Fried basmati with chicken and vegetables
Cook up a batch of rice on a Sunday and you can make fried rice dinners throughout the week. For a vegetarian version of this dish, leave out the chicken and substitute soy for the fish sauce.
2 heaped cups broccoli florets
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
750 grams chicken breast, sliced thin
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch scallions, both white and green parts, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 or 2 chillies, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced small or cut in 2-inch matchsticks
2 eggs, beaten (add salt and pepper)
1-1/2 cups uncooked rice
1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce (to taste)
1/4 cup chopped coriander
Soy sauce or fish sauce for serving
1. Steam the broccoli florets for two to three minutes. Rinse with cold water, and set aside.
2. Season the sliced chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat a large wok or a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water evaporates upon contact. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and add the sliced chicken breast. Stir-fry until cooked through, three to four minutes.
3. Add the carrot and broccoli. Stir-fry for two minutes. Add another tablespoon of the oil and the scallions, garlic, ginger and chillies. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4. Pour in the beaten eggs, scramble and add the rice.
5. Cook the rice: scoop it up, press it into the pan and then scoop it up again, repeating for about two minutes. Add the fish sauce, stir together for half a minute and top with the coriander.
Serve, garnishing each plate with cucumbers and lime.
Yield: Serves four to six.
Nutritional information per serving (based on four main dish servings): 477 calories; 13 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 155 milligrams cholesterol; 61 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 481 milligrams sodium; 30 grams protein.
Black beans and rice
From Cuba to New Orleans, there are many versions of the black beans and rice.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans with about 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid
Salt to taste
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan or skillet over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender.
2. Stir in the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds to a minute.
3. Add the rice, beans and about 1/2 cup broth from the beans. Stir gently and serve.
4. For Veracruz-style rice, add one to three jalapeño chillies. Cook with the onion before adding the garlic, rice and beans.
Yield: Serves four
Nutritional information: 227 calories; 4 grams fat; no saturated fat; no cholesterol; 40 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 2 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 8 grams protein.