Remember this lunch?
It was so tasty that I decided to recreate it tonight and put together a little step-by-step tutorial for everyone.
The ingredients? Brown rice, steamed kale, onion, carrots, pistachios, and Italian dressing. Tonight, I added some tofu for an extra little protein punch. There are no exact measurements â€“ just make the proportions of each ingredient as big or little as you like. Love carrots? Add some more. Need some greens in your life? Toss in extra kale.
Alright â€“ Step 1. Begin to prepare the cast iron tofu (<— directions). Unless you need to boil the brown rice (see my shortcut down below), the tofu will take the longest to prepare. I recently stumbled on this new â€˜super firmâ€™ tofu at Trader Joeâ€™s â€“ very tasty.
Meanwhile, chop the carrots and onions into bite-sized pieces. I used a sweet white onion.
Drop the veggies in a pan with a little oil. Veggie oil, olive oil, or coconut oil would work. I used coconut oil.
Side note: Thereâ€™s a great little piece in Oprah magazine this month about coconut oil. The article states that:
â€œNutritionists have historically lumped coconut oil into the same category as cream, butter, and lard â€“ namely â€˜off limitsâ€™ â€“ because it consists largely of saturated fat, the kind linked to heart diseaseâ€¦ [however], current science indicates thatâ€¦ the crucial question is whether [the fat] consists of â€˜medium-chainâ€™ or â€˜long-chainâ€™ fatty acidsâ€¦ coconut oil is the richest naturally occurring source of medium-chain triglycerides [which] are more readily absorbed into the small intestineâ€¦ meaning they donâ€™t enter the lymphatic system and are less likely to get deposited in the stomach as fat.â€
The article says that the jury is still out on whether itâ€™s the healthiest choice, and thereâ€™s no conclusive evidence that coconut oil is better than canola or olive oil, which both promote cardiovascular health. However, I think coconut oil is MIGHTY tasty, and thatâ€™s reason enough for me to use it. (It also makes an excellent hand lotion, but thatâ€™s a story for another post.)
Anyway, stir-fry the onions and carrots on medium heat in the oil of your choice until the onion begins to brown. Youâ€™ll want to also begin cooking the kale per the Steamed Greens method.
If I had another wok, I couldâ€™ve made everything at once, but I only have two appropriate pans.
Now â€“ hereâ€™s the trick that makes this recipe go REALLY fast â€“ use pre-cooked brown rice or frozen brown rice from Trader Joeâ€™s (I hear Consumer Reports recently rated this a #1 food product). I used a pack and a half because I made a huge batch of stir-fry. Just heat and go.
Final steps â€“ combine everything going and add in the pistachios (very important! Donâ€™t sub in another nut â€“ the pistachios are worth it).
Then, drizzle everything in Italian dressing. Lots of it. Mix it all up.
And enjoy. Like I said, I made a HUGE batch, so this delicious meal will be feeding us for a while. The best part is that this meal is one that gets better with time â€“ the nuts soak up the dressing and get extra tasty.
Couch is calling my name. Do you hear that? Itâ€™s saying, â€œCaitlin, Caaaaitlin, come sit on my soft cushions.â€