October 2, 2013

That Vegan Thing: Leeks lend flavor to Thai treat

By Jeff Peterson

This recipe contains leeks, a Chinese vegetable that, like garlic and onions, belongs to a genus called Allium. They fight cardiovascular disease, among other things. They look like oversized scallions.

That's not the only vegetable in this dish; there are also onions and carrots.

Onions contain vitamin C and are high in fiber. Carrots are a weapon to help slow down the aging process. They also help you fight cancer and strokes, and contain vitamin A.

Red Curry Fried Rice is a Thai dish. It is very healthy for you and tasty as well. We are not a mushroom-loving family, so we leave the mushrooms out. So this dish, minus the mushrooms, is a hit.

Curry can be spicy, so if you don't like food with a bit of a bite to it, you may want to add curry to taste instead of 4 teaspoons of it. Or you can always leave it out and add a spice or sauce of your own choosing. Then, of course, you would have to rename the dish.

Try some Thai with leeks and enjoy that vegan thing.

RED CURRY FRIED RICE

1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 large leek, thinly sliced and rinsed

2 cups shiitake mushrooms trimmed and thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks

4 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

4 green onions chopped

2 cups cooked brown rice

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the onion, leeks, mushrooms and carrots and cook, stirring frequently for around 5 minutes. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of water at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Whisk in the curry paste and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the almonds, green onions and rice. Then cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Jeff Peterson anchors the 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. news on WGME-TV and is a vegan.

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