Thai Chicken Fried Rice

Thai Chicken Fried Rice NG

By Katie Mae Stanley of Nourishing Simplicity

Savory grains of rice are mixed with fresh summer vegetables, tender chicken, and spicy basil.

Thai chicken fried rice is the perfect dish to enjoy anytime, especially in the summer when gardens are bursting with zucchini, bell peppers, string beans, and basil, all of which make up this dish.

I am a huge rice fan. Part of that comes from living in Mexico for ten years where I ate it almost every day. The other part is simply because rice is pretty tasty. It helps that rice is an excellent way to stretch pricier items like meat. Even now that I have been State-side for over two years I crave rice if I go more than a few days without eating it.

Rice is the humble staple of many cultures. Whether it is Arabic rice, Chinese egg fried rice, Jamaican rice and peas, or a savory miso rice congee, rice is an integral part of life. It is the substance that keeps many people going.

Unless it is necessary for me to go grain-free I don’t see my kitchen ever going without rice.

Thai is one of my weakness when it comes to picking a restaurant to eat at. If I could, I would eat it out at least once a week but that is not exactly budget friendly.

Thankfully over time I have started to learn how to recreate some of my favorite dishes, like yellow curry or Kimi’s simple Thai broth. It was only a matter of time that I finally broke down to create a Thai chicken fried rice that satisfied my cravings.

This Thai chicken fried rice is a combination of three of my favorite restaurants in various parts of California.

I mentioning making velvet chicken in this recipe. It is a process of poaching the chicken to make it more tender. It is a beneficial step but not necessary. There are times when I skip it, so don’t pressure yourself to do it. If you have a little extra time then it is worth it in my book.

If you are confused about why we are okay with white rice read more about it here.

Thai Chicken Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups steamed white rice (Jasmine preferred), made at least a few hours before and chilled
  • 1 pound chicken breast, thinly sliced and velveted (optional)
  • 1 cup Thai basil*
  • 1 cup zucchini, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup string beans or long beans, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons coconut/palm sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce/tamari for gluten free
  • 1/2 teaspoon unrefined salt

* If Thai basil can not be found, feel free to substitute with sweet basil. To cut the basil roll a few leaves at a time into a cigar shape and thinly slice.

Directions:

1. Cook the rice a few hours to a day or two in advance. Allow to cool.

2. Thinly slice the chicken breast. Use the velveting method to par-cook the chicken or set the raw chicken aside to cook in the skillet.

3. Quarter the zucchini, cutting it 1/4 of an inch thick. Remove the end from the string or long beans, cutting them into 1/4 inch pieces. Cut the bell pepper in half, removing the seeds. Thinly slice the bell pepper. Roll a few basil leaves at a time like a cigar. Thinly slice the rolls of basil. Crush the garlic.

4. Mix the soy sauce, palm sugar, and salt in a small dish.

5. In a wok or cast iron skillet heat the oil for two minutes.  Add the green beans and bell pepper. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes, allowing them to blister, stirring frequently.

6. Add the chicken and crushed garlic. Stir until the chicken is almost cooked.

7. Add the rice, zucchini, the soy sauce mixture. Stir for 3-5 minutes until thoroughly mixed and heated through. Add the basil and stir again.

Top with extra basil if desired.

Thai Chicken Fried Rice
 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups steam white rice (Jasmin preferred)
  • 1 lb chicken breast, thinly sliced and velveted (optional)
  • 1 cup Thai basil*
  • 1 cup zucchini, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup string beans or long beans, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 tsp coconut/palm sugar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce/tamari for gluten free
  • ½ tsp unrefined salt
Instructions
  1. * If Thai basil can not be found, feel free to substitute with sweet basil. To cut the basil roll a few leaves at a time into a cigar shape and thinly slice.
  2. Cook the rice a few hours to a day or two in advance. Allow to cool.
  3. Thinly slice the chicken breast. Use the velveting method to par-cook the chicken or set the raw chicken aside to cook in the skillet.
  4. Quarter the zucchini, cutting it a ¼ of an inch thick. Remove the end from the string or long beans, cutting them into ¼ inch pieces. Cut the bell pepper in half, removing the seeds. Thinly slice the bell pepper. Roll a few basil leaves at a time like a cigar. Thinly slice the rolls of basil. Crush the garlic.
  5. Mix the soy sauce, palm sugar, and salt in a small dish.
  6. In a wok or cast iron skillet heat the oil for two minutes. Add the green beans and bell pepper. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes, allowing them to blister, stirring frequently.
  7. Add the chicken and crushed garlic. Stir until the chicken is almost cooked.
  8. Add the rice, zucchini, the soy sauce mixture. Stir for 3-5 minutes until thoroughly mixed and heated through. Add the basil and stir again.
  9. Top with extra basil if desired.

 

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino NG

By Katie Mae Stanley of Nourishing Simplicity

This drink is sure to hit the spot on a hot day. It is creamy, slightly sweet, and bursting with vanilla.

Few things are better than drinking a cold icy drink out of a mason jar with a fun straw in the summer. This vanilla bean creme fauxccino is definitely at the top of my list right now. Hot days make me want to wander into a coffee chain and order a nice big blended iced drink. Honest moment here, I may have in the past couple months given in and ordered a few with less syrup and dairy-free milk.

As you know, I am a big fan of fauxccinos for many reasons- they are delicious, so much better for you, less expensive, and easy to whip up! You can have your own ready in less time than it takes to drive to the coffee shop!

This specific fauxccino is coffee free, it’s a milk based drink instead. I used almond milk, but you can adapt to whatever type of milk you prefer. The key to this icy drink is making frozen milk cubes. They ensure that your drink doesn’t become watery.

Other Fauxccinos to Enjoy:

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino

1 cup milk (raw, almond, or coconut)
8 milk ice cubes (raw, almond, or coconut)
2 TBS maple syrup or raw honey
1/2 vanilla bean caviar*
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Whipped cream (optional)

1. Freeze milk of choice in an ice cube tray until solid.

2. *Cut a vanilla bean in half, slice it open. Use the sharp side of the knife to scrape out the caviar (seeds).

3. Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.

4. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream if desired.

Vanilla Bean Creme Fauxccino
 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk (raw, almond, or coconut)
  • 8 milk ice cubes (raw, almond, or coconut)
  • 2 TBS maple syrup or raw honey
  • ½ vanilla bean caviar*
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Freeze milk of choice in an ice cube tray until solid
  2. *Cut a vanilla bean in half, slice it open. Use the sharp side of the knife to scrape out the caviar (seeds).
  3. Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.
  4. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream if desired.

 

5 Things I’m Loving

With three little people in very different stages, with a husband doing multiple part-time jobs while in seminary, and with me keeping up with the family (as best I can) while dealing with some health issues, life can slip by just like that. So this week I’ve continued to concentrate on the many things that TODAY I am thankful for – little lady’s curls, playing “beaver” with my five-year-old, my nine-year-olds growing love of books, and the help and love of my husband – just as a starter. It’s good for my soul.

Along those lines, here are some fun things that I am loving – many of them kitchen related – because food and the joy of eating is a great gift too!

Pretty Platters

Polish Pottery Platter

When Joel and I were getting married, I searched for someplace to register for Polish pottery, as I loved the beautiful design work. With more limited options online then, and Polish pottery not as common as now, it ended up being an impossible task. So how fun is it that the house we are house sitting at has a lovely collection of Polish pottery! We have been enjoying all of it, including the above snack platter. When I put this little snack together for my kids, the platter made it seem so special, even though it was very plain food. (This is sort of cheating since I had the Polish pottery mug on my first list of things I’m loving, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving with so many pieces to use!).

Mushroom Kit

Mushroom Kit - so fun for the kids, and delicious too!

I saw one of these Mini Mushroom Farms (affiliate link)  at a local store on sale, and I’ve always wanted to try one. I pretended it was just for the girls, but really I was the one most excited to try it out. The picture above was a couple of days into it, and you can see another picture here just several days later. They grow fast! It was a lot of fun, and now I want to buy mushroom plugs to put into a log to grow more edible mushrooms!

Sisterly Love

The love of sisters

My oldest is starting to grow up so much, and one of the things she is growing in is looking out for her newest sister. This shows up in watching out for her in the backyard as the three of them play together (I love watching them all together – it’s so sweet) or even setting up elaborate “play rooms” for her in our living room! I shared about that on my Instagram a few weeks ago.

Favorite Sweet Potatoes in a Basket

Sweet Potatoes in a basket

The AIP diet can be a little tiring on the carbohydrate side, but I’ve found that mixing up the sweet potato varieties really helps! I LOVE both this kind of sweet potato (often called a Japanese sweet potato) and this wonderful basket I got on clearance to hold them all.

Peonies

peonies

There are some beautiful plants at the house we are house sitting. Peonies have burst open in their glory in the yard, and we have a lovely vase of them on our table. It makes me smile every time I see it!

Bonus Item!

And finally, I shared with my subscriber list last week some updated information on my health, and I got so many notes from so many of you! It. Made. My. Week. I felt so blessed to have so many people who visit my blog who genuinely care about the person behind the screen. And you know what? That doesn’t happen very much online –especially on something as impersonal as a food blog. To those of you who leave comments, write me emails, and private message me, I may not always have the time/energy to reply in a timely manner, but know that I read every single one of them, and appreciate you greatly!

Greek Sweet Potato Hash – $15 Meal from Trader Joe’s

$15 Trader Joe's Meal - Sweet Potato Hash -- The Nourishing Gourmet

By Natalia Gill of An Appetite For Joy

What could be better than diced sweet potatoes fried up with garlic and green onions, then topped with wild peppery arugula, salty feta and a sprinkle of sumac? Not much in this world if you ask me.

This Greek sweet potato hash is also versatile – delicious on its own or stuffed into a pita pocket or lettuce wrap!

One thing I love about the direction Kimberly takes with this blog is learning to save money while eating right. She came up with the idea of buying meal ingredients at Trader Joe’s with $15 in pocket and I thought it was a fun challenge!

I didn’t include cooking fat and spices in the cost. To more than offset this, know that there will be plenty of leftover sweet potatoes, arugula and sheep feta. My son loves packing the feta with olives in his lunch. And the extra sweet potatoes come in handy for our favorite dessert – Sweet Potato Pie with Lemon Zest.

3 FAVORITE TJ’S FINDS

When creating the recipe, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite items at Trader Joe’s:

Sweet potatoes – I find TJ’s to have good prices on basic organic sweet potatoes.

Wild arugula – This was a new one for me. I like that there are a couple of wild-grown foods in the store as a cost-saving option compared to organic (wild blueberries and now wild arugula). This bagged arugula was amazingly fresh and the best arugula I have ever purchased from a grocery store. It was almost as tasty as the one I buy from a local farmer.

Sheep feta – I love this stuff. It comes in a sizable block that is pre-cut into manageable pieces. This cheese is much creamer than cow-milk feta and easier on digestion, like goat’s milk. It lasts all week for us!

COST BREAKDOWN

3 lb bag of sweet potatoes – $4.49
wild arugula – $2
green onions – $1.29
sheep feta – $6.49
lemon – 50 cents

TOTAL – $14.77

This meal comes together in a flash, especially if you can grab a few minutes earlier in the day to prepare the sweet potatoes (I like breaking up cooking tasks). I just cut them into french fry shape (a good knife makes this easy!) and soak in ice water in the fridge til I’m ready to cook.

$15 Trader Joe's Meal - Sweet Potato Hash -- The Nourishing Gourmet

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Greek Sweet Potato Hash - $15 Meal from Trader Joe's
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Greek-inspired
Serves: 4-6
 
This Greek-inspired sweet potato hash makes a great light meal for spring or summer. Enjoy it on its own or stuffed into a homemade pita, tortilla or lettuce wrap. A cup of bone broth on the side completes the meal.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and diced small
  • 4 scallions, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried oregano, to taste
  • unrefined salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cooking fat (ghee, bacon fat, coconut oil, etc.)
  • OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:
  • chunks of sheep feta
  • arugula
  • sumac
Instructions
  1. This is a one-pot meal if you halve the recipe. But with the quantity of sweet potatoes, it's necessary to make it in two skillets.
  2. Heat two skillets over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon cooking fat to each. When hot, add diced sweet potatoes and cook until they start to soften, about 5-10 minutes. Add a little salt.
  3. Add the scallions and cook another 5 minutes, or until they start to get a little crispy. (Add extra fat if needed.)
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and oregano and cook another 5 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve with a lemon wedge, a pile of arugula on top and some feta if desired. I also like to sprinkle on a little sumac.