March is National Nutrition Month, and this year’s official theme is “Go Further with Food,” which means a few things: for one, it means consuming fewer calories. Second, it encourages making time for daily exercise, and lastly, it’s about making informed food choices.
Did you know that fried rice from a Chinese restaurant comes loaded with calories? If you were to order this dish at a chain restaurant, it could range anywhere from 1,000 to 1,250 calories alone! By just making this dish at home with common ingredients you may already have in your kitchen, you’re making a smarter, lower-calorie decision — and it’s just as delicious!
Below is The New York Foundling ‘s Department of Food and Nutrition Services’ Rainbow Fried Rice recipe. This is one of the many meals enjoyed by the individuals who live in our group residences for adults with developmental disabilities. As with many of the meals prepared inside their homes, our residents get a chance to shop for the ingredients and join in by prepping the food in the kitchen.
This version calls for using foods in your home to create a hearty, complete, colorful, and low-calorie meal in less than 15 minutes. You could even use leftover brown rice from your favorite Chinese takeout spot.
Rainbow Fried Rice
Servings (about 1 ½ cups of the recipe) = 260 calories, 10g protein, 7g fat, 41g carbs, 8g fiber.
- 1-2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (can also use pre-minced packaged garlic from your local market or bodega)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cups fresh vegetables, chopped (we used carrots, celery, and zucchini. These are staples that stay well in the crisper!)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups frozen vegetables (we used peas and corn)
- 2-3 scallions, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 cups brown rice, cooked
1. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Add vegetable oil and onion. Cook until translucent. Add garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds until garlic becomes fragrant and turns a golden color.
2. Add all fresh chopped vegetables and cook until almost soft.
3. Push vegetables to the side of the pan and crack the two eggs in the middle. Let them break and scramble them, careful to keep them separate from the vegetables at this time.
4. Push the cooked, scrambled eggs to the side, and add the frozen vegetables. Mix all contents well. Let the frozen vegetable thaw and cook through.
5. Add soy sauce and sesame oil. Add the scallions. Mix well.
6. Add rice and stir until all combined.
This recipe is from The New York Foundling’s team of dietitians, who work with individuals in our Developmental Disabilities division as well as women in our Young Mothers program. Through meal planning, nutrition consulting, kitchen overhauls, creative menus and regular check-ins, individuals across these programs have been losing weight, making healthier meal choices, and feeling empowered in their health journeys. Learn more about their work here.