Feeding my 4 year old is becoming more and more of a challenge with the ever looming dilemma of trying to sneak in healthy ingredients. Sometimes I wonder why he can’t expand his mind’s horizon beyond the noodles, yoghurt and cheese that he seems to have an unfaltering devotion for? What I have figured out is that he gets excited about colour and itty bitty little pieces. Doesn’t make sense I know but that is the mind of a 4-year old for you.
So one wet, dreary afternoon when I had enough of the goopy, mess of noodles that he seems to love for lunch everyday, I decided to give him something colourful and yep you got it …. with itty bitty little things in it. With rice leftover from dinner, my mind immediately thought of fried rice. With little wheels turning in my head, I started picking out colourful, nutritious ingredients from the fridge …. a cube of frozen spinach, some frozen green peas, a pork sausage, a carrot, spring onions, ginger garlic paste and egg. A quick trip to the pantry and I had soy sauce and chicken stock. Within 10 minutes I had a plate of steaming fried rice speckled with red and green. The beauty of fried rice lies in the fact that it uses up leftovers and produces brilliant results … a different one each time as you play around with what you throw into the wok. I find that using powdered chicken stock adds a very authentic salty chinese flavour to the dish without overcompensating on the soy sauce. I served it to him on a blue IKEA plate with a bright yellow fork. I think all the colours sold it to him and he was very excited. For once he acted upon his excitement and enjoyed the meal instead of pushing it around his plate.
SPINACH FRIED RICE
[Serves : 2/Prep Time : 5 mins/Cook Time : 5-8 mins]
2 cups cooked leftover jasmine rice
1 small pork sausage, finely diced
1/4 cup frozen green peas
1 small carrot, neatly diced
2 small frozen spinach cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup finely sliced spring onions
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat oil in a wok on high heat. Add ginger garlic paste and stir fry for a few seconds. Add sausage, carrot, spinach and peas. Stir-fry for a minute. Add rice, soy sauce and chicken stock. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, mixing well. Push rice to one side in the wok and pour in the egg slowly on the other side, stirring rapidly till it resembles cooked scrambled egg. Mix it with the rest of the rice. Add spring onions and remove from heat. Serve hot.