Sunday, February 28, 2010

Definition and Thai Savory Fried Rice

I've been asked if I am a vegetarian. If you saw my first post you would know I am not. I am a flexitarian; someone who consumes a largely vegetarian diet. The description I prefer most is a plant-based diet. Yes, we eat meat about twice a week, but twoish meals out of twenty one definitely represents our paring down on meat consumption. There are no guidelines on how much meat consumption defines a flexitarian or semi-vegetarian.

Some people hate labels, but I can say we are embracing this one. My husband said it was nice to have a way to explain it to people. But for me, it is nice to know I have company. Here are some useful articles if you are wondering what flexitarianism is or are hoping to swing your diet more in that direction.

7 Painless Ways To Be Almost Vegetarian
Low Meat
Can You Be A Vegetarian And Still Eat Meat?
Flexitarianism: Vegetarianism for Slackers

What do you define yourself as?

Though, I must say there are some tasty ideas here..Today's offering is especially delicious. This is night and day from traditional Chinese style fried rice. This one is not heavy and tastes bright a fresh with greens, coconut and lime. It also came together so quickly. This is a fantastic weeknight dinner.

I doubled this for our family and enough for leftovers for my lunch the next day. I finished with cashews rather than cooking them in the dish (so I could accommodate my daughter with nut allergies) and used napa cabbage and a reconstituted dried red chili.

Savory Fried Rice
Judy Bastra

This is a typical Thai street food, eaten at all times of the day. The recipe can be adapted to use whatever vegetables you have available.

Serves two

2 T. oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red chili, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup cashew nuts, toasted
2/3 cup dry, unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 t. brown sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
1 egg
1 cup green beans, sliced
1/2 napa cabbage or 4 oz. collard greens or bok choy, shredded or sliced very thin
3 1/2 oz. jasmine rice, cooked
lime wedges to serve

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet. Add the garlic and cook over a medium high heat until golden.
2. Add the chili, cashew nuts and coconut to the pan and stir-fry briefly. Stir in the sugar, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Toss over the heat for 1-2 minutes.
3. Push the stir-fry to one side of the pan and break the egg into the empty side. When the egg is almost set stir it into the garlic and chili mixture with a spoon.
4. Add the green beans, greens and cooked rice. Stir over the heat until the greens have just wilted, then spoon them into a dish to serve.  Offer the lime wedges alongside to squeeze over the rice.

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  1. I was just looking at the coconut at the farmer's market and wondering what to do with it. I think I will give this a try. Anna

  2. I have always found it odd that people are so cavalier as to admit that they are vegetarians. It's about the same as admitting that you are celibate.

  3. We've been flexitarians for a long time. I found that phrase a couple of years ago and think it describes us well. It started with me leaving the ground beef out of lasagna because I thought it was gross to handle and took more time to cook. The lasagna tasted fabulous with all the other ingredients. Then I started leaving chicken out because I can't stand raw, slimy chicken and "grossness" about all the bacteria was becoming popular among my age group (my roommate in college windexing the counters and plates after making chicken, commercials about rubbing a raw piece of chicken on a counter to advertise not cleaning with a sponge). Canned chicken could not possibly healthy, my husband insisted, so we'd have tortilla soup without the floating chunks of little white meat. It tasted fabulous. Now, whether it's Hawaiian haystacks or quesadillas, we're often meatless. And with recently learning about sodium nitrate, we're in a bacon and lunchmeat drought, as well. Robbie still has to get his fix at In 'N Out once in a while and I think eggs without bacon is just not as delicious. I did find nitrate-free bacon at Trader Joe's and it tasted very good. Just in moderation, right?? Now to find a good exercise program to keep those fat levels in check, and get some cardio in and muscle tone, too. We're all trying, grew up differently, still love the taste of meat from time to time and love finding support in others trying the same thing.

  4. PS - Every time I ask for the vegetarian burrito at Chipotle or a vegetarian omelet, for example, it is always assumed that I want peppers and onions in place of the meat. To me, I just meant leave the meat out. I can't stand raw onions in anything but salad and do not like any kinds of peppers, with the exception of tiny ones in salsa. I think it's interesting that the word 'vegetarian' usually means: bring on the bell peppers.

  5. My sister sent me a link to your blog saying that I'd love it. It's certainly the closest blog we've come across that is in line with the way I think about Section 89. I'm sick and stinking tired of Marmens haughtily claiming adherence to the WOW while ignoring things like greens, grains, and gross over-consumption of meats.

    How do I define myself? I'm a Lacto Ovo Vegetarian. Yes to eggs. Yes to milk. No to all things that have ever been alive, including creatures of the sea. My reasons for eating like this are many, but speaking religiously, seeing as we're not in a time of winter or a time of famine or excess hunger, I've always been confident that my interpretation of the WOW works for me. (Just me--everyone else can interpret however they like; I simply don't have the time or the energy to care how everyone else thinks that animal flesh fits into the their adherence of the WOW. Really.)

    And, though loving Stephanie as everyone does, I think it's important to clarify that she's not a vegetarian; she's a pescetarian.

    Anyhow, lovely concept for a blog. No matter how well we all think we're eating in regard to our commitment to the WOW, I really think we can do better. Your efforts are terrific; I certainly hope more people pay attention. Perpetual re commitment to healthier innards.

  6. Wow- thanks for the flattering comments on the blog. Please don't hesitate to let us know what other things you would like to see.

    It is also great to know how each of you stay in check and follow the WOW- since no one is exactly the same.


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