Brown rice vegetable stirfry
After a bit over a week in Manila eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner out every night, I have to admit I could really use a serving of this staple of my usual vegetarian repertoire. This is a dish I’ve probably made about once a month for the past year or two, simply because you can rotate the veggies, it’s really easy, and it’s healthful and filling. The leftovers keep for about a week in the fridge, so I always make a huge batch and get several lunches and/or dinners out of it during the week.
Brown rice vegetable stir fry
Ingredients (makes 4-6 servings, depending on the amount of veggies you are using – you can always increase the amount of rice as well)
1-1.5 cup(s) cooked brown rice (this is not hard, just follow the directions on your bag of brown rice)
3-4 carrots, peeled
2-3 medium onions (red or white)
1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower (optional, I know some people hate this)
1 red pepper
2 zucchini, or about 1 lb / 0.5 kg green beans
Lime juice (optional but recommended)
Sweet chili sauce (again optional but highly recommended)
Firstly, don’t let this list of veggies limit you whatsoever. I have also put scallions in along with the onions and carrots. You can add some freshly grated ginger to the starting ingredients as well, or if peppers (sorry, capsicums) are on sale (aka never in Australia but sometimes in America) add in yellow, orange, or green. It’s just important to have a nice balance of vegetable colors for that aesthetic touch.
While the brown rice is cooking, prep all your veggies by chopping them into bite size pieces (a fairly large dice). As always this is the most time consuming part but is totally worth it in the end. Prepare a big saute pan or a wok by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray. Add the onions and carrots and turn up to medium-high heat. Saute, stirring frequently, until they start to soften (about 5 minutes). Because I cook with essentially no oil, this sometimes makes things stick to the pan more, so often at this stage in the cooking I add a few tablespoons of water just so they can steam slightly and won’t stick and turn black (not a good look). Then add veggies in the following order: broccoli/cauliflower and green beans, followed by zucchini and any capsicums. Wait a few minutes in between adding vegetables as obviously the earlier vegetables take several minutes longer to cook than the later ones. Stir this frequently/continuously – you can never stir enough with stir fried dishes, so go nuts.
As I add the groups of veggies, I often add a dash of soy sauce or a squeeze of lime juice so it can steam up while they are cooking. While everything is cooking, I typically break the egg(s) into a bowl, give them a quick stir, and put it in the microwave for a minute, stir again, then return to the microwave. This is the quick and dirty way to make scrambled eggs that does not annoyingly make another pot dirty. By this time, the veggies should be mostly cooked (taste and keep cooking to your liking). Once the veggies are cooked, turn the heat down to low and add all the brown rice and the egg (which you should break apart with a fork into small pieces). Then add lime juice, soy sauce, and sweet chili sauce to taste. (I typically don’t do more than a few teaspoons of each as a little can go a long way.) Also add black pepper to taste if you wish. Eat some with a spoon out of the pan but eventually transfer to a bowl to enjoy.
The start off point – carrots and onions in the pan
Broccoli and cauliflower all chopped up