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What’s the obsession with green onions?

I came to realize well into my adult life that, while I may not be allergic to them, my belly just does not like green onions. Or, as my grandfather would say, “They don’t like me.” The thing is, though, I try. I love the taste of green onions. One of my favorite holiday foods growing up was green onion chip dip. But for whatever reason, if I eat more than a few of them, I have to reach for the Alka-Seltzer.

But let me tell you, avoiding green onions is almost impossible. If you like Mexican, Chinese, Thai or anything Southwest, you are likely going to encounter this vegetable. They are chopped up and added to wonton soup, stir fries, dumplings, quesadillas, spinach dip or get this–Taco Bell’s Mexican pizza. No joke, I have had to ask for my fast food Mexican pizza with no green onions. If I forget, I have to pick them off the top–but they have this way of multiplying and frustrating me. I have to look at ingredients before buying them.

Oooh, these Trader Joe’s dumplings look delicious–oh wait, green onions are the third ingredient. I took a Thai cooking class a few months ago and we made egg rolls and spring rolls from scratch, and guess what was in them? Same with the dumplings we made. Oooh, Southwest corn and chile dip! Wait, green onions. Hey, what’s Bobby Flay making? Oh, there he goes with the green onions.

I guess the one saving grace is that oftentimes the green onions are added as a garnish and can be omitted or scraped off before they immerse themselves in whatever dish it is. But as I mentioned earlier, they get tough to pick out, especially if they are stuck to melted cheese.

Then sometimes I think, “Hey, maybe I should try green onions again.” After all, I don’t like raw onions either, but I do love them grilled or caramelized or stir-fried….or, in onion rings. So recently I tried grilling some green onions that we received from our local CSA. Maybe the charred version would be okay to my insides. The result? Delicious, but the same old green onion indigestion or heartburn or whatever it is came right back. So I guess it’s something I’ll have to continue to avoid, and well, there could be worse things to have an aversion to I guess!

And hey, if you like green onions, more power to you, and you can have mine.

Easy Fried Rice

I made this fried rice twice last week and it was awesome. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they have easy and delicious rice in their frozen foods section. You just nuke a bag of it for three minutes and you have perfect rice–either brown or jasmine or white rice. You can also buy the Uncle Ben’s or other easy microwave rice packets that are sold in the rice/pasta section, but trust me–this Trader Joe’s rice tastes better. I use the brown variety but either would work fine.

So after you nuke the rice, set it aside. Chop a small or half a large onion. Chop some baby carrots, and put them along with a handful of frozen peas (and/or frozen corn) in a small pot and cover with water and boil for a couple minutes. Crack an egg and cook that in a small, nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray for a minute or two until set.

Then, take a large nonstick skillet, swirl in a tablespoon or so of cooking oil such as canola. Heat over medium heat for a minute, then add the onion and rice. Stir fry for a couple minutes or until the onion is cooked and translucent. Drain the peas and carrots and add those. If you have any cooked pork, chicken or beef, chop that up and throw it in. Chop the scrambled egg and add that. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add a couple tablespoons of soy sauce. Continue to stir fry for another minute or so. If you have any cilantro, chop that and add in at the end (or green onion, or both).

That’s it. It is easier than it felt typing it all out, trust me. And it’s delicious and not too greasy as most restaurant fried rice is.

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