Cooking On A Budget: Weeknight Stir-Fry Rice and Vegetables

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Weeknight Stir-Fry Rice and Vegetables

Plan ahead, shop smart and save money while enjoying easy weeknight suppers like this Weeknight Stir-Fry Rice and Vegetables.

The holidays are hectic enough and all too often we rely on take-out food (which can be very costly), fast food restaurants (where the food is outrageously high in calories) or frozen food (which is very high in sodium). It doesn't have to be that way. With a little planning before you grocery shop on the weekend you can enjoy quick and easy meals during the week ~ no matter what is going on.
I have a sponsored post coming up so I made the most of my shopping trip to the super Walmart store which is about 30 minutes away from my home. Knowing that I had some boneless chicken breasts in the freezer I picked up at my local store (on sale), I thoughtfully picked up some vegetables that would be great in a chicken stir-fry.

One thing I have to admit is that since we've been married (over 25 years now), my husband has gained some weight, but not much. Me ~ well that's another story. So while my husband will be enjoying a big fat juicy cheeseburger for dinner I've made myself this dish using the fresh produce and left-over rice from another meal (I almost always make extra rice.).

To make this, I suggest you make some rice over the weekend or if you have time, make it in the morning and cool it down properly and then refrigerate it. Rice can be prone to spoil quickly if not handled properly. To properly handle rice:
  • Cook it in a sauce pot.
  • Cool it room temperature for 20-30 minutes tops.
  • Make an ice bath with mostly ice and some water and set the sauce pot in the ice bath. You can do this in a large bowl or your clean kitchen sink. Let it cool completely in the ice bath (probably takes 15-20 minutes)
  • Remove the rice from the pan and store in a container that has a lid or use saran wrap.
In this dish I used long grain rice, but I think Jasmine rice if you have it would be perfect. I used the tri-colored peppers but you can use green also or any other color you like. This is a vegetarian dish and one that is light in sodium and calories, but feel free to sub in some meat or switch out the vegetables to whatever your preferences are.
  • 2 cups rice - pre-made
  • 1/4 cup each tri-colored peppers - evenly diced (small)
  • 3 lrg. mushrooms - stem removed and sliced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup frozen baby peas
  • 1/4 cup onion - medium dice
  • 1 tsp. fresh garlic (or jar garlic chopped is fine)
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. mirin (a sweet Chinese wine)
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger (dry or freshly minced)
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. oil (vegetable, canola or regular olive oil is fine)
  • salt to taste
  1. Make the rice in advance. The day ahead or first thing in the morning so you can cool it down properly.
  2. Prep all of your vegetables and set aside.
  3. With your wok or deep skillet set over high heat add in the oil. Wait about 20 seconds or so for the oil to heat up.
  4. Add in all of the vegetables and stir-fry for a minute or so and then add in the chopped garlic and stir and fry.
  5. Add in the ginger and red pepper flakes, mix and stir-fry. Then immediately add in the soy sauce and mirin, mix and stir-fry. 
  6. Add in the rice and peas. Mix. Keep stir-frying until you have the rice and peas totally heated through. Keep the heat on high and make sure you don't burn the rice.

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 5-8 minutes
Serves: 2-4 (main meal or side dish)

There's a lot of nice flavor here ~ subtle flavors from the heat of the red pepper flakes to the saltiness of the soy sauce and the gentle sweetness from the mirin and bell peppers.


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