mexican fried rice

Last night, my friend Natalie came over for a quick bite, cut short by a terrible headache on my part. We had a basic meal of rice and bean tacos while catching up a bit. She got some very good news while we were eating… congratulations all around! I was disappointed that I wasn’t more fun to be around, but after a nights’ sleep I am feeling a lot better.

One “problem” I always seem to have is leftovers. I only needed enough rice to fill 4 tacos, but I ended up with a whole container… enough to fill about 20 tacos. I decided last night that I would make fried rice today, and I was excited about the prospects. Currently, however, my pantry is lacking in typical Chinese ingredients. I could make you Italian, Mexican, Indian, or American food… but I believe no sesame or peanut oil is to be had. Instead of walking to the grocery store to buy more stuff, I just used what I had on hand, and came up with a palatable alternative to regular fried rice, Mexican Fried Rice.

We’ve been trying to buy brown rice, because it is an easy way to get more vitamins and nutrients in your diet. Danielle and I both eat a lot of rice, and it hasn’t been a hard adjustment. Yesterday evening, I made some salsa (again with what was around) using sriracha, onions, a variety of cherry tomatoes, salt, and fresh garlic. I let it sit overnight and added some carrots and candied ginger
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I fried the rice in olive. After it had been frying for about 5 minutes, I added the “salsa”
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I let that cook for a few, then added black beans and some eggs to the mix.
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After the eggs were cooked, I grabbed put lunch in a bowl, sliced up some avocados, added some goat cheese and a little salsa verde.
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Not bad for not going to the store.

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pink rice

For someone who has extremely mixed feelings about the Loop (beautiful on a weekend night, sans other people) I sure have spent a lot of time there in the past 24 hours. Yesterday, lunch with Lisa to Oasis… a wonderfully bizarre Middle Eastern cafe in the back of a jewelery warehouse on Wabash… and today lunch in the park with my mom.

There are several nice things about the Loop; you realize you’re in a large city, you get to see a wider variety of people that usual, you get to go to Farmers’ Markets by just stepping outside of your office, there’s a Walgreens on every corner… Yesterday I bought some items at the Daley Center farmers’ market.

Flowers were a bunch for a dollar.
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I also bought some green beans and yellow tomatoes, which I put to good use when I made Greek Rice Salad, inspired by Gemma. Rice salad is an easy, inexpensive, delicious, and filling dish. I used brown rice, green beans, yellow tomatoes, spinach, kalamata olives, beets, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, oregano, dill, garlic, and some salt. It also works perfectly if you can’t eat pizza, even if you want to… The beets made the rice pink, which was pretty great!

First you prepare your rice, however you like. Next you make your veggies. Then you put the two together, and presto… a tasty lunch.

Here are the green beans cooking with some onions and garlic
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Here are some lovely yellow cherry tomatoes
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Here are all the ingredients combined… kind of like Captain Planet.
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Here is my mom enjoying her pink rice:
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And for dessert, some strawberries in REALLY good balsamic vinegar that Mr. Barreto gave me as a present.
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