We tend to have theme nights each week—pizza night, enchilada night, burger night—but rice bowls are one of the meals that I turn to when I don't otherwise have a plan in place. Sometimes we have them Mexican-style with rice, beans, and salsa, but our new favorite way is to top them with veggies, egg, and peanut sauce as a sort of deconstructed fried rice.
I vary the type of rice that we have to avoid the toddler getting too attached. Some nights it's short grain brown rice, other times it's basmati rice, or sometimes we even use quinoa. And I always just use whatever vegetables I have on hand. Since my toddler likes to be able to see each component separately (which is why the bowl here is not mixed together!), I try to make sure that each element is flavorful on its own. This is a perfect meal to make ahead of time since you can make the rice and sauce ahead, then quickly cook the veggies and the egg at the last minute. Even if you just make a double batch of rice and use this as the way to eat up the leftovers, this comes together really fast. And, each family member can fill their own serving to their liking so everyone winds up happy.
If you or someone in your family has a nut allergy, you can make the peanut sauce with tahini or Sunbutter and it will be similar in flavor. With younger toddlers, chop the nuts finely or simply skip them. My kiddo loves the crunch but use your judgement for whether they are a good choice for yours at their age and chewing ability.
Toddler Rice Bowl with Scrambled Eggs and Peanut Sauce
This meal is really adaptable, so know that you can vary this in all sorts of ways to suit your kiddo. Try it with poached eggs. Skip the egg all together and add in beans, tofu, shrimp, or chicken. We almost never eat it the same way twice!
- 2 cups rice, cooked according to package directions
- 1 tablespoon canola oil plus 1 teaspoon
- 2-3 cups chopped vegetables such as carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, or sweet potato
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger
- 3-4 eggs
- 1 recipe Peanut Sauce
- Warm the oil in a medium skillet. Add the vegetables, stirring to coat. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until softened. (It will vary based on the veggies you use—cut them into similar sizes to ensure that they cook evenly. If they start to stick, add a little water.) Use a fine microplane to grate the garlic and ginger over top, then stir to combine. (You can also roast the vegetables by lining a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss the vegetables with the oil and roast for 18-20 minutes or until soft.)
- Meanwhile, warm the 1 teaspoon oil in separate medium skillet over medium heat (on my stove this is a 6). Once warm, crack the eggs into the pan. Break the yolks with a spatula, then tilt the pan so that the egg coats the bottom. Move the egg gently, to ensure that all of the egg cooks evenly, for 3-4 minutes, flipping and turning the egg as needed.
- Serve the veggies and egg over rice and top with the Peanut Sauce and chopped peanuts, if desired.
This is a simplified version of this one, which we also love.
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2-3 tablespoons water
1. Add all ingredients into a bowl and stir vigorously with a fork until well mixed (If your peanut butter was in the fridge and is hard, you may want to warm the mixture for 10 seconds in the microwave to get it to blend better.) Add water to thin it into a consistency that is easy to drizzle it over the bowls.
Use Sunbutter instead of peanut butter.
Try edamame, beans, chicken, or tofu in place of the egg.
Serve it over noodles or another favorite grain.