Fried Rice and Cookies


[This is a follow-up to a previous post, The Dream House – Cooking for a Crowd.  In that post, I talked about how to adapt a recipe to feed a lot of people.  Here is how I make this in a far smaller portion for myself.]

This is a quick and easy way to use little bits and pieces of leftovers to make a satisfying main dish. You can use any kind of cooked protein – chicken, beef, pork, etc. – or keep it meatless.  The one crucial ingredient is cold, cooked rice or quinoa.  You can use any kind of vegetables you have on hand, either cooked or raw.  If they are cooked, add them at the end and cook just until heated through.   This is a perfect way to use very small amounts of meat or veggies that aren’t enough to serve by themselves.  One of my favorite meats to use is bacon, since I always have it on hand, or leftover meat from a rotisserie chicken.

This recipe is more of a guide, since just about everything can be left out or substituted, according to your tastes and what you have on hand.  I purposely didn’t give quantities since it all depends on what you have available and your personal tastes.  I usually use about 1/2 – 1 cup of rice, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic, 2 strips of bacon and about a cup or so of assorted veggies for one serving for myself.
Fried Rice
  • Cold cooked rice or quinoa (preferably cooked with chicken or beef stock)*
  • Cooked meat, cut in bite-sized pieces (chicken, beef, pork, bacon, etc.)
  • Raw veggies, cut in bite-sized pieces (mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, greens, green beans, snow or snap peas, green onions, asparagus, bean sprouts, etc.)
  • Chopped or minced garlic
  • Oil for frying (I use avocado oil and a little sesame oil)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Soy sauce or tamari
Heat oil in skillet, add garlic and raw veggies, stir frying until just until crisp/tender. (If using cooked veggies, be sure they are well drained and wait and add them in at the last, heating just until heated through.) Add meat and rice, breaking rice up into individual grains, and stir fry briefly until heated through.  Push everything over to one side of the skillet, add a little oil if needed, and quickly scramble the egg, breaking into small pieces and mixing with the rice mixture.  Sprinkle with soy sauce, cover and let set off the heat for a minute or two.  (There is usually some of the mixture stuck on the bottom of the pan, and this allows it to soften so you can stir it in.)  This is easily converted to vegetarian or vegan by leaving out the meat and/or egg.

*You can also substitute cauliflower rice (raw cauliflower grated or finely chopped in a food processor).

In my previous post, I talked about two kinds of cookies that I made and promised I would post the recipe for the Oatmeal Raisin ones.  (There is a link to the pumpkin cookie recipes in that post.)  I don’t remember where I got the original Oatmeal Raisin recipe, but I have changed it quite a bit anyhow.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil* 
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup  raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Put the raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.  Set aside.  Beat the coconut oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the oil/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats, drained raisins and walnuts, if using them.
To get a thick, chewy cookie, chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.  You can bake them right away, but they will be thinner.  Heat oven to 350° before forming the cookies, so that oven is hot when you put them in to bake.
Drop by spoonfuls two inches apart on a parchment paper-lined or greased baking sheet. The dough is very thick and I usually flatten them down a bit with my hand.  Bake them for 12-15 minutes (your baking time will vary, depending on your oven and how cold the cookies were going in), taking them out when golden at the edges. Transfer them to a rack to cool.
This recipe also works great to freeze the unbaked cookies ahead of time and then just bake however many you want right before eating.  Prepare as instructed down through forming the cookies on the baking sheet (be sure to use parchment paper).  Put the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze, then put the frozen cookies in a ziplock bag and keep in the freezer until needed, taking out only as many as you want at any one time.  If cooking unthawed, increase baking time by about 5 minutes.

*If you don’t like coconut, use softened butter instead.

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