Better Than Takeout Hawaiian Fried Rice
Nothing sabotages our healthy aspirations faster than a night of junky takeout, but after long days of work, sometimes the last thing either of us wants to do is cook, which just feels horrible to say, somehow… I mean, I love cooking, especially with Cory, but some days I swear devouring half a pizza while binge-watching the newest superhero show on Netflix sounds about a thousand times better. And while a rare junk food night may not prove as fateful for some, I tend to spiral out of control rather quickly. After all, if I’m going to say it’s a junk food night, why stop at pizza? Why not destroy a bag of salt and vinegar chips and half a box of Oreos while I’m at it? Seriously, no self-control once I start down that path…
Besides, after these junk food binges, I feel sluggish and unmotivated (shocker, right?) and like my body truly hates me, so instead of instantly caving every time I’m feeling a touch lazy, I’ve decided to recreate my favorite take-out dishes, ramping up the fruits and vegetables to make it a touch healthier along the way. Since we live about twenty minutes away from most of our favorite take-out spots, we end up spending less time (and money) making our own, and while it does still require some effort, I always feel better in the end. Besides, if I actually cook, I can pretend my pseudo-productivity has earned me another episode, right? No? Well whatever, I’m watching another anyway-judge if you must!
This particular recipe inspiration comes from the Hawaiian Fried Rice entree at a local Thai place; before I started teaching lessons on Wednesday nights, we’d regularly hop out to grab it for $5 as the daily special, and while I always enjoyed it, every time I’d wish for more toppings (I mean, can you ever really have too much pineapple?) and feel a little less than stellar afterwards. Now, I can add extra pineapple, tomatoes, and Raisins, toss in some green onions and bell peppers, and make sure the Cashews get nice and toasted. You can use up any extra pineapple you might have to make our Mango Piña Colada Smoothie or some delicious Coconut Chips!
Until recently, I firmly believed that swapping white rice for brown improved the nutritional quality of a meal, and while brown rice, a whole grain, does contain more nutrients, protein, and fiber, there seems to be more to the story. In the end, I know eating tons or rice regularly won’t leave me feeling light and energized and amazing anyway, but you know what? Right now, for me, it’s about better food choices-not necessarily perfect ones each and every time.
If, however, you would like an even healthier substitute, you can certainly trade the rice for quinoa. Still, I love the texture and flavor of brown rice, so for my Netflix and made-at-home take-out nights, I’m sticking with it! Besides, I love the ample fruits, nuts, and veggies in this dish; it comes together quickly, and it’s absolutely delicious. To me, that all adds up to way better than typical takeout!
Get what you need for Fried Rice here!
- 1/4 C Tamari
- 4 tsp sesame oil
- 4 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp Sriracha chile sauce
- 2 C dry brown rice
- 4 C water (for cooking rice)
- 3/4 C cashews
- 1 1/2Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 C diced white onion (about 1 small onion)
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 C chopped pineapple
- 1/2 C raisins
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 4 eggs
- Sriracha sauce or chili flakes for serving, opt.
- Add rice and water to skillet and cook until water is absorbed and rice is done. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- While rice is cooking, toast cashews in a separate skillet. Set aside.
- Mix up the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Heat sesame oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add chopped tomato and cook for a few minutes longer.
- Add rice, sauce, pineapple, raisins, and cashews to skillet with the veggies. Increase heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking to the pan, allowing the mixture to "fry" a bit.
- Turn mixture to low while you cook the eggs.
- Scramble eggs in a separate skillet.
- Add eggs and green onions to rice mixture and heat for a few minutes.
- Serve, topped with extra Sriracha or chili flakes if desired.
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