Skinny Vegetable Fried Rice

I’m back!  I took a hiatus from blogging due to a busy work schedule, but I recently resigned from my financial secretary job and now have more time to blog, so I’m back!!  Woohoo!  I’ve really missed blogging and interacting with my readers!  (I hope there a few still out there after all this time)  🙂

A couple days ago I had a craving for Chinese food.  And that’s actually pretty odd for me because I’m not really a fan of most Chinese dishes.  But, I do LOVE the Pepper Chicken and Fried Rice at the Chinese restuarant here in town. So, I decided to try to make a “skinny” version at home.   My husband and I loved it, and my 12 year old son said it was “ok”.  🙂  Boys.  So uncommital.  Today I’m sharing the Fried Rice recipe and tomorrow I will post the Pepper Chicken recipe.  Ideally, you want to use “leftover” rice that you made at least the day before and chilled overnight.  I didn’t plan that far ahead however, so I just made my rice a few hours before dinner and let it chill until I was ready to prepare the rest of the dish.  It worked out just fine.

 

A healthy version of a Chinese favorite!

Skinny Vegetable Fried Rice

  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup finely diced vegetables ( I used carrot, asparagus, onion, and red pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (best if rice is made the day before)

 

Heat a wok or other heavy skillet over medium high heat.   Add garlic and cook until tender.  Add vegetables and cook several minutes, or until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Add soy sauce and vinegar; stir well and cook for a couple minutes.  Add rice, mixing well.  Add chicken stock and cook just until rice is heated through.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Serves: 4

Calories Per Serving: 128

Advertisements

Skinny Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Hey moms and dads!  Let the crockpot do your dirty work while you do your daily work!  I love chicken and wild rice soup and will often order it if I see it on the menu at a restaurant.  But I rarely made it at home because of the lengthy cooking time of wild rice.  I decided to try to create a recipe using the crockpot so I could fix it and forget it, and this is it!

Skinny Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 small sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 42 oz chicken broth

In a 4 to 4-1/2 quart crockpot/slowcooker, combine carrots, wild rice, onion, rosemary, bay leaves, lemon zest and pepper.  Top with chicken breasts and pour chicken broth over all.  Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on high for 3 hours.  Remove chicken and shred with a fork.  Add chicken back to crockpot.  Remove bay leaves and rosemary sprig and serve.
Serves: 6

Weight Watchers Points + : 5 points per 1-1/2 cups

 

Sofrito Tilapia

Last week I was at the gym, running on the treadmill and watching the Today show.  They were making a dish that looked very easy, yummy, and healthy…Sofrito Fish.  I knew I had to make this recipe.  Soon.  So, as soon as I got home I got on their website and printed off the recipe.  I made a few little changes, and here’s what I came up with.

This recipe is actually a ‘two-part’ recipe, because you make the Sofrito butter mixture, and then use part of the mixture on the fish, part of it for a sauce to go over the fish, and the rest you can add to rice to go with your fish. 

To make the Sofrito butter, place 2 tbsp oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 small bell pepper, diced (I used a mixture of red, yellow, and green bell peppers), 1 clove of garlic, minced, and 1/2 small onion, diced.  Cook until veggies are tender.

Place this mixture in the food processor or blender along with 4 tbsp softened butter.  Blend until smooth.

That’s your Sofrito Butter.

Now, on to the fish.  The folks on the Today show used Red Snapper, but I chose to use Tilapia because that’s what I had.  I think any firm white fish would work well with this.  Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides and place in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Brush about half of the Sofrito Butter over the fish fillets.

Pour just enough water into the baking dish to cover the bottom.  This will help steam the fish while it cooks.

Bake the fish at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until a metal skewer can be easily inserted into the fish and, when left in for 5 seconds, feels warm when touched to the lip.

While the fish is baking, we’ll make the Sofrito Sauce.  In the skillet you sauted the veggies in, bring 1/2 cup chicken stock to a boil.  Whisk in about half the reamining sofrito butter.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Just before serving, stir in 1/4 cup lime juice.

To serve the fish, place some of the sauce on the plate…

Top with the fish.  (Sofrito Rice is also pictured…keep reading for recipe)

BONUS RECIPE:  Sofrito Rice

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium sized pot over medium heat.  Stir in 1 3/4 cups rice, coating the rice with the oil.  Add3 1/2 cups water and 2 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat slightly and cover.  Do not stir the rice!!  Let cook, without stirring until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.  Just before serving, stir in the reamining Sofrito Butter.

Simple Rice Pilaf

assorted 099

‘Sup Pilaf?  Sorry…if you don’t have kids who watch “iCarly” you probably have NO IDEA why I just said that.  If you DO have kids who watch iCarly, then you probably just chuckled along with me.  Ever since that episode where Mrs. Pilaf comes to talk to Carly about their private school and Sam greets her with ” ‘Sup Pilaf?” and a high five…I can’t say Rice Pilaf without chuckling and thinking of Sam.  Tell me I’m not the only one who thinks that’s hilarious?    We also use the phrase “How are your buttocks?” a lot now too…thanks to that same episode.  But, I digress.  And you probably think I’ve lost my mind.  Maybe I have. 

But, lost minds aside…I wanted to share with you today how I make a simple rice pilaf (heehee).  Sorry, I’ll try to contain myself.  This is a very versatile side dish because you can basically throw in whatever you have on hand and make it different every time.  Once you know the simple “formula” then you’re good to go.  So, let’s get started!

First, you want to add a good hunk’a butter to a skillet.  I’m making enough rice pilaf for 4, so I’m using probably 2-3 tbsp here.  It’s not an exact science, so don’t sweat it too much.  Let that butter get nice and melty.

assorted 084

Now, add your rice.  I used about 1-1/2 cups here. 

assorted 087

Add in any ‘aromatic’ vegetables that need a while to cook down…like onions, garlic, carrots, etc. at this point.  I added chopped onions and some garlic today.  Let this cook until the rice is a nice golden brown.  The veggies should be somewhat soft at that point as well.

assorted 088

Now add liquid…about double the amount of rice you used.  So, I used about 3 cups of liquid…in this case, chicken stock.  Chicken stock is what I use 90% of the time, but occasionally I’ll use beef stock, or just water.  You coud even use white wine for this, or a combination of wine and stock.

assorted 090

Now, put a lid on it and let it simmer until the rice is almost cooked through.  Then add any vegetables you have that don’t need a lot of cooking time…brocolli, peas, artichokes, etc.  I used some roughly chopped cooked brocolli I had left over from dinner the night before, so I just tossed it in at the very last.

assorted 097

 Add in any herbs you want, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Now you’re ready to eat!  Sometimes I even add some fresh parmesan cheese on top…yumm!

Now, let me run down that ‘formula’ again for you.

  1. Melt butter in pan.
  2. Add dry rice and any ‘firm’ veggies/aromatics; cook until rice is golden.
  3. Add liquid, about twice the amount of rice you used.
  4. Cover and cook until rice is tender.
  5. Add ‘soft’ veggies, herbs, salt and pepper.

So there you go, Simple Rice Pilaf that can be adjusted according to what you have on hand.  This is a good one to make on “clean out the fridge night”.    You can even add leftover cooked meat to this recipe (at the end, after the rice has cooked) and basically make it a meal in and of itself.

‘Sup, Pilaf?