Once a month I pack a box of ingredients and kitchen equipment into a community center kitchen as the volunteer cooking instructor.
I teach a monthly class on kitchen basics: chicken, pasta, kid-friendly breakfasts, simple soups, desserts, and most recently rice. The class themes are by request from the residents who attend them. The aim is to make food stamp dollars go further by getting families familiar and capable with whole foods. They tell me what they want to learn, and I create and compile recipes to address their needs. Green Fried Rice fits the bill: easy to make, uses up leftovers (rice, meat, and/or greens), super flexible, a short list of ingredients, and speedy.
Even the little kids were gleefully chowing through the samples. The adults had seconds. It’s a huge win when class members say, I’m going to go make that. I cook this regularly and I was still saying that. It’s really that easy, and that good. And like the class members announced as they sampled it, “This is nothing like Panda Express. This is good.” And it’s really good for you too.
If you are cooking the FALL 20/20 this season, it’s based on most of the ingredients you have around anyway. New around here? Check out the 20/20. (It’s a seasonal recipe collection designed to make cooking like a natural easy and darn tasty- want a FREE sampler version to test out?)
Green Fried Rice
This is a fast go-to meal (and one of my kids any time of day favorites), but it does take some advance planning. Leftover rice is dry and easy to fry, but fresh, wet rice will not produce the same results. So next time you make a batch of rice, double it and plan ahead to be ready for fried rice on a whim.
½ lb greens (chard, kale, spinach, collard greens, or cabbage), thick stems discarded or minced
3 tablespoons oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ onion, chopped
2½ cups cold, cooked brown rice
4 tsp soy sauce
Chop the greens into small pieces, but first, cut the greens from the stem if stems are thick and fibrous). Chop lengthwise, then turn and chop the other direction to chop the pieces very small. Slice the stems through in half and then half again and mince.
Add one tablespoon of oil to the skillet over medium-high heat, allow to warm then add the stems and onion to saute. After five minutes add the garlic and chopped leaves, cover with a lid and allow them to steam for 5 minutes (or go without a lid and stir-fry until tender, about 5 minutes).
Remove the lid, push the greens and onions to the side and add 1 tablespoon oil, and add the rice, and cook for 2 minutes without stirring. Toss with to combine with greens. Make a well in the center of the rice, add the final tablespoon of oil and crack the eggs in (add a sprinkle of salt or some of the soy sauce to season the eggs as they cook). Scramble-fry the eggs by breaking up with a spatula as they cook (or whisk before adding). When the eggs are cooked, stir and toss with a spatula to distribute the add the soy sauce, toss again to season the rice. Taste, adjust seasonings as needed and serve.
- Add-ins: fresh ginger with the garlic, and additional cooked vegetables with the greens (peas, corn, broccoli or carrots).
- Bulk it up: Begin with up to ½ lb. of meat (chicken, shrimp, or pork) cut into ½” cubes, fried in the oil before adding the greens and onions. You hardly need any at all to have a flavor impact.
- Top it: Sprinkle with unsweetened toasted coconut, peanuts, or cashews.
- Soy sauce can be swapped for liquid aminos. Tamari or shoyu sauce if you have soy or wheat allergies.
Love this clean, easy-to-navigate recipe? Yep, I make it simple with cook times and bonus points to expand the recipe and make it all your own with ease. I do this for all of my recipes- check out the 20/20 which takes this style to the next level with ingredient guides and shopping quantity shortlists for the whole guide on one sheet. You’ll love it.