First, let me just say, I LOVE Chinese food. I could eat lo mein noodles every single day and never get bored. For many people Chinese takeout is a staple in weekly menu planning. However, for families like mine who are dealing with food allergies, ordering Chinese takeout can be nerve-wracking and not worth the free fortune cookies. When my two oldest children were diagnosed with peanut, tree nut, soy, sesame, legume, egg and shellfish allergies at a young age, ordering Chinese takeout became a distant memory. At that time, over 10 years ago in Chicago, trying to explain to our local Chinese takeout restaurant that our order could not contain any of these allergens, nor have been cross contaminated with them, was impossible. And even if it was possible, it still would not have been an option for us back then – my daughter was so severely allergic at that time we basically were living in a bubble.
But, oh how I missed Chinese food! Thankfully over the years my two oldest have tested negative for egg and shellfish allergies, and they can tolerate most forms of soy. However, with severe peanut and tree nut allergies, stopping by the local Chinese restaurant for takeout still has not been an option. Most places just do not employ the measures necessary to be able to serve allergy-friendly Chinese food. We have had success with P.F.Chang’s China Bistro for limited menu items within the past year, and I do have to give them a shout-out for putting practices in place to accommodate allergy-friendly and gluten free requests. We are lucky to be able to take advantage of this option, but for many food allergy families, there still are no options for Chinese food.
Well, why even worry about takeout when you can make your own allergy-friendly chicken fried rice at home? This recipe has become a family favorite and if I made it every single night, I firmly believe my kids would be ecstatic! Of course what they don’t know is that I pack it full of vegetables they normally complain about eating, but what they don’t know won’t hurt them, right? I love the fact that I can create this dish at home, making sure to include lots of fresh vegetables and protein-packed baked chicken breast, while controlling the amount of oil and sodium. This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and takes no time at all to complete from start to finish. If you have leftover rotisserie chicken available, it takes even less time to prepare.
Since we no longer have an egg allergy I do include the scrambled egg, but it easily can be left out if necessary and still be delicious. You also can make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the chicken and adding additional vegetables, or change out your protein for shrimp or beef. I always make extra for leftovers, and if you have a large enough pan or wok, this is simple to do.
Of course it would not be complete without fortune cookies! I found La Choy fortune cookies at my local grocery, and while they contain wheat and soy, they are free of the other 8 top allergens. Add chopsticks and you won’t miss stopping by your local Chinese restaurant for takeout!
Chicken Fried Rice:
3 tablespoons canola Oil
1 cup carrots
I cup broccoli
2 cups rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken
2/3 cup onion
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 teaspoon ginger
3 cups cooked rice
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
On medium high heat, add the oil and stir fry vegetables for three 3 minutes.
Add the chicken, onion and garlic. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add the cooked rice. Stir fry for 3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the scrambled egg and cook.
Once cooked, stir in the soy sauce, salt and pepper. Enjoy!