Sunday, January 15, 2023: Sustainability Sunday!
January 20th, 2023 by Alex Koster

Even though I love to try new foods and search grocery stores for new ingredients, it’s also really important for me to think about food sustainability (and reducing my family’s food waste). That’s why at least once a week I try to make a dinner that uses up anything fresh that’s about to go bad, as well as using non-perishables that we have around. This is more than just reheating leftovers, and it’s fun to use your imagination.

Typically I do this on Sundays when I have more free time to check out the fridge, the produce drawer, the freezer, and the cupboards, and this Sunday, everything came together to make Easy Fried Rice. The ingredients I used are listed below but this meal definitely depends on what you find in your fridge. Try to make this a weekly habit: you’ll save food and money.

As a reminder, feel free to substitute whatever you have in your fridge or freezer (frozen carrots? green onions? shrimp? red pepper). The point is to use up what you already have but also make it tasty.

  • 1 and 1/2 cups cooked, cooled rice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (but olive oil ok, if no sesame)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (thawed)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn (thawed)
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 egg
  • Leftover chicken from a rotisserie chicken (about 3/4 cup) (optional)
  • 1 to 1-1/s tablespoons soy sauce

Veggies: Chop the onion and thaw your vegetables (and drain excess water from the vegetables). Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat and add your cooking oil. Add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes until translucent and then add your thawed veggies (peas and corn for me) and cook for 1-2 minutes until tender. If you are using fresh vegetables — like broccoli — you may need to pre-cook.

Egg: slide the onion and vegetables to the side of the pan and break the egg into the pan. Quickly scramble it with your spatula and once cooked, mix into the vegetables.

Rice and chicken: Add the rice to the pan (and chicken or other protein, if using). Pour the soy sauce on top and stir until everything is heated through and nicely mixed. You made need to break up clumps of rice with the spatula.

Serve with more sauce sauce, hot sauce or whatever else you like.

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