protein packed fried rice
Here’s a great recipe to try out when the craving strikes for greasy take-out. There’s an added bonus of having none of the cholesterol and much less of the saturated fat that usually comes with this dish.
Tofu is an awesome and inexpensive source of protein and calcium, made from the pressed proteins of soy milk. Baking tofu gives it a firm and crispy texture, while marinating it beforehand allows the flavours of the marinade to soak into the tofu. Each serving of the fried rice boasts an impressive 27 grams of protein, due to the tofu, green peas, and edamame beans.
Green peas seem to be an underrated vegetable/legume, but I’ve been rediscovering how versatile they are. It is an easy legume to keep on hand to throw into dishes, since they are widely available frozen. I remember as kids and picky eaters (sorry mom!), my sister and I would snack on frozen peas straight out of the bag, since they have a slightly sweet flavour. I guess at least we were still getting our veggies in somehow?
- 1/2 block (200g) extra firm tofu, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup brown rice, rinsed in cold water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups carrot (2 medium carrots), finely diced
- 1 cup green peas
- 1 cup edamame beans
- 1 cup green onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- cashews or peanuts, chopped for garnish
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp tahini (or other nut butter)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1-2 tsp sambal oelek chili paste (to preferred spiciness)*
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
*sambal oelek is the chunky version of sriracha hot sauce, usually located in the asian foods sections of the grocery store
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Prepare the marinade by adding the ingredients into a small bowl and whisking together. Taste and adjust the flavour as needed; adding more brown sugar for sweetness, chili paste for heat, tahini for creaminess, and soy sauce for salt.
3. Marinate the tofu by dipping the cubes in the sauce, tapping off the excess and laying the pieces on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 26-30 minutes until golden brown, flipping the pieces halfway through the cooking time. Keep the remaining marinade set aside.
4. While the tofu is baking, prepare the rice. Bring 10 cups of water to a boil, then add the rice and boil uncovered for 30 minutes. Then strain the rice and return it to the pot removed from heat, cover and let steam for 10 minutes.
5. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, then add the carrot, peas, edamame, green onion, and garlic, cooking for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the baked tofu, rice, and remaining sauce and mix together. Cook over medium heat for a few more minutes, until the mixture is well incorporated.
6. Serve with extra green onion and chopped cashews for garnish.
Adapted from minimalistbaker.com
Leftovers will keep for a few days in the fridge, although best when fresh.
George Mateljan foundation. (2016) Tofu. Retrieved from: whfoods.com
Green peas nutrition facts. (2016) Retrieved from: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/green-peas.html