gluten free, dairy free, vegan option
It's been a long winter here on the west coast, and these relentless rains remind us how precious our resources truly are. The farmers, the soil, the weather, they all play essential roles in nourishing us, and we've been reminded how fortunate. It's a welcome reminder that not everyone has such access to fresh produce year-round. So what can you do in the depths of winter when atmospheric rivers take hold?
Our first suggestion would be to look in the freezer. Freezer produce is worth a second look for a number of reasons. For starters, many frozen veggies actual boast higher nutrition content than fresh options. This is likely due to flash freezing versus fridge storage, which often leads to nutrient loss when stored for more than 3 days in the fridge. Another good reason is the cost savings. Most frozen vegetables are actually less expensive that the fresh versions. And you can store them all winter while you wait for spring's offerings to appear.
When looking for frozen vegetables, remember to read labels as they can sometimes contain unwanted ingredients such as added sugars, flavorings, preservatives, etc. Quality makes a difference here! We have found good options at Wholes Foods (we like the Stir Fry Blend) and Trader Joes (like their organic broccoli florets and organic green peas). These would all work well in this recipe (and more!).
The key to not cooking your frozen veggies the way most of us know them (think soggy and tasteless), is to roast them! No need to thaw, just toss with a little avocado oil (oil does help with flavor here), some good spices (get creative!), and a pinch of salt and pepper. You won't believe how easy it is to get more veggies in your diet this way, even in wintertime!
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it's hot, spread your (unthawed) veggies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. You can even preheat your baking sheet for extra crispy results. And for even better results, you can use a perforated baking sheet liner like THIS one. It's a bit pricey but they last forever and you get a more even top and bottom crisp.
We prefer a little more space between the veggies than this but they will shrink due to the high water content so no worries...
Once roasted, it will reduce...
Are you ready? Get your (minimal) prep done ahead because this goes super quick!
Kimchi Stir Fried Rice
Prep time: 20 minutes
1 lb. frozen vegetables (use one without added flavorings, preservatives, etc.)
1 tsp gochugaru (sub red chili flakes for desired heat)
1 tsp sesame oil (sub mushroom broth)
4 green onions, sliced
2 cups chopped green cabbage
1 clove garlic, grated
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 TB fish sauce (sub rice vinegar)
2 TB tamari
1 TB coconut aminos (sub more tamari)
5-6 cups cooked rice (or riced veggie, or combo)
1/3 cup chopped kimchi (preferably without added sugar, vegan if desired)
2 organic, pastured eggs, optional
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper.
Toss frozen (unthawed) veggies with avocado oil, salt as desired, and gochugaru (sub red chili flakes). Spread the vegetables in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden and liquid seems released.
While the veggies are roasting, make the sauce by mixing garlic, ginger, fish sauce (or rice vinegar), tamari, and coconut aminos (or more tamari) in a small bowl. Set aside.
Chop green cabbage and whisk eggs (if using).
Heat a large skillet, add 1 tsp sesame oil and swirl. Add green onions and cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 2 minutes.
Add cooked rice and continue to stir-fry, breaking by up the rice as you go. Add sauce and whisked eggs and cook another 1-2 minutes, until eggs are cooked through (will get a milky color). Toss in roasted veggies or serve the veggies layered on top of rice (as shown).
Top with chopped kimchi and serve.
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