Why hello there! Its been a while 🙂 I guess all my posts should start with this. I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long. Life gets in the way. Today though, is different. My lovely babysitter is picking the boys up from school and I am having an afternoon to do as I please… and it just so happens that I am spending some of it writing up this recipe for you. Even though I haven’t updated in a while, I am still cooking up a storm. Check out my instagram to see what I’ve been making lately.
This is a take on my veggie fried rice recipe. I have been following a almost grain free diet and quinoa is my go-to rice substitute. Actually it’s not a diet, but a lifestyle change. That’s why its a “almost grain free” 🙂 I do find that my general health and well being is much better with limited gluten and grains but I also don’t want to deprive myself of the occasional special treat. An added bonus of this new lifestyle is that I lost 10lbs in the process! I have also reduced my overall sugar intake and really try to avoid all refined sugars (except of course for those special treats). It’s amazing how much your palette for sugar will change with just a few weeks after going off it. You can really start to recognise the body/mind addiction for sugar and after a few weeks without, you can really taste how sweet something is. Sugar is in everything these days!
I do make almost everything from scratch, but somethings I don’t, and this recipe does feature Oyster Sauce – one of those ingredients that I buy and of course it has sugar in it. Because of this, I try to use it sparingly. If you are following a sugar free diet, you can make your own sauce with soy, ginger, garlic, lime juice and rice vinegar. If you feel its missing some sweetness, add orange juice!
Veggie Quinoa “Fried Rice”
- 1/2 cup of Quinoa
- 1 1/2 cup of chicken stock (or water with a bouillon cube)
- 1/4 red pepper
- 1 small red onion
- 1/4 of a small broccoli
- 1 small carrot
- 2 large stalks of kale (stems removed)
- 1 tablespoon Oyster sauce
- 2 free range eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Start by cooking your quinoa. Follow the instructions on the package and sub in the chicken stock for water. Once cooked, drain and put to the side.
- Finely chop all your veggies. I always use a food processor for this and just throw everything in and pulse a couple of times. (A side note, if you don't own a food processor, I can promise you that it's worth the investment! It makes so many annoying kitchen tasks easy).
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan or wok and saute your veggies until soft.
- When soft, add in your quinoa and the other tablespoon of oil and cook until the quinoa starts to get a little crunchy around the edges. About 5 minutes.
- Add in your oyster sauce and mix to combine.
- Now make two holes in your mixture and crack an egg into each one. Turn up the heat a bit and fry the egg until the whites are set.
- Remove from heat and scoop the quinoa onto a plate and place the fried egg on top.
Just remember you can use any type of veggies in this recipe - anything you have to hand in your refrigerator. I've used some many different combinations and it always tastes good!
Quinoa works even better than rice because it doesn't get soggy like just cooked rice will. So you can use it straight after cooking. I always make extra that I can toss into salads or use in substitution for bread crumbs. Quinoa will get nice and crunchy if baked!
You know that funny blog, Reasons My Son Is Crying? Well today mine was because I offered grapes. Apparently just the offer was enough to set him off…even though most days he’ll eat an entire pack. Thats the
pain beauty of toddlers, you never know what you’re going to get.
So that’s why its so nice to have a few dishes in your mealtime arsenal that don’t involve negotiating for every bite. I already shared one of our favorites – the veggie pancake – and today I’m sharing my recipe for Fried Rice, which I might add is popular with the whole family – not just the crazy little ones. Just like the pancakes, you can add any vegetables you have in the fridge and/or leftover meat. I often add ground chicken or even frozen shrimp. We order a cheeky takeaway more than I like to admit – don’t judge me – and I always save the rice to make this dish the next day. Using cold, leftover rice is best as it holds its shape and texture better than fresh prepared.
Loaded Vegetable Fried Rice
- leftover rice
- 2 eggs
- 1 red onion
- 1 carrot
- 1/4 courgette
- handful green beans or mangetout
- 1/2 cup of shredded cabbage
- 1/2 a pepper – any colour
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce or oyster sauce
- olive oil
Using a food processor – or your cutting board and knife – fine dice all your vegetables. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add your vegetables and saute until soft.
Beat your eggs in a small bowl or cup. Push your vegetables to the side of the pan and pour in the eggs letting them cook before incorporating them into the vegetables.
Once your egg is cooked and combined with the vegetables, add your leftover rice. Heat through, stirring occasionally. Add your soy and hoisin sauce and continue to stir to combine, making sure the sauces are mixed through evenly and you’re done! A super fast and easy meal to feed yourself or the family.
When attempting to feed toddlers one should prepare themselves for war. My weapon of choice – the veggie pancake. As a necessity of survival (for everyone involved!) its necessary to have a recipe in your arsenal that you know your kids will eat and you feel good feeding it to them.
This has always been my most asked-for recipe from my mom friends. I have always made the boys food from scratch and it has been fun (and exasperating!) coming up with meals that they will eat but also ones that I feel good about feeding them. This recipe falls into that category. The best thing about it is you can use almost any combination of vegetables you have in your fridge. Great combinations are broccoli and cheese, apple and spinach, pumpkin and sweet potato…the list goes on… but the method remains the same. Don’t be afraid to try out different combinations – its pretty hard to make these taste bad.
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 apple
- 1/3 courgette (zucchini)
- 1 carrot
- 1 handful of spinach
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup/250ml milk
Peel and chop your vegetable and place carrots and sweet potatoes in a pot with a inch of water, cover and steam. When they begin to soften, add in apple and courgette.
While your vegetables are cooking, make your pancake batter by combining your dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat eggs together and the milk separately and then combine with the dry ingredients. Whisk until a batter forms. Its ok if there are still small lumps. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth. Put aside.
When the vegetables are soft and the water has evaporated, turn the heat off stir in your spinach. Puree your vegetables either with a food processor, hand blender or potato masher. Let them cool slightly and then fold in the vegetables into the prepared batter. Once combined you’re ready to fry them up. Put a frying pan on medium heat. I do not add butter or oil to fry these as I don’t think they need it but you can add if you like or you’re afraid they might stick.
Flip when they start to form big bubbles on the top. Cook until they are brown on both sides. Set on a metal cooling rack to cool. When cool, serve up alone or with maple syrup or as a “sandwich” with cream cheese in the middle.
This recipe makes a huge amount of pancakes (I am feeding two toddlers!) So you can either put the leftover batter into the fridge and use the next day, or you can add a couple tablespoons of melted butter then pour the remaining batter into muffin tins and bake at 180C for 23-30 minutes. Enjoy!!!