Veggie Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of the best “quick & easy” dishes out there. It’s filling, economical, and versatile. The perfect way to clean out the refrigerator at the end of the week! This time around I used carrots, peas, scallions, bean sprouts, and a scrambled egg. I’ll usually make this as a side dish whenever I make my mother-in-law’s famous egg rolls. I always had leftover bean sprouts, and I hated to let them go to waste. This was a great way to use them up, as well as being a way to fill tummies up that isn’t fried, or as labor-intensive.

You do have to think a bit ahead of time when it comes to the rice. Using rice that has been chilled is key to a good fried rice. If you use fresh, hot rice – you’ll end up with a sticky ball of mess. By using cooled rice, the grains of rice stay separated – creating the perfect fried rice. I also love the addition of egg to the mix. You don’t see egg in fried rice that often anymore, and it’s something I always loved, so I knew I wanted to add that as well.

It makes a pretty large batch, enough to eat for dinner one night and a couple of extra servings for lunch. You could certainly add a protein as well, if you wanted to make it a complete one-dish meal. Shrimp or chicken are my favorites. Just saute in the pan, and remove before cooking the veggies. A favorite that is guaranteed to be made again and again. Enjoy!

Singapore Mei Fun

I love making our favorite Chinese take-out dishes at home. They’re always tastier, healthier, and much easier on the old pocketbook. Jon’s favorite dish to order-out, hands down, would have to be Singapore Mei Fun. Now, I realize this probably isn’t anywhere close to the noodle dishes you’d actually find in Singpore – but let’s be honest, what comes out most Chinese restaurants in this country  actually is authentic? Am I right?

Soft rice noodles, sauteed with all kinds of crispy yet tender vegetables – and a protein if you like, all in a delicious spicy sauce chock full of curry. I’d never had it before her ordered it, he used to be a General Tso’s guy…but switched to this when he was trying to lose a little weight, and years later he’s still never gone back. I’ve almost grown to love it over my beloved lo mein noodles! Our local place always adds a scrambled egg to the stir-fry, which I feel is a great addition as it helps to soak up any extra sauce and flavor, so I added that to my at-home version too.

It turned out really great, and was a fairly quick and easy meal. I just softened the rice noodles while I was prepping the veggies (stuff I had laying around in the fridge and pantry), stirred together the spices with some soy sauce and sesame oil, and stir-fried for a delicious dinner. I sliced up half a pork tenderloin that I had from a meal earlier in the week and added it to the mix, to add a little protein – but shrimp, leftover chicken or beef would also be great. Ff you wanted to make it vegetarian try adding tofu, or even just bulking up the veggies. And by using your favorite soy sauce substitute, it’s easily gluten-free. You can also switch up the spices in a bit – adding more or less Sriracha or red chili flakes to adapt the heat to your liking. We like it pretty spicy, but I realize not all folks do.

This is one I’m definitely glad to be adding to my repertoire, as it’s a favorite of our whole family! 

Source: adapted from Messy Kitchen Stories


Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir-Fry

Another take-out favorite for you! I’ve been using shrimp as often as I can, as they’re less than $5 a pound for large heads-on. And without a doubt, stir-frying is one of my favorite things to do with them. I remembering my mom ordering shrimp with snow peas for “something different” at the local Chinese restaurant when I was a little girl. And, I guess it stuck with me – because it’s still one of my favorites.

There’s just something about the combination of sweet, succulent shrimp and crisp yet tender snow peas. I went ahead and added some broccoli, carrots, and water chestnuts to the mix as well just for a little more variety. I’ve found that if you can buy snow peas in bulk versus pre-packaged, they’re almost always way cheaper and better quality. Everything is tossed with plenty of garlic and scallions, and then you make a quick clear stir-fry sauce with simple ingredients found probably already lurking in your pantry. Another easy weeknight favorite!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

We’ve been on a little bit of a seafood binge lately. Between all the crab related dishes, and that bag of clams – I feel like we haven’t had a chance to have any landlubber favorites. So, when I came across this dish on Pinterest last week, I knew I couldn’t wait a whole week to make it – and rearranged my menu plans a bit to accommodate having this for dinner one evening.

I have so many take-out favorites that I make here at home, but sweet & sour chicken was one that’d I’d not gotten around to trying out in my own kitchen. Which is surprising, because it’s one of our favorites to order. But so often it’s disappointing. The dreaded tub of orange sauce and some frozen breaded chicken pieces – and I just paid $8 for this? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

The chicken pieces are lightly breaded in cornstarch (which is great for maintaining crispiness) and quickly fried. They are then layered with red and green peppers and fresh pineapple on a baking sheet, and doused with an awesome sweet and sour sauce that’s made from ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The whole thing goes into the oven for a bit to finish up cooking and merry all those delicious flavors together. Served over a bed of rice, with a green vegetable – like snow peas or steamed broccoli, it’s a delicious dinner that you can feel good about serving to your family. And chances are, it also kicks the pants off of any sweet & sour chicken you’ve had in the past!