Friday, January 31, 2014

Quick, Easy, Healthy Fried Rice

Quick, easy, and healthy Fried Rice using leftover rice.  Alohamora Open a Book

Happy Chinese New Year!

I've been a high school, middle school, elementary school, and a children's public librarian but I think elementary school is my favorite.  When I was an elementary school librarian I would teach the Kindergartners all sorts of lessons and we'd read all sorts of fun books.    

I always taught the kids about the various holidays.  Chinese New Year was one of those holidays that the kids learned and had fun with every year.  The kiddos would learn about red envelopes, fireworks, parades with dragons and more.  

This year I don't have kindergartners to teach them all about the Chinese New Year, but in case you didn't know this year is the Year of the Horse.

Eric Carle's Year of the Horse for the Chinese New Year Alohamora
 Eric Carle posted this on his Facebook page.  Little things like this make me happy.

I also have some pretty fabulous neighbors that have decorated their homes for the Chinese New Year!  I love seeing the red and gold banners all around their front door/entry way.

Little things like decorated homes for holidays also make me happy.

Since today is the Chinese New Year I wanted to celebrate; I personally love celebrating Pi Day, Groundhog's Day (my favorite), and many other holidays just b/c it is fun.  I don't have any red envelopes to give to my kids, and we don't have fireworks just lying around the house.  However, I do have some leftover rice.  

Earlier this week I made this Southwest crock-pot chicken deal that we topped it over rice.  It doesn't matter what I cook, if I make rice then I ALWAYS have some leftover.  We often finish off the chicken or stroganoff of whatever else and have a plethora of rice to deal with.  Same goes with take out from our favorite Thai restaurant.  We, without fail, always have way too much rice.  I swear rice multiplies during the night.

Quick, easy, and healthy Fried Rice using leftover rice.  Alohamora Open a Book

I actually thoroughly enjoy rice.  However, what do you do with leftover rice when it is hard and not so ideal?

In my single days I just threw it out.  However, my husband has since shown me the light and taught me the ways of a quick, easy, and healthy meal using that leftover rice.  Make Fried Rice.  

Whenever you have leftover rice in the fridge pull out your wok or a big pan, grab some frozen veggies, and make yourself and your family a healthy dinner in less than 30 minutes.  It's a no brainer.  

With my leftover rice I'm making Fried Rice to celebrate the Chinese New Year in my own, very non-traditional way.  However, we'll use chopsticks and that makes everything more fun.  
Quick, easy, and healthy Fried Rice using leftover rice.  Alohamora Open a Book

Nothing is better than a tasty, quick, colorful, and healthy meal.  I love whipping something up fast and not feeling guilty or bloated or just icky from the grease or heaviness of the meail.  This meal will leave you happy and satisfied feeling good that you didn't ruin your diet.       

Plus, this meal is kid friendly. My kiddos love it, and they both love to attempt to use chopsticks.  My 2 1/2 year old is actually somewhat successful.  The 1 1/2 year old, a boy so I shouldn't be surprised, uses the chopsticks more as a weapon than a tool for eating.  
Quick, easy, and healthy Fried Rice using leftover rice.  Alohamora Open a Book

If you haven't got any red envelopes (they usually contain money in case you didn't know) then enjoy this holiday with a healthy dinner of Fried Rice.  
Quick, easy, and healthy Fried Rice using leftover rice.  Alohamora Open a Book

Quick & Healthy Fried Rice
Recipe: Alohamora Open a Book
Active time: 20 minutes
Inactive time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4- 6 people


1 tsp vegetable/canola oil
2-3 c. leftover cooked rice 
1/2 of a 12 oz frozen corn package
1/2 of a 12 oz frozen peas & carrots package
1 c. ham diced (optional)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
soy sauce


  1. Over medium heat, pour oil in a wok or large pan and let that heat up for 2 minutes or so. 
  2. Pour the rice into the pan.  If the rice is wet at all it'll stick a bit to the bottom of the pan.  This won't impact your dinner too much, but it can be a little annoying.  If you can let the rice air out a bit you'll have no issues. Stir the rice around in the hot oil for a minute or so just coating and cooking it all. This is the "frying" process and where Fried Rice gets it's name..  
  3. Add the frozen vegetables and ham (optional) to the rice.  Keep stirring everything together until it is warm and cooked through.  
  4. Break the eggs straight into the pan and stir it quickly around the rice mixture.  At this point you will see the rice mixture go from a white to a yellow color but you won't see an "egg" left b/c it will all be stirred into the rice evenly. 
  5. Finally, add the garlic powder and salt.  You can do less or more of the seasonings depending on your taste.  If you want to play it safe start with 1/8 tsp of each and go from there.
  6. Stir everything together, top it with soy sauce if you would like, and enjoy eating a meal with chopsticks or whatever utensil you desire. 
  7. The great thing about this meal is you can be completely flexible with the amount of rice you have.  Just tailor it to your leftovers.   
Fried Rice may not be a traditional Chinese New Year meal, but it is our tradition and it is deliciously easy!




  1. We love fried rice, but we've never had it like this before. We'll have to give it a whirl!