Dinner, Nutrition, Pregnancy, Recipe

Healthy Fried Rice + the Whole Egg Super Food

Moving is never a fun task. It’s something we all do at least once, at one time or another in life. It’s stressful, exhausting, a pretty good workout and often you lose your favorite pair of shoes (or something else you really like).

I just moved last Saturday. Things are still in boxes. The kitchen is finally coming along, at least enough for me to be able to cook something in. Going to the store wasn’t on my list of things to do, so I decided to utilize food items and ingredients I already had on hand! Woo-hoo!

This style of cooking — when you use things you already have stocked in your kitchen — is such a resourceful, sustainable and straight up useful way of creating a meal. I should really do it more often!

healthy fried rice 1

On hand there were Brussels sprouts, zucchini, a little bit of leftover mushroom, half a dozen eggs or so, a bunch of spices and herbs, brown rice and shoyu soy sauce. Fried rice it was!

Threw some brown rice in a rice cooker with some saffron, sautéed up the chopped veggies in some avocado oil and quickly salt + peppered them. Had garlic and onion on hand (and I typically put garlic and onion in/on most things I cook), so threw that in with the veggies. Easy peasy!

Added the rice to the pan, cracked in some eggs, and doused it all with the shoyu soy sauce. Wanted to add a kick to it, but realized I left the hot sauce at the old house, out on the counter. Made do with red chili pepper flakes and it turned out to be really tasty!

healthy fried rice 2

Healthy Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups brown rice of choice, cooked
  • 5 large eggs, pasture-raised
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  •  2 cups Brussels sprouts, finely chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cups mushrooms, chopped (they shrink down a lot)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp shoyu soy sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp saffron

Directions:

  1. Cook rice with saffron in a rice cooker. While rice is cooking, wash and chop all of the veggies.
  2. Heat avocado oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once heated, add the Brussels sprouts, zucchini and mushrooms. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Next, add the garlic and onion. Turn heat up to medium-high and sauté another 2-3 minutes, or until all veggies have begun to soften a bit and the garlic smells fragrant.
  3. Add rice to the pan of veggies. It will have a yellow color form the saffron. Stir to combine well.
  4. Make a little hole in the center of your rice and veggie mixture. Crack all 5 of the eggs in the hole. Turn heat back down to medium. Stir fairly often to cook the eggs without burning them. Make sure they’re cooked through, 2-3 minutes or until they don’t look shiny or runny anymore.
  5. Season with fresh cracked black pepper, shoyu soy sauce and red chili pepper flakes if you like that extra kick! Enjoy!

Note: Adding freshly chopped herbs like cilantro or chives would have been really good with this! I didn’t have anything like that on hand, so it wasn’t added to my dish.

healthy fried rice 3

I really love eggs, from the perspective of a nutrition professional, and just as someone who enjoys food and eating. And I’m talking about the whole egg. Including the amazing yolk!

They’re delicious (they basically taste like whatever you decide to jazz them up with), they’re extremely versatile, great for baking with and are pretty much a super food (and I do not use that phrase lightly).

Whole eggs (thanks to their yolk) are an excellent source of choline, a vitamin that is often overlooked, but is important in the health and function of our liver, arteries and nervous system. During pregnancy and lactation, this B-vitamin relative is especially important. It is similar in the level of importance as folate is for brain development and preventing neural tube defects.

Choline may also play a role in placental function and thus, how well your baby is nourished in the womb. Studies have shown that choline status in mom may effect brain development and thus cognitive function and memmory in baby, in utero and during infancy while being breastfed.

Two whole eggs each day will get a pregnant women to meet half of her needs for choline! Another excellent source of choline is liver, yet not many people consume this nutrient dense food. At least not consistently. It can also be found in cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, tofu, and sunflower seeds, but in much smaller quantities.

Choline and the omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, act together to perform many important chemical reactions in the body during pregnancy to ensure healthy growth and development of baby. DHA can actually be found in eggs as well, and is higher in content in eggs laid by pasture-raised hens, due to their ability to roam free eating insects and grass.

Just to prove how much eggs (with their lovely yolk) are truly a super food, they also contain B vitamins, as well as the lovely fat solubles: vitamins A, D, E and K. Many women, including those who are pregnant, are not meeting their requirement for vitamin A.

Vitamin A is important for baby’s developing eyes, lungs, heart and other crucial organs. Eggs are a source of actual, ready to utilize, vitamin A (not beta carotene, which is typically found in red and orange produce like sweet potatoes and red bell peppers).

The yolk is even packaged so perfect, it has antioxidants. Two in fact: lutein and zeaxanthin, both important for healthy eye development. Gee, thanks mother nature.

Last but not least, eggs provide fat and protein, which help keep you feeling fuller longer and (combined with their total lack of carbohydrates) they do not spike your blood glucose levels. Great in fried rice. Great for breakfast. Great on toast with avocado. Great hard boiled and chopped up in salads. Great so many different ways!

Healthy fried rice 4

And don’t be worried about their cholesterol content and it potentially raising your cholesterol levels and increasing your chances of developing heart disease. Their association (or any dietary source of cholesterol) with raising serum cholesterol levels in the body was actually found to not be a sound theory after all (Current Atherosclerosis Reports, 2010). So please, enjoy the whole egg.

xo, Natalie

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