By the time you got your family in the car, ordered and picked up take-out and then returned home from the fast food joint, you could have this healthy, delicious dinner on your table using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. When you want something that is easy to make and will clean out your fridge all at the same time, make a stir-fry. That’s exactly what I do about once a week. It’s one of Jim’s favorite dinners. I make brown basmati rice often and store extra in the fridge. That way it’s at the ready when I want to make this fast dinner. Brown basmati rice is available in the bulk section at Lost River Market & Deli as are all of the other ingredients you will need for this simple dish. To make dish even more filling, I add beans. This recipe is just a guide to a basic stir-fry. Feel free to use the vegetables you have in your own fridge and adjust the seasoning to suit your taste. Before beginning, be sure to have everything minced, chopped, and sliced in advance because it only takes a few minutes to cook.
1 to 2 Tablespoons peanut oil (peanut oil has a high smoke rate for high temperature)
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced (minced ginger in a jar is very convenient)
1 carrot, sliced thin
1 bell pepper (any color or type)
½ onion, sliced or chopped (any kind)
For the dish in the photograph, I used the following vegetables because that’s what I had in my fridge at the time, but you can use whatever you have in your fridge: (green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, etc…)
1 small zucchini or summer squash, sliced thin
5 or so mushrooms, sliced (I usually use crimini mushrooms.)
kernels from 1 cob of sweet corn
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (Any type beans would work. Just rinse and drain them before adding them to the dish.)
1 Tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce, or to taste
1 Tablespoon Rice vinegar, or to taste
½ teaspoon Sambal Oelek (optional) (This is ground fresh chili paste that is found in the Asian section of Lost River Market & Deli. It’s quite hot, so if you are using this for the first time, start with no more than ½ teaspoon.)
1 large egg
About 4 cups cooked brown rice (I use brown basmati rice because I like its texture, but any brown rice would do.) (It’s recommended to use cold rice when stir-frying, but it’s not necessary.)
Heat peanut oil in a large skillet until very hot. (I use a non-stick skillet.) Add the ginger, garlic, onion, peppers, and carrots. Stir around for about 30 seconds or so. Add the rest of the vegetables, except the tomatoes. Stir the mixture around and then add about 1 Tablespoon soy sauce and 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar and ½ teaspoon Sambel Oelek, if using. Add the beans. Stir around a few more minutes until the vegetables are bright in color and crisp tender. Add the tomatoes, if using, and cook another 30 seconds or so. Remove the vegetable mixture to a platter.
Break the egg into the skillet. Scramble a bit with a spatula until cooked. Add the rice, mixing the egg into the rice. Add a bit more vinegar and soy sauce, if you like. Stir the rice egg mixture a bit. Remove from the heat and add to the platter next to the vegetables.
Brown Basmati Rice Recipe (Using a Rice Cooker) Rinse well and drain 1 cup brown basmati rice. Place in your rice cooker. Add ½ teaspoon Kosher salt. Add 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter. Add 2 cups water. Swirl around. Close the lid of the rice cooker and press the brown rice setting. When the cooker indicates that the rice is done, open the lid and fluff the rice.