Root Vegetable Fried Rice With Pumpkin Seeds

Serves 4.

Note: If you want to prep ahead, cook 2 cups of brown rice, and use half of it for another meal this week. For the veggies, the total of chopped ones should equal 3 cups. Keep track with a 4-cup measure by your cutting board and add the veggies to it as you chop until it hits the right amount. From Robin Asbell.

• 1 c. long-grain brown rice

• 1 c. raw, hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

• 3 tbsp. tamari soy sauce, divided

• 5 oz. parsnip (1 medium)

• 8 oz. sweet potato (1/2 medium)

• 1 large carrot, halved and sliced on a diagonal

• 1 tsp. sesame oil

• 2 tbsp. maple syrup

• 1 tsp. rice vinegar

• 2 eggs or 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast

• 1 tbsp. canola oil

• 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced

• 2 large green onions, sliced on a diagonal, for garnish


Rinse the rice in a wire strainer and drain.

In a small pot, bring 2 cups water to a boil, then add the rice. Return to the boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low, and cook for 40 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Take the pot off the heat and let stand, covered, for at least 5 minutes to finish steaming.

Put the pumpkin seeds in a small sauté pan and place over medium-high heat. Swirl the seeds as they toast. When they start to pop and smell fragrant, drizzle 1 tablespoon tamari over the seeds in the pan, then as soon as the seeds are coated and the pan is dry, transfer the seeds to a plate to cool.

Cut the parsnip and sweet potato into 1/4- to 1/2- inch cubes and reserve. Cut the carrot lengthwise, then slice it on the diagonal for thin half-moons; reserve.

In a cup, stir the sesame oil, maple syrup, rice vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons of tamari; reserve.

Whisk the eggs in a small cup, or measure the nutritional yeast and reserve.

In a large sauté pan, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the parsnips, sweet potatoes and carrots and stir frequently for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Add the ginger and stir for a second, then move the vegetables to one side and add the eggs, if using, and scramble. When the egg is almost cooked, stir in the cooked rice, maple syrup mixture, and if using, nutritional yeast into the pan. Stir until the rice looks dry, about 4 minutes.

Serve sprinkled with pumpkin seeds and green onions.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 530 Fat 24 g Sodium 860 mg

Carbohydrates 64 g Saturated fat 4 g Total sugars 11 g

Protein 19 g Cholesterol 90 mg Dietary fiber 7 g

Exchanges per serving: 4 starch, 1 medium-fat protein, 3 fat.