Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Lunchbox-Friendly Deconstructed Fried Rice Recipe

This lunch was sponsored by the American Egg Board.
I love anything quick and easy for lunch, especially if I can use ingredients prepped ahead in bulk for multiple meals. For this recipe, all you need is some cooked rice, hard boiled eggs, soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari soy sauce,) and frozen veggies. (And a chopped onion, which I don't bother with.) All of those can easily be bought or prepped ahead. I always like to make a big batch of rice once a week or so, freeze it into "pucks" in a silicone muffin pan, and pull them out to thaw and use as needed. Same with hard-boiled eggs. Boil or bake up a bunch at once, and use as needed throughout the week.

Lunchbox-Friendly Deconstructed Fried Rice
Serves 2-3

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium white or yellow onion, diced (optional)
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 cup frozen veggies (peas, corn, green beans, or a mix)
3 cups cooked rice (cold) [can sub cauliflower "rice"]
2-3 hard-boiled eggs, diced
1/4 c soy sauce or gluten-free tamari, divided
Ground black pepper (to taste)

In a 12" frying pan, heat oil over Medium to Medium High heat until hot but not smoking. Add chopped veggies (onion, celery, carrot) and saute until onions are transparent and carrots are crisp tender (about 5 minutes.)

Add frozen veggies and cook 1-2 minutes more until thawed.

Slowly mix in cooked rice until all ingredients are well blended. (If you prefer cooking the soy sauce into the dish, add it before the rice. Or add just a little now and send some in the lunch to be added later.)

Divide into 2-3 lunchboxes or plates, and evenly divide the chopped hard-boiled eggs over the top (fried rice should be cold or room temp when adding the eggs to pack for lunch. Can add eggs to hot rice if serving immediately.)
Serve with soy sauce (1-2 Tbsp per person) or send with soy sauce packets or fill your own sauce containers.

Notes: If your kids are like mine, they tend to eat around the veggies, Chopping them smaller makes them harder to avoid. This trick helps me add more veggies to my own diet as well! Takes more time, but I'm worth it! *wink*

Whenever I make rice, I always cook a blend of rice (jasmine, brown, wild, etc) with quinoa or buckwheat groats for an added nutritional punch. (The meal shown features brown and jasmine rice with white quinoa.) My kids are now used to a rainbow of different-looking and tasting dishes that I all call "rice," and don't even blink an eye anymore. Whenever we go out for Asian food and I order brown rice instead of white, our servers stare goggle-eyed as my kids eat it without complaint. Now to get them to eat their veggies...

You can prep the dish up to several days before, but wait to add the egg until you are packing the lunchbox (the night before or morning-of) or when you're ready to eat it.

My kids like adding soy sauce themselves, and love the little travel packets and "squeezy fish" versions that I send in their lunches. So I cook this without the soy sauce, for them to add later.

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