When you mostly are cooking for two, it’s important to learn how to creatively use leftovers. Whatever I make seems to result in enough leftovers for another meal or two.
I’m not complaining. I love the whole cook once, eat two or three times concept. It makes life easier and I’m all about making things as easy as possible.
Leftovers ready and waiting in the kitchen for when I want a nourishing lunch in minutes with minimal effort are always a good thing. Talk about healthy fast food.
This fried rice with vegetables and ham is a perfect example.
I had a container of leftover basmati rice and peas in the fridge that need to be revitalized, reformatted some how. The thought that came to mind was “fried rice.”
So, I pulled out Mark Bittman’s recipe in How to Cook Everything to use as a guide. The great thing about fried rice is that it is perfect for using up all kinds of leftovers and doesn’t require precision at all.
Skinny on Fried Rice with Vegetables and Ham
According to Mr. Bittman, fried rice is better when made with long-grain rice that has had the chance to chill for a few hours or even a few days so it dries out and separates into individual grains. That way it can be stir-fried with a minimal amount of oil. ( Good news for us Weight Watchers!)
After digging around the fridge and pantry, I decided on fried rice with vegetables (peas, onion, carrot, and red bell pepper) and ham. His version called for raw shrimp and cooked pork roast. I used ham instead. And I didn’t have scallions or dark sesame oil so I skipped them altogether.
The results? Amazing. Both Rod and I rated this quick and easy supper highly tasty and satisfying.
According to my calculations each serving of this fried rice with vegetables and ham has 310 calories and *8 Points Plus.
Do you have a favorite way to use up leftover rice?
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 4 teaspoons peanut oil or other neutral oil like grapeseed or canola
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and roughly chopped
- 8 ounces diced cooked lean ham
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste (I used jarred)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, or to taste (I used jarred)
- 3 cups cooked long-grain rice (preferably basmati and preferably chilled)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup rice wine, sherry, dry white wine, stock or water (I used sake)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, optional
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup chopped scallion, optional
- If the peas are frozen, soak them in cold water to defrost them while you begin cooking.
- Put 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet set over high hear. When hot, add the onion, carrot and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and begin to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Lower the heat if the mixture begins to scorch. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
- Put the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the skillet and then the garlic and ginger. Stir once or twice and after about 20 seconds, begin to add the rice a little at a time, breaking up any clumps with your fingers and stirring well to combine everything. Add the peas and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Make a well in the center and more the lightly beaten eggs into it. Scramble them a little, then when they are almost done, incorporate them into the rice.
- Add the vegetables back into the pan and stir to combine well. Add the rice wine and cook, stirring continuously, for about a minute. Add the soy sauce and sesam oil (if using). Taste and add the salt and pepper if necessary.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the scallions.
- Serve immediately while hot.
Source adapted from How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition)
*PointsPlus® for fried rice with vegetables and ham calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
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