Italian Fried Rice started as a way to use up leftovers…odds and ends of stray vegetables, a package of frozen cooked rice from the freezer, and a stray uncooked chicken breast from another meal. However, it turned out to be much greater than the sum of it’s parts. This could easily be a template for a vegetarian meal, leave out the chicken (and sausage) and make it with tofu.
Italian Fried Rice
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil (more might be needed)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 2 spicy Italian sausages, sliced (optional)
- 2 chicken breasts, cubed; or 1 package of extra firm tofu, cubed and drained on paper towels for 20 minutes.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 cups of cabbage, sliced
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 4 cups of ‘baby’ spinach
- Pesto sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Add the two tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet, heat to shimmering and add the chicken or tofu. Saute on medium high for about 5-10 minutes until they are beginning to brown and are mostly cooked, add the sausage to the pan if using. Cook for another 5 minutes, then remove to a plate.
- To any oil remaining in the skillet (more might be needed) add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until beginning to soften, add the garlic and red pepper. If not using spicy sausage, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the mix.
- Add the rice to the skillet and continue to saute until beginning to brown.
- Add the chicken back to the skillet, then the cabbage. Continue to stir until everything is hot but the cabbage is still crisp.
- Lastly, just before serving, add the baby spinach and stir just long enough to wilt it.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Top each serving with a tablespoon of pesto.
Aren’t leftovers wonderful?! They really get my creative juices flowing.