Healthy Italian Fried Rice
- 2 Tablespoons unrefined, cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- A pinch of chili flakes (optional)
- 1⁄2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1⁄2 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 or 2 cups of shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps wiped clean with a damp paper towel and sliced thinly
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- A few leaves of fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 2-3 cups baby leafy greens like chard, kale and spinach or 6 stalks of kale, stemmed and leaves chopped or more
- 3-4 cups COOKED short grain brown rice
- Chicken stock, vegetable stock or water, if necessary
- Optional accompaniment ideas: grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino cheese, poached or fried egg, toasted, chopped nuts, hot sauce
1. Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and when warm, add the garlic and chili flakes. Sauté until the garlic is just starting to turn golden on the edges, about 30-60 seconds.
2. Add the cherry tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté until the tomatoes just start to lose their shape and the asparagus and mushrooms are tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add the fresh basil and sauté until wilted.
3. Add the cooked rice, the greens and another pinch of salt and pepper and sauté until the rice is warmed through and the greens are wilted. If the rice and vegetables are sticking to the pan, add a splash of water or stock. Serve immediately with or without suggested accompaniments.
Notes: Cooked quinoa, millet or lentils can be subbed for the rice. You can also use part grain/part chickpeas. Or omit the tomatoes and basil and use different quick- cooking vegetables like thinly sliced fennel, diced zucchini, shredded carrots, blanched cauliflower florets, peas, scallions. And use different ingredients to add in later, such as cooked beets, sliced oranges, avocado, olives and so on. There are unlimited combinations!
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