Two veggie-rich recipes from The Healthy Cook

The recipes in this post were developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at healthycook@cspinet.org.

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Very Veggie Fried Rice

Cold leftover rice makes the best fried rice because it’s drier—which means it’s less sticky—than freshly cooked rice. This recipe works with almost any combination of vegetables. To mix things up, next time try broccoli, bok choy or other Asian greens, celery, mushrooms, scallions, bean sprouts, and/or snap or snow peas. Aim for two to three times more veggies than rice.

Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

1 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs. oyster sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. peanut (or sunflower) oil  
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced bell pepper
1 cup diced onion
1 cup peas, thawed from frozen
2 cups cold cooked red or brown rice

  1. In a small bowl, mix the soy and oyster sauce with the sesame oil.
  2. In a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, heat the peanut oil until very hot. Stir-fry the carrots and peppers until lightly browned, 2–3 minutes.
  3. Add the onion, peas, and rice. Stir-fry until hot, 1–2 minutes. Season with the soy sauce mixture.

Per serving (1¼ cups):

  • Calories: 240
  • Total fat: 6 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 40 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Total sugar: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 300 mg

Braised Leeks

Silky and subtle, braised vegetables are simple yet delicious. This low-and-slow method is also great for celery, fennel, carrots, and/or cabbage.

Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
8 small-to-medium leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and rinsed (see Tip, below)
½ cup vegetable or chicken broth (preferably homemade)
¼ tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground white or black pepper, to taste

  1. In a heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Sauté the leeks, cut side down, until browned, 3–5 minutes. If they don’t all fit in your skillet, sauté them in batches.
  2. Turn over the leeks, add the broth, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until very tender, 7–10 minutes.
  3. Uncover and season with the salt and pepper.

Tip: Leeks are grown in sandy soil, so work with them over the sink. First, trim the roots off, leaving enough of the root end to keep the leek’s layers together after it’s been halved. Then trim off the top dark green end, leaving only the white and palest green parts (see photo).

Next, halve the trimmed leeks lengthwise, starting from the root end. Rinse the halved leeks thoroughly under cold running water while separating the layers at the green end to ensure that all the grit is rinsed away.

Per serving (2 braised leeks):

  • Calories: 110
  • Total fat: 7 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 11 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Total sugar: 3 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Sodium: 220 mg
Photos: Kate Sherwood/CSPI.

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