Good Morning, Veggie Lovers!
I’m over here still basking in the afterglow from my amazing birthday on Saturday. I celebrated with lunch at P.F. Changs with my friend, Molly, free Starbucks, and a few drinks, chips and salsa, and churros after work with a couple of my favorite coworkers and my friend, Amanda. Everyone made me feel incredibly special and loved.
Recently, I have been obsessing over this fried rice recipe that I adapted from Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet. Her book introduced me to quite a few new-to-me veggies, that I now absolutely love, including daikon and lotus roots.
Both roots are high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, and are relatively low in calories. Daikon is traditionally served with foods that are oily or difficult to digest, because it contains enzymes that help break down fats. It has also has be shown to help the body clean out animal proteins and fat that may be left over in your system. Both roots are known to help the body break down excess mucus, particularly in the lungs.
Lotus and daikon both have very mild flavors, and tend to absorb whatever flavors they are cooked with. In the case of this recipe, the main flavor comes from shoyu and rice vinegar. This fried rice is super easy, and so incredibly delicious. You really must try it.
(serves 2 or 3)
- 2 T sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 1/2 cup lotus root, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 1/2 cup daikon root, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 1/2 block tofu, cubed
- 2 cups cooked brown rice or 1 1/3 cup brown rice and 2/3 cup millet
- shoyu and rice vinegar to taste
- 4 heads baby bok choy, chopped (about 2 cups)
- sea salt
- green onion or scallions, chopped
1. Heat sesame oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic and a pinch of sea salt, and allow to cook for about 10 seconds.
2. Add the onion, lotus, daikon, and another pinch of sea salt to the wok, and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
3. Add the carrots and tofu, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a tiny amount of water if ingredients begin to stick to the pan.
4. Add the rice, or rice combo, and bok choy to the wok, along with about 3 tablespoons of water, and your preferred amount of shoyu and rice vinegar. I don’t measure, but I probably use a couple tablespoons of each. Continue to stir-fry until the rice is hot, and most of the liquid is absorbed.
5. Dish up, and top with chopped green onions or scallions.
This dish contains all of the important factors for a complete meal: veggies, protein, and complex carbohydrates, so no need to make anything to go along, unless you so desire. I like it by itself, or paired with an Asian-style soup, such as miso soup, or a pureed squash soup.
You may not be able to find lotus and daikon at your standard grocery store, but never fear, most health food stores, like Whole Foods, and Asian markets, carry them. I bought most of my ingredients from Uwajimaya, a large Asian market local to Washington and Oregon.
Have you ever tried lotus or daikon root? What are your favorite ways to use these veggies?
I hope your week is off to a fantastic start!