I did something special for myself a few weeks ago and bought myself the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home cookbook, which, as I understand it, is a staple of the vegetarian cooking bookshelf. I also ordered the Dear Sugar (a.k.a. Cheryl Strayed) book, Tiny Beautiful Things, at the same time, so you can imagine how excited I was when the package arrived. (Very.) They seem to go together, these two books: one containing raw, honest, often difficult advice on life and the other recipes for building a healthier existence. It was a little cardboard package of joy on my doorstep, saying Do better! To which I replied, Okay! And I’ve been doing a fairly good job, except for my requisite daily potato chip intake (dill pickle flavor, mmmmm) and finding totally transparent reasons to skip yoga. (I know. Vegetarian food and yoga. My cynical side hates me, too.) Baby steps.
Anyway. I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, but I have been cooking, I promise. I have this one, and then Sweet Potato and Spinach Quesadillas with Mexican rice, and then my super-easy Canned Food Stir Fry, and tonight I’m cooking Seitan and Green Bean Curry with Carrot and Parsley Salad (getting fancy!). Yes, I have an obvious bias toward Asian, Indian, and Mexican foods. Also, I hate Italian. Sorry, I just do. You’ll probably never see an Italian recipe on here because I think it’s generally bland, and pasta is just long rice that’s harder to eat, so what’s the point?
But back to Curried Fried Rice. I don’t have a particularly entertaining food disaster story relating to cooking ignorance or wine intake to go with this one. It’s pretty hard to screw up and turned out really well, despite the fact that I still didn’t measure the ingredients precisely, opting to go with a generous handful of spinach rather than measuring 1/4 pound and dumping in a can of diced tomatoes instead of dicing two tomatoes myself, the latter of which I’m sure is horrible in the foodie world, but hey, I’m not a foodie. I’m just lazy. So here it goes:
Curried Fried Rice
barely adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs, beaten, with a pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon curry paste (mild or medium-hot, you pick)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (or for the less lazy, 2 medium tomatoes, diced)
- generous handful of fresh spinach, stems removed and large leaves torn
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas (or fresh, if you insist)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (I just squeeze a whole lime in by hand, which might result in a little more, but I like lime)
- mung bean sprouts and chopped scallions to garnish
If you don’t have 4 cups of leftover rice, cook some. The recipe calls for brown rice, and that takes longer than white (around 40 minutes total), so put the rice on while you’re preparing your other ingredients.
Have all the ingredients ready before starting to stir fry. This is important. You don’t want to be opening cans and rummaging through the fridge while your stir fry is getting all over-cooked and soggy.
In a large skillet or wok, heat the 1 tsp of oil on medium high heat and add the beaten eggs. Scramble them with a heat-proof spatula as they cook. They should be done in 3-5 minutes, when no longer runny. Scoop into a bowl and set aside.
Wipe out the skillet or wok and heat the 2 tbsps of oil on medium heat. Add garlic and curry paste and cook for one minute, stirring constantly to keep it from burning. Add tomatoes and spinach and stir-fry on high heat until the spinach wilts but isn’t soggy. Add the cooked rice and peas and cook until heated through. (This will take longer with frozen peas, obviously, so I set mine out for awhile beforehand to defrost a little while the rice was cooking.) Stir in the egg, lime juice, and soy sauce, adjusting soy sauce to taste.
Serve immediately and garnish with mung bean sprouts and chopped scallions. (Not required, but they add a great crunch to the dish, so I recommend it. You can also add chopped toasted nuts, but I didn’t, only cause I didn’t have any.)
Eat and enjoy!