Hellooooo! Long time, no see! Sorry for dropping off the blog-o-sphere.
For those of you who don’t know, last year I gave up my traditional, desk-based career to become a professional cat sitter.
You read that right. I am a professional cat sitter.
A whole other post about my reasoning may appear at some point, but I am sticking to the task at hand today. As a professional cat sitter, I look after peoples’ cats when they go on holiday. Not in my own house, of course. I don’t have 10-15 cats running wild like some trendy cat cafe in East London. Instead the cats stay in its own, often very lovely homes, and I cycle around to visit them one or two times per day. It is a crazy job, but I happen to live in an area where someone has got to do it (aka – high-population density, lots of disposable income, cats as children, and perhaps most crucially/sad, no one seems to know their neighbours). All in all though, it is a pretty cool job and has been far more successful than I ever thought. I get to meet loads of super nice families, play with even more cuddly cats and ride my bicycle around SW London. I no longer commute via the horrible train system that is SW Trains and, for the most part, I am in control of my daily schedule.
I say most of the time. This business is totally cyclical. Some weeks my schedule is pretty light. Other weeks are insanity. These past three weeks weeks are some of my busiest of the year, what with Easter and a two-week school holiday. 5:00 am starts followed by 12 – 15 hour days are pretty gruelling! In the evening all I could manage is watching some trash TV (A Place in the Sun anyone?!), dinner, bed, rinse, repeat. I am only now starting to emerge again from the chaos and turning my attention to this under-loved blog.
My Speedy Vegetarian Fried Rice recipe has been created for those of us feeling a little run off their feet and perhaps a little too happy calling for a take away, like every night. It is for times when you know that your favourite greasy pizza oozing with cheese isn’t really the best lifestyle choice. When you are feeling a tiny bit motivated to commit to an economical, healthy home-cooked dinner, but don’t want to compromise on time wasting nor taste. Yet if you, like me, are a member of the Lazy Cooks Club and just want aforementioned healthy food in your mouth as fast as possible with minimal fuss, then this vegetarian fried rice recipe is DEFINITELY for you.
I have no shame in using microwavable rice packets for this recipe. I learned this trick from a friend whose parents ran a Chinese takeaway. Apparently it is totally normal for Chinese restaurants to buy this stuff in bulk because it fries so well. If they can do it, then so can I.
Prepared stir fry veg? Yes, please! I normally find chopping vegetables therapeutic, but there are times where it becomes torture. When I’m tired and hangry is one of those times. Haters gonna hate, but sometimes chopping veg finely is a pain in the bum. As stated above, I am a proud member of the Lazy Cooks Club! I pick whatever variety looks good or is going cheap.
For the ultimate cheat, I also use the appropriately named Very Lazy Garlic Puree and Very Lazy Ginger Puree. This products do exactly what they say on the tin. I am a HUGE fan because a) I find crushing garlic into a paste one of the most annoying cooking tasks. It takes a while AND makes your hands smell like garlic for DAYS and b) grating ginger into a smooth paste almost always results in me knicking my knuckles on the grater. Kitchen problems. These small jars of flavour goodness are like gold dust and an essential in my fridge. A generous splash of soy sauce, a slight drizzle of toasted sesame oil, and some fresh herbs to garish; this meal goes from zero to your mouth in 15 minutes max!
ALWAYS top with a fried egg. ALWAYS.
Note: Daffodils provided by an oh-so-lovely client as a thank you! One of the many perks of my job! They were too pretty not to photograph.
- 1 packet of microwaveable basmati rice
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 packet of pre-sliced stir fry vegetables (I used a cabbage and pea shoot variety from M&S, but use whatever floats your boat)
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp crushed ginger
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 eggs (for perfect frying, make sure the eggs are fresh AND at room temperature)
- Red chili slices to garnish
- Fresh mint and coriander (cilantro) to garnish
- Microwave rice according to instructions
- Heat coconut oil in a wok over a medium heat. Add cooked rice and stir for about 1 minute.
- Add vegetables, garlic and ginger. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until veg has softened/wilted slightly. Add soy sauce and fry for a further minute. Take off heat.
- Drizzle the sesame oil over the fried rice and mix.
- Fry the two eggs in a separate pan. I like mine extra crispy!
- Divide rice between two bowls and top each portion with an egg. Garnish with fresh chili, mint and coriander.