be really tasty.
Seafood Fried Rice
1 cup cooked white rice
1/3 cup (approx.) leftover cooked tuna, salmon, and fried salmon skin (handmade sushi last night!)
1/2 cup baby kale
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil (any kind of oil is fine)
ground ginger, pepper, salt, soy sauce, and lemon juice to taste
(makes 2-3 servings)
Heat a generous drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Drop in the onion and garlic; let them cook for a few minutes, until they are just starting to brown. Add the cooked rice and seafood, stirring to combine and break up clumps of rice. Add about a tablespoon of water, give or take — this prevents the rice from drying out or sticking to the pan.
Once the fried rice is warmed through, tear the kale into small pieces and add it to the other ingredients. You may need to turn the heat down at this point. While the kale is cooking, add a splash of lemon juice and as much ground ginger, soy sauce, salt, and pepper as you like. Take the rice off the heat once the kale is wilted but still has a bit of crisp.
That’s all there is to it! The bit of lemon goes great with seafood and adds a bit of freshness that goes well with the sharp taste of kale. I ate mine with half of an avocado on top for some creamy, healthy fatness. Yum.
This recipe could be adjusted forever.
One of my favorite things to do with fried rice is to use half cooked rice, half cooked quinoa. I don’t love quinoa by itself, but I know it has a lot of great nutrient benefits and I really like the texture it brings. (When I have quinoa on hand, I cook the rice and quinoa together using about a 1:2 ratio of grains to water. Cover the pot, bring it to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low. After simmering for 15-20 minutes, the rice is cooked perfectly and the quinoa is to the point of creaminess.)
I don’t usually have seafood on hand; normally I would use some cooked chicken or scrambled eggs. This is also my first time using kale! Usually I would use spinach, or my favorite fried rice combo: peas and corn. While a lot of fried rice recipes call for peas and carrots, I don’t care for cooked carrots and I think that corn brings a great sweetness to fried rice.
Whatever you put in it, fried rice is delicious way to use up leftover ingredients and pack as many nutrients as you like! It can be a full meal or a delish side dish. Enjoy!
What are your favorite fried rice ingredients?