Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vegetables and Egg Fried Rice

Going Green is not easy isn't? The Sunday magazine had this really interesting article Can One Small Household Help Save the Planet?. If you are trying to go green and finding it hard, this article is sure to give you a sense of deja vu. The article made me think of changes that I have imposed on myself and the family to do our part to reduce the carbon footprint. What are they?

  • Use cloth bags 90% of the time. The 10% I get plastic bags to use as liners for the trash cans around the house. It tooks us a while to remember carrying these bags while grocery shopping till we devised a method that has worked well so far (thanks to DH). We alwasy keep the bags in the car and when we bring them indoors after a shopping trip, the minute they are emptied they are hung on the door knob as a reminder to be carried to the car.

  • I compost all kitchen waste (besides when it is full and on cold winter days a running argument on who is going to empty it, has been going smooth)

  • Recycle as much as possible, switching of lights

  • I try to hyper mile on my vehicle and use public transportation whenever I(other members of the household still rely solely on the car) can

  • use only cloth napkins and vastly reduce the use of paper towels

  • Pack steel cutlery in lunch boxes to avoid using plastic ones (makes economic sense as well)

  • We have tried to use CFL(compact fluorescent lamp) as much as we can

  • I use a power strip on to which I plug in my rechargeables and switch off every night (there are days I forget to do it). I have still not attempted plugging out the microwave, TV etc

  • I would love to have an energy audit done on the house, though it is not that old, but it was built in the go go 90s when energy scarcity and global warming had not made their presence felt, my appliances and windows and insulation do not carry the highest energy star rating

  • It took us a while but now we are all in the same page with most of the things but we could still do more. I get frustrated when I see people all around not paying the minimum regard to what they can actually accomplish without major changes to their lifestyle. I also begin to have doubts if at all the small changes I do are going to have any postive effects and the strains I have put on my family is worth it. But these are nothing compared to what people of this Japanese village have been doing. Watch the video on this article Japan as ground zero for no-wast lifestyle, it is amazing what people can accomplish if they put their minds and hearts to it. Sorting the recyclables into 34 different categories? Can we get a whole village in the US or India to do something like this?

    Well anyway there cannot be two differing opinions regarding fried rice, be it egg, chicken or shrimp. I have not met anyone who does not like fried rice. Fried rice also gave me a good opportunity to use some of the brown rice that I have been hoarding for a while now. I saw this recipe for Indonesian Vegetable Fried Rice on a food blog that I discovered recently and having been following regularly with mouth watering results. I did not have day old rice. I had about 4 tbsp of white rice from the previous day, not enough. So cooked 1 1/4 cups of brown basmati rice in a electric rice cooker and let it cool.


    Egg Fried Rice
    1. 2 Cups of Cooked preferably day old rice
    2. 3 eggs, salt and a pinch of red chili powder
    3. 1 Cup of chopped vegetables, thinly sliced carrots, peas, thinly sliced capsicum (red would be good, I used green)
    4. 1 bunch green onions chopped into small rounds
    5. 4 tsp soy sauce
    6. 2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
    7. 2 tsp harissa (moroccon hot chili paste)
    8. 2 tsp chili garlic sauce (optional)
    9. salt to taste
    10. 2-3 tsp of oil
    1. Beat the eggs together with salt and chili powder
    2. Heat the wok, add a bit of oil and make 2 omlettes and set aside
    3. Now heat the rest of the oil add the green onions and saute for a bit, now add the rest of the vegetables and let them cook for about 4-8 minutes or cooked
    4. Add the sauces and mix well.
    5. Now add the rice and mix it well.
    6. Cook for a minute or two and add salt and more seasonings if required
    7. Switch off the heat.
    8. Roll the omelette and cut into thin strips.
    9. Mix the omelette pieces and serve


    1. I love fried rice and this looks so delicious.
      Here in the shops they don't give anymore platice bags in the super market, so you have to buy a reusable bag and take it with you every time which i think is exclent.
      When we go to Brussels or to any other main city we take the train well it could be also hubby don't want to be in the traffic jam :-)

    2. I love fried rice much, my choice of fried rice is veg n egg, yours looks delicious:)

    3. Sounds like a tasty new way to flavor fried rice, ISG -- and I love how pretty it looks with the carrot curls! :)

      Really fascinating articles too, thanks for those. Have a great Thurs!

    4. The fried rice looks delicious and loved the picture with the carrot on top...about the environment every bit counts and I do my best by switching off lights and unplugging devices and using reusable bags....

    5. Me too! I use plastic bags to line the trash cans in the kitchen and in the bathroom and other rooms.

      Love egg fried rice, your photos are getting better and better! :)

    6. The fried rice look super tasty

      We did switch to CFL but am still lagging in the cloth bag dept. Mainly 'coz D does the bulk of grocery now that I don't get time every week and he will never remember to take a bag to the store.

      However the whopping gas bill that we had last two months made sure that we were not doing the right thing, but I don't know how to mange that. The house doesn't have a split heating/ac and that would be the only thing that helped

    7. I make my fried rice like this.. except for the fish sauce.. I use soy + oyster + chilli sauce...making it chinese??

      About plugging the small appliances off, maybe you can look for an indoor timer (like the ones for christmas lights) and set a time to switch it off.. would that work?

    8. Hi there,
      I've subscribed to ur blog but never posted a comment.I am doing so coz you touched a nerve....abt going green.

      Trust me plugging out a microwave or a tv isn't as hard as u think it is & once u start doing it u realize how little it takes.
      I always carry my cloth bags to fill in groceries. I also never use paper-hand towels except in the loo ;) or when fussy guests are over.

      Let's all go green to leave some beauty for generations to come.


    9. The news article on the Japanese village is amazing and inspiring, ISG. We sometimes wonder if the little bit we do is making any difference but collectively, it does add up. I don't unplug appliances too but am using CFL bulbs where I can. One thing I'd like to change is the water heater in my house and buy one of those instant-heating ones that turn on heat only when used.

      Fried rice looks great!

    10. And hey, I will post that link to the article on my FB page. I think more people need to see that & be inspired.

    11. Sandeepa, we had the exact same problem. I updated the post with what worked for us.
      "It tooks us a while to remember carrying these bags while grocery shopping till we devised a method that has worked well so far (thanks to DH). We alwasy keep the bags in the car and when we bring them indoors after a shopping trip, the minute they are emptied they are hung on the door knob as a reminder to be carried to the car".

      Kay that is a good idea worth exploring.

      Gayatri glad to hear that. I just unplugged my microwave and I am working on a setup for the TV.
      I am with you on the paper towels, use them rarely.

      Vani, thank you, I do get demoralized sometimes but I am more than encouraged by all the responses so far.

    12. Oh, I forgot! I answered your q at FH about the sour cream, didn't know whether you checked it. Here it is! :)

      "Beat the sour cream very well with a whisk and then add to almost cold pan and simmer for a long time stirring often. That way it will never separate.I do all the Yogurt Sambhars with sour cream this way. To cool down the pan after seasoning, I add 1/2 cup cold water to the pan and then add sour cream. Always works!"

    13. I agree.. the little things do add up and can make a difference.

      Fried Rice looks so pretty with the thin carrot ribbons.

    14. Asha, Thanks, that one had befuddled me for a long time. Will try and and let you know how it turns out.

    15. check out this book 'Living the good life' by Linda Cockburn. It's very good. These people were trying to live off the grid for a while, not buying anything.. very interesting read.

      She also has a new blog at I used to follow her old blog, and it was very good. have to catch up with the new one now.

      I remember reading that the phantom energy burnt by an unused plugged-in microwave cost her a few bucks in electricity. I keep all my small appliances unplugged... for the fear of the little one trying to play with the buttons.. good for the environment too. The TV is something that I too forget sometimes.

    16. Fried rice looks awesome! Nowadays have started taking a cloth bag with me for shopping and I'm doing it successfully!

    17. wow... loooks delicious ISG :)

    18. fried rice is my all time fav..looks so goood..nice click

    19. we have switched to reusable bags since one year and we are sticking to it. this time when we came bk from our trip to india, i bought few cloth bags for grocery shopping. ever since we have started using reusable ones, there is hardly any plastic bags lying in our kitchen and i am really happy about it. i have also stopped using cling films to cover as much as possible and bought some nice flat steel plates to cover the vessels. then we have got our loft insulation done and you won't belive how warm the house feels in winter compared to last year! and not to forget using energy efficient bulbs. few basic things and it has made a big impact in our life.
      the biggest challenge is air travel as we travel once in a yr to india but it will be really difficult to cut that out! :) so we have even started to walk to our office 3-4 times a week instead of driving.

    20. Did you hear about the BBC reporter, ethical person or something like that, he was on NPR yesterday ? They have given up on their car and doing green thing, trying to reduce their carbon footprint by 80%(??)


    21. I am a great fan of fried rice..loved this recipe so much.nice click too.Will give it a try.:)

    22. the rice looks delicious...Im with you on trying to do whatevern we can to save energy..we try to use cloth bags for our grocery shopping, but there are times when we forget too..n the plastic ones i get also, i save them up and put them in the "recycle your bags" dump at our grocery store..i never throw them away!!

    23. very very informative and hats off to you ISG. I have gone through the list and there is a bunch that I am going to use from now on.

      Fried rice looks hearty and delish.

    24. thts a very encouraging post...n love ur fried rice.

    25. I love these one pot meals Indo, and now I have one more to try :)
      I agree with you, it took me a while to remember to carry bags and even now I slip sometimes.

    26. BBC had a reporter live "green" for a year. They were able to cut down carbon emissions by only 20%. That shows how far we have to go. Doesn't mean we should stop doing it !
      Here is the link.

      Scroll through the comments. Some interesting perspectives.

      P.S: I have been reading your blog for a while, I don't think I have ever commented before.

    27. thanks Srividya for breaking your silence and for being a regular reader and for the link as well. This is exactly the kind of news that makes me rethink my going green. But some things got to change like reducing the usage of plastic bags. I know what an uphill task this can be.

      Even with doing bulk of shopping with resusable bags I still have enough to take to the recycle center every other week - the plastic bags that are used for wrapping food. I am positive individual effort can only go so far. Governments collectively have to do a lot more. I also saw the "ethical man in India". Is it fair for us in the West to impose carbon reduction on people in developing countries when we take for granted what they are just now aspiring to have. No easy answers.


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