Every week, we have to figure out what to cook while also handling the one million other chores our lives demand. It ain’t easy! But when it comes to Mondays, I love getting off to a great start by joining families across the nation in eating a meatless meal.
Almost seven years ago, I started teaching cooking to kids in the New York Housing authority as part of my job as a chef instructor at The Sylvia Center. We focused on what was growing in season, always cooking one savory vegetable dish and one sweet dish for dessert in class. Every now and then, a child would ask, “Hey, where’s the meat?” Our answer was simple but true, “You already know how to eat meat! We’re going to focus on learning how delicious vegetables and fruits can be.” Usually, that’s the last I’d hear about the meat!
The key to our success was keeping the recipes simple, focusing on flavor, and introducing new vegetables and fruits in a way the kids were already familiar with, like veggie fried rice. It’s one of those recipes that even today I use and tweak by season in my Joyful 12 Kitchen Learning Lab and in my own home kitchen.
So when you’re scratching your head about what to cook on Meatless Monday, don’t sweat it. My Sweet Treat to Eat Kohlrabi and Sweet Potato Fried Rice is guaranteed to be easy and please your entire family.
Here are my two tips to make this your go-to Meatless Monday meal of choice:
- Shorten your cooking time by saving some of your brown rice from take-out or from another meal that required you to cook it. The texture of fried rice is best when cold rice is used instead of freshly cooked!
- Use frozen veggies when fresh are not available. Fried rice is SO forgiving. The rule I use is to keep it colorful. Maybe you’ll put in frozen peas and frozen broccoli but add a fresh carrot or red bell pepper to keep a fresh taste and crunchy texture.
If you want to learn how to cook veggies your kids will demand, join my Joyful 12 Online Kitchen Learning Lab. You will learn over 100 family friendly, gluten and allergy free, recipes to love cooking and eating seasonal veggies every month of the year and improve the health of your children with JOY!
- kohlrabi (purple or green), 1 small to medium
- green onion, 1 bunch
- sweet potato, 1 small
- bok choy, 2 medium
- eggs, 2
- coconut oil, 2-3 TBS
- hoisin, 3 TBS
- worcestershire sauce, gluten free, 3 TBS
- rice wine vinegar, 2 TBS (or 1 lime)
- sriracha, 1 tsp
- tamari (gluten free soy sauce), 2 TBS
- brown rice, 6 cups cooked
- cilantro (fresh), 1 small bunch
- Take 5 minutes to get out all your ingredients, measuring and cooking equipment needed, and place them on a cookie sheet within easy reach.
- Wash all produce.
- Cut green onions into rounds. Separate the white bottoms from the green tops. You’ll cook the white bottoms and save the green tops to garnish the fried rice.
- Peel and grate sweet potato on the big holes of a cheese grater.
- Cut bok choy into small pieces.
- Peel and cut kohlrabi into rounds. Then cut slices and then dice.
- Chop cilantro leaves and set aside for a garnish.
- Preheat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium high heat. You want a pan large enough to eventually hold all the vegetables, plus the cooked rice.
- Add two tablespoons coconut oil to the preheated pan.
- Add the whites of the green onion and the grated sweet potato. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the bok choy and diced kohlrabi. Add another ½ to 1 tablespoon coconut oil to the pan. Saute another minute.
- Add worcestershire sauce, hoisin, tamari (gluten free soy sauce), rice wine vinegar, and sriracha to the pan. Stir into the veggie mixture. Sauté another minute to combine flavors.
- Add the cooked brown rice to the pan and keep cooking for another minute or until heated through.
- With your spoon, move rice and veggie mixture to the left side of the pan. Add the two beaten eggs to the right side and quickly scramble. Then mix both together with your spoon.
- To serve, garnish the stir fry with the green tops of the spring onions and some chopped cilantro for color and texture.