Friday, August 22, 2008

Serves One: Quick Sort of Fried Rice

Since most of the cooking I do is pour moi, I will single out Mutual Menu recipes for singles as "Serves One." Some other meals for one include the Quinoa and Seitan Bowl, Quick Minestrone for the Sickly, Sun Dried Tomato and Avocado Toast, Savory Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Soothing Tortellini-Broccolini Soup, a Pomegranate Margarita (technically serves two but no one is going to stop you from drinking the entire concoction), and how to create a whole meal for yourself without making a mess by utilizing the en papillote method of cooking. My favorite cooking for one resources are Serves One by Toni Lydecker and the "One and Two" chapter of How To Eat by Nigella Lawson.

Last night after getting home from work close to eight o’clock at night, I was craving some greens and grains. I decided to cook kale and leftover brown rice in the toasted sesame oil I just bought along with my preferred soy sauce, tamari. I also had a bag of frozen peas. I think you should always have a bag of peas in your freezer. I love how toothsome, sweet, and starchy they are and the fact that I can just break off a frozen block and mix them in just about any rice dish. Screw those who look down upon frozen vegetables. Frozen ones are often more nutrient-dense than "fresh" produce anyway because they get frozen at their freshest. Feel free to use any other vegetables you have on hand—asparagus, peppers, sugar snap peas, broccoli—or toss in a handful or two of crumble tofu. I admit, this doesn't taste like the fried rice you'll get at a Chinese food takeout place but it's still tasty in its own right.

3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
5–6 big stalks of kale, washed, patted dry and roughly chopped with stems intact
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup red onion, diced
1 cup cooked brown rice
½ cup frozen peas
2–3 teaspoons tamari, or more to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large pot over medium-high heat. After about a minute, add kale and garlic. Lower heat to low-medium and stir kale often until wilted down, about 10 minutes.

2. Add red onion and cook until warm and slightly translucent, or about 5 minutes, stirring often.

3. Combine rice, peas, 1 teaspoon oil, tamari, and pepper with other ingredients in pot, stir well to combine and cook until rice and peas are warmed throughout, about 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and add more tamari and pepper if you’d like. Serve immediately.

Serves one generously

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