It’s been a while since I posted a dinner recipe, and most of us benefit from a few new dinner ideas. If you’re like me, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut of making the same recipes. That’s why I love sharing a weekly menu plan with you and here and on my Facebook page. On weeknights, I post what’s on the menu and other people leave comments telling us what they are having. It’s a great place to get new ideas, especially if you are new to the gluten-free diet.
This dinner is nothing fancy. It was quick and easy and also quite good. In fact, I was simply using up leftovers in my refrigerator. I want to share it with you to remind you that we don’t always have to follow recipes exactly as they are used traditionally. Fried rice is a well known dish, and the idea of it can be used in many ways. For this meal I fried leftover rice, red quinoa, and pasta. I didn’t have enough of any one of those, but combined, it was just the right amount.
I added in cubed leftover pork chops, zucchini, and of course egg, which is a common ingredient in fried rice. The great thing about fried rice is that you can use so many different ingredients. By varying the meat, vegetables, and grain, you can create numerous meals that are basically the same recipe but taste very different. The top photo is a version I made using brown rice, onions, red pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, and ham.
In addition to being quick and easy, fried rice is also a frugal meal for several reasons. 1) If you use leftovers as I did, then it’s a great way to keep food from going to waste. 2) You can use only a little meat and add eggs for additional protein. 3) Rice is generally inexpensive. Quick. Easy. Frugal. Tasty. What more could you ask for?
I don’t have a real recipe for you, but I’ll give you some guidelines for those who aren’t used to making fried rice. You can see more variations in my Fried Rice Lunch post.
- 4 cups cooked rice, pasta, other grain, or a combination
- 2 Tablespoons high heat oil of choice
- 1-2 cups leftover cubed meat (beef, pork, ham, or chicken)
- 2 cups chopped vegetables (peas, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc.)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce (I used a soy-free coconut version)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok, electric skillet, or large skillet on your stove. Add the vegetables and stir fry them until tender. Remove and keep warm.
- Add a little more oil and the cubed meat. Heat and stir until the meat is hot and browned. Remove and keep warm.
- Heat the rest of the oil and add the rice (or whatever you choose). Stir and heat until hot through.
- Push the rice to one side and add the egg. Quickly scramble the egg, breaking it up into pieces. Mix the rice in with the egg.
- Add some soy sauce and stir.
- Add the reserved vegetables and meat, stir together, then add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately.
You can find other frugal ideas at the Frugal Fridays blog carnival at Life As Mom. For more real food recipes, check out Real Food Weekly at the W.H.O.L.E. Gang.