Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stir Fry Rice - my Go To Meal

I'm sure most people have a "go-to" meal. If you read around the blog-o-sphere, you can see it. The meal that shows up more frequently than others. Something quick and easy to put on the table.

For me, this is that meal.

I generally get home from work at 5:05-5:10 pm most days. Dinner is at 6:15 or 6:30 pm (shortly after my husband gets home). That gives me an hour. Now, it's not like I have a solid hour. I like to spend time hanging out with my son, talking about his day, coloring, and playing (usually while drinking a little wine).

That's why this meal is perfect. Get home, carry in all the "stuff" (my bag, lunch bag, his stuff). Throw the rice/quinoa mixture in the rice cooker (it takes about an hour).

Then, hang out until 15 mins before dinner.

I know that I am a member of a CSA. The CSA does not provide quite enough veggies for the family for the week. I often shop at the farmer's market or the local produce stand to round out the week. But I also have frozen and canned veggies on hand too. Costco's Kirkland brand of stir-fry vegetables is pretty good.

Here's what I've learned about Costco - different locations carry different items. For every time I've read someone wax poetical about the great frozen broccoli - I realize that mine doesn't carry it. I've learned to work around that, and usually have two bags of frozen SOMETHING in my freezer at any given time.

It takes all of 5-6 minutes to stir-fry these vegetables from frozen. During that time, I can whip up a little sauce (soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar) and grate some garlic/ginger. If I am feeling ambitious, I may press and saute tofu or fry some eggs. If I have leftover meat (which is rare), I will mix that in. Most of the time, I toss in chopped cashews or steamed edamame for extra protein.

Last night I took what was leftover from Thursday's stir-fry, and mixed the veggies and rice mixture with more stir-fried veggies. I added some oranges from our tree to the sauce and diced in a mango from the discount rack (35 cents!) It was very delicious, and took all of about 15 minutes. Today, there's almost enough for me to eat for lunch, so I'll toss in some chickpeas.

What is your "go to" meal?


TJ said...

Definitely not a healthy one, but if not stirfry (I don't always have veggies available, sadly) it's white rice with a fried/scrambled egg. Done in about 20min. Third option would be pasta. It literally takes me no time. But I try to avoid both options due to them being not a healthy dinner option as is.

j. said...

I think over the last year or so I've proved that my "go to" meal is something like a bag of chips or (also) fried rice, or even the dreaded savoury pancake.

mmm, fried rice.

Marcia said...

Those go-to meals aren't too far off from what mine were when I was single, or what mine end up being when my husband travels for an extended period of time. (It used to be bagels and cream cheese, now I've graduated to quesadillas.)

Luckily for me my son is happy to eat frozen peas right out of the bag.