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Fried Rice
Credit: Jonathan Bardzik

Happy New Year fabulous people! What incredible things are you going to accomplish this year? New adventures, more time with the people you love, great success? However you’re planning to make your fabulous life even better you should think about food. Sure we could all be a little healthier carrying a few less pounds, but I’m talking about preparing and sharing delicious meals as a way to celebrate the joy in each and every day. Really.

Does this sound a little Pollyanna? Try this: once a day for the next two weeks prepare a home-cooked meal, set a table – even if just for one – and sit down, without the TV, without your phone, and enjoy the moment. When the opportunity arises, share that moment with someone else.

It may not be a vacation to the Maldives, it may not be a new Mercedes or a night at the opera, but in a small way, an important way, your life just got better. Happy New Year.

Vegetable-loaded fried rice

Serves 4-6

This is a perfect way to use up the extra rice from last night’s takout! While this is better with day old rice you can certainly use freshly made rice. Feel free to use brown rice, quinoa or any other grain.

Ingredients:

For rice:

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

White pepper

5 tbs vegetable or peanut oil

1 bunch scallions

½ lb snap peas, stems removed

6-8 Shitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced

4 cups shredded Napa or Savoy cabbage

2 cups day-old cooked white rice

For sauce:

2 tbs oyster sauce

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Directions:

Whisk together eggs with sesame oil. Season with white pepper and salt. Warm 1 tbs vegetable oil a non-stick skillet over med heat. Add egg and stir to scramble. Reserve.

Thinly slice whites and greens of scallions. Return pan to med-high heat with 1 tbs oil. Add snap peas and stir-fry 1 minute. Add scallions and cook until just beginning to soften, about 1 minute longer. Reserve with egg.

Return pan to med-high heat with 1 tbs oil. Stir-fry mushrooms until golden brown on edges. Reserve with eggs and snap peas.

Return pan to med-high heat with 1 tbs oil. Stir-fry cabbage to soften, about 2 minutes. Reserve with eggs and vegetables.

Whisk together sauce ingredients.

Return pan to med-high heat with remaining 1 tbs oil. Add rice and warm through, 2-3 minutes. Add egg mixture, stir together with rice and warm through, about 1 minute longer. Add sauce, stir to combine, and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Credit: Jonathan Bardzik

For more on chef Jonathan Bardzik and his delicious recipes, check out his official website.