No-Butter Fried Rice (Vegan), Margherita Grilled Cheese, and a Revelation: Eating Healthier Can Taste Better!

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There is no doubt. I am a foodie. And though I LOVE great food, I don’t love the figure it’s given me. So I’ve been setting out to change the way I eat and cook. It hasn’t been easy so far. We’ve gone through a couple holidays. A couple splurges over the last 3 weeks that I’m not proud of, 1 regular cheeseburger, 4 pieces of bbq chicken pizza, and some awesome BBQ that we had a couple weeks ago at a local competition… The rest of the time I’ve been pretty good, watching what I eat, and cooking healthier meals, but It’s so easy for me to want my old favorites like burgers and pizza.

So I’m working on a few recipes that I’ll post as I go. One will be a grilled veggie pizza, another is the perfect turkey burger. And today I’m sharing a couple favorites, my butter-free Fried Rice, which isn’t really fried. :P And a lovely light tomato and basil grilled cheese.

No-Butter Fried Rice (Vegan Fried Rice)

Serving = 1 Cup Fried RiceNo butter, just a dash of sesame oil and a splash of water, and you’re good to go.

1 1/2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
1 tsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
3 Tbs. Water
1 Tbs. Soy Sauce (add more to taste)
1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
1/3 Cup Diced Orange Bell Pepper
1/3 Cup Diced Green Onion

In a small skillet over high heat, heat the water, sesame oil, and soy sauce together. Add the frozen peas and wait until it starts to boil. Then add your rice and bell peppers. Heat thoroughly. Add the green onions, and remove from heat. I love it because the brown rice gives the appearance of fried rice, and the flavor is so good. This is light with under 200 calories per serving (1 cup) and it helps me meet my fiber intake with nearly 4 grams of fiber. I like to make this for lunch sometimes, or as a quick side dish.

Another lighter meal is my margherita grilled cheese. Much like a margherita pizza. It’s full of mozzarella, fresh tomato, and basil. And I’ll serve it with a side of dressed up Campbell’s tomato soup for dinner.

Margherita Grilled Cheese

Serving= Whole Grilled CheeseTomato, basil, non-fat mozzarella, and a dash of garlic powder make this beautifully-light grilled cheese on fresh sourdough bread.

2 Slices of Fresh Sourdough Bread
1/4 Cup Shredded Non-fat Mozzarella Cheese
1 Small Vine Ripened Tomato (sliced 1/4″ thick)
2 Tbs. Sliced Fresh Basil
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
Cooking Spray (I like olive oil blend cooking spray)

In a large skillet over medium heat, spray the bottom of the pan with cooking spray. Place both slices of sourdough bread down in the pan. Add half of the cheese to each slice. Place half the basil on each slice, and a couple slices of tomato. Sprinkle each side with a bit of garlic powder. It’s important to make your grilled cheese over medium heat, that way your cheese can melt evenly and you won’t burn your bread. When the cheese begins to melt place the 2 slices together, and continue to melt all the way, and until bread is golden brown.

I serve mine with Campbell’s Tomato Soup That I dress up with a dash of garlic powder, 2 or more Tbs. of sliced fresh basil, and throw in any left over fresh tomato that I may have. And I finish it off with a couple grinds of fresh ground black pepper. For a creamier soup, try using milk rather than water. At less than 300 calories for the entire sandwich and 90 calories for 1/2 a cup of soup, you’ll be asking why you’ve never done this before. I know I was!

So my revelation is, good food can be super healthy, and taste great too!

What lighter recipes or tricks have you been trying out?

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This post is partying over at: Coastal Charm, Savvy Southern Style, The Shabby Creek Cottage, French Country Cottage, Whipperberry, The Shabby Nest, Serenity Now, Funky Junk Interiors, Today’s Creative Blog, Home Stores A to Z, Tip Junkie and others

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  1. All of these look delicious. I love the sandwich, though! Yum! Coming over from TT&J. Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks Christy! I hope you’re having a great weekend too!

  2. I’m such a sucker for fried rice, and that looks SO good! And healthy too? I’m sold! I’d love it if you have the time to share here at my party:

    • Hi Amy, I linked up! Thanks for the invite, and for stopping by!

  3. These look sooo good! That fried rice sounds amazing, especially with the sesame oil. I love the flavor of sesame. Don’t worry about occasional splurges. It isn’t about what you do some of the time, it’s about what you do most of the time.

    If you like fried rice, you should give cauliflower rice a try. I will have to post my recipe for this soon. But basically you just take cauliflower and pulse it in a blender until it is the consistency of rice. Then you can use it for all kinds of things. I stir fry it up with veggies for a fried rice and it is delicious!

    • Thanks, and awesome idea! I have cauliflower right now that I’m trying to decide what to do with. Actually saw purple cauliflower yesterday at the farmer’s market, crazy huh?… Anyways, I think my hubby will insist that I roast it this time around, but I will have to try ricing it some other time, or if I have left over. Yum!

  4. I saw your fried rice on Serenity Now’s weekend link up and had to get the recipe!! It looks wonderful and I KNOW my husband will love a margherita grilled cheese as well. I count pointsplus with Weight Watchers so in case anyone wants to know the fried rice and grilled cheese are 5 and 6 points+ respectively. Thanks for the new recipes!

    • Hi Alison, thanks so much for stopping by! And thanks for looking up the points. I’ve thought about doing weight watchers, but I’m not sure I could be religious about adding points up everyday on everything I eat… How easy is it/ how do you like it?

  5. That looks so yummy! I love unique grilled cheese combos. Thanks for sharing at Church Supper. Have a blessed week & come back soon.

    • Thanks for hosting Krista!

  6. Fantastic recipes – I love healthy alternatives. Pinning both!

    • Thanks Nicky! I’ve been trying to make everything I eat more healthy, and it’s working! I hope to share more healthy alternatives soon!

  7. The rice looks very tasty, would like to try it at home, thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Erika. The rice is perfect to make at home, especially if you like that toasted sesame flavor. Not your typical fried rice, but so tasty.

  8. I love fried rice, usually veggie fried rice. Every time I’ve tried to make it at home it just doesn’t taste as good. I’ll give your recipe a try though. :)

    • Hi! Fried rice is tricky to get exactly right at home. Most recipes will call for a ton of butter, and soy sauce. This is definitely not the norm, but is super tasty. I hope you try it out!… Alternatively if you’re looking for a standard fried rice. Try cookin a scrambled egg in about a good dab of butter. Then remove from pan, then saute a good sized yellow onion, diced, in about 2 Tbs of butter, add carrots and/or peas if you like. Then throw in a couple cups of cooked rice, add some more butter about 2 more Tbs, A Dash of salt and pepper, and then soy sauce to taste. Not healthy, but that’s a typical fried rice. A lot of people will also add cubed ham to the mix.

      • oh, and throw your egg back in at the end.

  9. Both great recipes, thank you.

    I found you on Stone Gable’s On the Menu Monday. I have linked in bacon and scrambled egg rolls. Have a nice week.

    • Hi! Thanks for stopping by Carole! I’ll have to check out your blog :)

  10. This fried rice looks so delicious! Thanks for joining us for “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. We hope you’ll be back soon! We loved having you. -The Sisters

  11. That fried rice recipe looks amazing. And considering I have an overabundance of basil, I just may try the grilled cheese recipe

  12. I love fried rice but dislike the calories! What a great alternative while dieting. Thanks for sharing…

  13. Oh wow…that fried rice looks really good!!!

  14. Your fried rice looks and sounds fantastic!

  15. Your “fried” rice looks amazing. Perfect for taking for lunch. Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you tomorrow.

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