On-The-Go Fried Rice Roll Up

Sit down meals….love them…wish we could do more of them.  With all that we’ve got going on in our lives, though, eating on the run is, unfortunately, starting to become the norm at our happy homestead — if you’ve lead a busy life, then I’m sure you know what I mean.

I’m always looking for ways to make quick, easy meals that are made from non, or minimally processed, healthy, whole foods that we can grab and eat quickly before our evening activities begin.  Believe me, it is a HUGE challenge!

Our standard, home-cooked “fast food”  is usually some type of bean burrito.  It’s filling, we can eat it with our hands, and is easily portable…the perfect on-the-go food.

But, after a while, the pallet needs a little change.  So, this week, I decided to create an Asian-inspired “burrito” to fit the bill.

As an added bonus, it makes use of fresh kale and carrots from my garden!

portugeuse kale

colorful carrots

It’s really easy to put this meal together, but you may want a couple more hands around to help, if you’re really in a hurry, like I almost always am.

Anyway, let’s get on to the recipe!

Ingredients: (these measurements are not exact – I didn’t have time to measure everything out, but, I don’t think you could go wrong if you used a little more or less of anything).

2 1/2 cups finely chopped, fresh, kale leaves

1 1/2 cups shredded carrots

1 1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts (almost make it the consistency of course graham cracker crumbs)

1 small package mushrooms, stems removed, finely chopped

2 cups cooked and cooled brown rice (I used instant – just as nutritious as the uncooked, but great for when you need it fast!)

1 small onion, finely chopped

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 1/2 -2  tbsp. ginger paste

2-3  tbsp. soy sauce, or tamari

dash, red chili flakes

salt and pepper to taste

1 package egg roll wraps (I used Nasoya brand)

1/2 – 1 tbsp. grape seed oil (or other cooking oil) to lightly baste the rolls before baking

Instructions:

To a hot wok, or large skillet, add the onion and a little bit of water and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.  Add the garlic and chili flakes, and continue to cook, stirring for 1 minute (add a little more water as you go, if food is beginning to stick).  Add walnuts and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to toast.  Add mushrooms and ginger paste, and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add in kale, and cook for 1 minute.  Add in rice, soy sauce, salt and pepper, and cook for 1 more minute.  Turn off heat.

Place about 1/3 cup of mixture onto the middle of an egg roll wrap and roll up, according to package instructions.  (Here’s a link to a video of how to do it, also).

Brush a tiny bit of oil over the top of each wrap, and bake, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, in a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes.  Let them cool for a bit, then grab ’em and get going to whatever activity you’re already running late for! 😉

fried rice roll ups

Hope you enjoy these Asian-inspired roll-ups as much as my family does.

Perhaps, sometime, they can even become part of a larger, sit-down meal.

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Homemade, Fresh Mex, Fast-Food Burritos

With all of the seed starting, transplanting, weeding, bed preparing, and  host of other daily gardening chores that I need to attend to, now that spring is on the horizon, the last thing I want to do is take time out and prepare a home cooked meal.  If it were up to me, I’d probably just hook myself up to a portable IV system of some sort, and feed off of it all day so that I could just go right on working on the tasks at hand.  The rest of my family, however,  prefers to eat – wouldn’t you just know it? – solid food.  So, what’s a girl to do? How about tossing together a home-cooked, healthy, fast food meal that satisfies everyone’s hunger, and  gets me right back out into the garden, where I can keep on truckin’.

The key to making homemade fast food is using quick-cooking foods, and  ingredients that are prepared ahead of time so that all I have to do is heat things up and toss them together to make a meal.

Today’s lunch is a great example of a healthy, fast-food meal that I often throw together for my family.  The three key ingredients are brown rice, black bean salsa, and flour tortillas.  I prefer to use instant brown rice (I love instant brown rice.  It gives all of the health benefits of regular brown rice, and may even have a lower glycemic index, but takes only 10 minutes, instead of 50, to prepare – perfect when I’m looking to make a quick meal), a home-made Fresh Mex black bean salsa (recipe to follow), and ready- to- cook flour tortillas from Tortillaland.

Here’s the 411 on this fantastic, fast-food meal…

Homemade Fresh Mex Black Bean Salsa

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked black beans (I prefer the taste and texture of homemade, but canned works in a pinch)

2 cups canned, petite diced tomatoes (for some reason canned tastes better than fresh, to me, in this recipe)

2 cups frozen, thawed, organic white corn, or fresh, homegrown  (so that we avoid those pesky GMOs)

1 large, sweet onion, finely chopped

1 large bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped

salt to taste

(if you like it spicy, you could add some chopped hot pepper into the mix, too!)

Instructions:

Drain as much of the liquid as you can from the beans, tomatoes, and corn.  Toss all of the ingredients together into a large bowl, mix well, and season with a little salt, and you’ve got one fabulous, homemade Fresh Mex Black Bean salsa!

black bean salsa

It was the leftovers that I’d made for  Superbowl Sunday that became the inspiration for the burritos that I made, today…

Homemade, Fresh Mex, Fast-Food Burritos

Ingredients:

1-2 cups Homemade Fresh Mex Black Bean Salsa

1 cup uncooked instant brown rice

6 ready to cook flour tortillas

Instructions:

Cook brown rice and flour tortillas according to package instructions.  At the same time, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  When pan is hot, add black bean salsa and begin to stir, gently, to heat through.  When rice is finished cooking, add to salsa and stir to incorporate into mixture.  Turn off heat.  Fill each flour tortilla with about 1/3 cup of the black bean salsa/rice mixture, roll it up, and that’s it!  Fast.  Easy.  Healthy.  No knives, forks, or plates needed.  Simply grab one and head back out to the garden (or whatever else you need to get back to).  I typically make 18-20 of these burritos at one time for my family, and they rarely last into the next day!

black bean salsa rice burrito

You could also serve this as a soft taco, at a sit-down meal.   Just add some chopped lettuce,  sliced avocado and enjoy it at a little slower pace.

This would also make a wonderful filling for veggie enchiladas.

Oftentimes I serve the salsa, alone, with organic tortilla chips as a stand alone meal.

I’ll bet you could think of a hundred different ways to make your own, healthy, fast food meal using ingredients, like this.

If you come up with something interesting, or fun, let me know!