One of my favorite traditions growing up was choosing dinner on your birthday 🙂
We started this tradition at a really young age, as far back as I can remember in elementary school.
When you knew your birthday was coming up, you got to pick what your parents made for dinner that night!
As a kid, I had two favorite meals:
- Pepperoni pizza from the local pizza joint, Mission Pizza
- Homemade lemon chicken & fried rice
Like, I could eat those 2 meals all day every day and be 100% happy.
So, every year, on my birthday in February, I would special request lemon chicken & fried rice, with my favorite strawberry shortcake for dessert 😉
(I know, I was clearly skilled at menu pairing from a young age…)
Over the years, I’ve tweaked the classic fried rice recipe a bit.
I doubled the amount of egg and green onion (because let’s be honest, that’s the best part), and added a cup of frozen mixed veggies to give it a little pop of freshness.
This has become my favorite way to use up leftover white rice from Chinese, Thai, or Indian food takeout.
It’s soooooo easy!
Since the rice is already cooked, the recipe comes together in just minutes.
(If you don’t have any leftover rice, you can also just cook some earlier in the day & let it cool uncovered in the fridge until dinner. The goal is to have it be slightly dried out before stir frying.)
Simply scramble some eggs in peanut oil (cooking them extra long so they get nice and golden and crispy), then stir fry the rice and green onion together. Stir in some frozen veggies, chicken broth, soy sauce, black pepper, and sesame oil, and you’re done!
- 4 tablespoons unrefined peanut oil, divided
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 5 1/2 cups cooked, cold, preferably day old, medium grain white or brown rice
- 2 cups chopped green onion
- 1 cup frozen peas and carrots mix
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a small bowl along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and beat with a fork or whisk until well mixed.
Pour the egg into the warm wok or skillet and cook, stirring constantly with a spatula, for 5 or 6 minutes, until the egg is broken up into small pieces and is crispy and golden. Remove the egg from the pan and set aside for later.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil to the wok or skillet and keep the heat on high. Add the rice and green onion and stir fry for about 10 minutes until the green onion is cooked.
Next add the peas and carrots, chicken broth, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and soy sauce and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until hot and well mixed. Add the cooked egg, ground black pepper, and sesame oil, stir to mix well, and remove from heat. Enjoy while hot. (Although it makes great leftovers too!)
This recipe is one of those easy weeknight side dishes that is inexpensive and super delicious.
It’s just sauteed power greens and mushrooms, seasoned simply with some fresh lemon juice and garlic.
The mushrooms require a little patience, since it’s important to let them cook long enough to get nice and golden and move past the rubbery stage ;), but once the mushrooms are done, the garlic and greens cook up within minutes and you’re ready to serve.
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t enjoy prep-work, then this recipe is for you.
Just pick up a giant 1 lb bag of Earthbound Farm’s Power Greens (they’re prewashed, so you don’t have to worry about that), another pound of pre-sliced mushrooms, and literally all you have to chop for this side dish is a few cloves of garlic.
Can’t get much easier than that.
When it’s ready, you’ll have a giant pot of satisfying greens and mushrooms to go with your main dish.
I served these greens as a side to decadent pasta, but it also goes well with some brown rice and a simple protein, like Classic Roasted Chicken or Seared Pork Chops with Mustard Pan Sauce. Enjoy!
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb white button mushrooms, sliced
- 6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 lb Earthbound Farms "Power Greens" or other blend of greens (spinach, chard, kale, etc.)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Maldon sea salt, for sprinkling
Add the olive oil to a large enameled dutch oven and warm over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the mushrooms are very well browned. (Don't skimp on this step!)
Add the garlic, kosher salt, and ground black pepper to the dutch oven, reduce the heat to medium, and let cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
Next, add several large handfuls of power greens to the dutch oven. Stir with a spatula and let wilt slightly, then keep adding more greens until they all fit in the dutch oven.
Continue cooking and stirring until the greens are wilted but still bright green.
Turn off the heat, squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the top, drizzle with a little extra olive oil, and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt. Serve right away!
Who doesn’t crave sweet potato fries every now and then?
The salty-sweet combo gets me every time.
And they are especially delicious when served with aioli.
Classic aioli, pesto aioli, herbed garlic aioli, or my personal favorite, chipotle aioli.
Have you tried the slightly more tender (and easier to make) sweet potato wedges?
I mean, it doesn’t get much easier. You don’t even have to peel the sweet potatoes! Simply slice into wedges, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and bake for about 30 minutes.
Voila! You’ve got a giant plate of creamy golden wedges, just waiting for dipping.
For reals, don’t skip the sauce. It’s everything.
I lightened it up a little by using half Greek yogurt, half mayo, and kicked up the flavor by like 10 notches by stirring in canned chipotle peppers, lime, and fresh garlic.
It’s so good, you may find yourself using the fries as a glorified aioli scooper. (Hey, I won’t judge).
- 2 extra large sweet potatoes, or 3 medium-large, (enough to fill 1 baking sheet when cut up)
- Generous drizzle of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle peppers, or more, to taste
- Juice of 1/4 lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Wash and scrub the sweet potatoes until they are clean. Pat them dry with paper towels.
Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half into lengthwise wedges. If your sweet potatoes are extra long, cut them in half cross-wise first, before you slice into wedges.
Place the potato wedges on the parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to coat, and spread the wedges out evenly.
Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the potatoes are browned and tender.
As the potatoes bake, make the aioli dipping sauce by stirring together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, chipotle, lime juice, and garlic. Let rest in the refrigerator until the wedges are done.
When the potatoes are done, remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve right away with the chipotle aioli.