Garlic Kale and Cashew Fried Rice.
I just ate a chocolate bunny for dinner so I figured it was time for real food.
What is real dinner these days? Well. I have no idea. But I can tell you what real dinner is not.
Kombucha and saltines. And the kind of kombucha that you’re reeeeeeally considering adding some vodka to, and saltines just because you’ve loved them since before your tween years and apparently right now all you can eat is nostalgic comfort food or nothing. Saltines with sliced cheese. That doesn’t count either.
Seven clementines, only because they are in arm’s reach when you’re holding a baby and you successfully manage to peel them with one hand. Holy accomplishment. It’s all in a day’s work right?
A bath. Yeah that’s real life. I almost (once) passed up on REAL LIFE FOOD to sit in bubbles. It does sound dreamy, no?
The chocolate bunny. Dipped in peanut butter. Because that’s how it went down. And I think I’m about to do it again.
I did it again. This time I lost a bunny ear in the peanut butter jar.
You know I’m talking about Easter candy, right? Because that would be, just… nevermind.
For the last few weeks my brain has been complete mush to the point where I had nooooo idea how to create meals. The good news is that I think I’m over it. The not-creating-meals part, not the brain mush.
The bad news is that I ate some very questionable chicken and also can’t even tell you what I thought would be a good addition to brownies.
And then I deleted 15,000 photos off of my computer which was awesome.
I mean, what I’m trying to say is that I’m having enough of an existential crisis at the moment and then Claire Underwood has to go and CHANGE her hair color? Does she not realize that the basis of much of my existence has most everything to do with the TV shows playing on my screen at the moment?
Much. Most. Moment. See? Brain mush.
If anything, I’m back on the easy meal train – hell, right now I’m the conductor. These days, I’ve been making about one high-maintenance dish a week. And by high maintenance, I mean, like… more than avocado toast. Okay not really. I mean more like these enchiladas or this super arrogant meatloaf.
Trust me, the other days are all toast. Or a podcast and the bath and a spoonful of peanut butter.
So with the one fussy meal made – and certainly not because we need it or even because of the blog – but because it feels extra RIGHT to make something crazy and usually, insanely comforting with multiple flavor layers and then eat it after a long day – the simplest meals are what my fingertips need.
This rice is super similar to my favorite pineapple cashew fried rice and even this portobello fried rice, but different enough that I felt compelled to tell you about it and explain why it’s heaven on earth.
It’s SO delicious, especially finished off with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. And I just go wild for the semi-crispy, toasty basmati brown rice tossed in a little soy sauce too. For me? This is a MEAL.
For Eddie, this is a snack. Or maybe even half of a snack. A quarter of a snack.
Okay, a taste.
I like it for lunch – it can be made ahead of time, is easy enough for daytime and I find it to be crazy filling. For dinner, I seared some thinly sliced beef (recipe HERE) and tossed it in the mix before giving it to Eddie. UGH. It was freaking fabulous. I loved it both ways. I’ve also been craving chicken lately (especially the boneless, skinless thighs) and can imagine how wonderful it would also be. Throw everything in the mix! Maybe even mushrooms?
All I know is that this has kale, and kale means health, and kale cancels out girl scout cookies, so we’re good.
Garlic Kale and Cashew Fried Rice
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 small head of kale, leaves removed and sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 large eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2/3 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Combine the rice, stock and oil in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 40 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-low heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the sliced pepper and onions with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, stirring well. Cook until soft and even a bit caramely, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in another tablespoon of olive oil with the kale, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring every minute or so, until the kale wilts. Scoop all of the veggies out of the skillet and into a bowl.
Add a 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil to the same and increase the heat to medium. Add the eggs, quickly stirring the entire time they cook, which will take about a minute. Break them apart as much as you'd like. Place the eggs in a separate bowl and set aside, breaking them apart more with a spatula if you want.
Turn the heat up to high and add the remaining olive oil. Add in the jasmine rice, tossing to coat, then let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes to crisp up and get golden. Stir, breaking apart any pieces, and repeat for another 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat another 1 or 2 times until the rice is a bit crispy and golden.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the soy sauce - if you are not using a low-sodium version, add a bit less and taste before adding more. Add the veggies and eggs back in, then stir in the cashews. Drizzle the toasted sesame oil over top and taste. Season additionally if desired. Serve immediately. This can be eaten alone or can serve as a great base for chicken, shrimp, pork or tofu!
Now go have a caramel delight.