Wednesday, June 29, 2011

{ Your Weekly Peek + THE Best Way to Eat a Ton of Vegetables }

It's week four of CSA season and the good stuff keeps coming. In case you might think that we got bell peppers and red onions from our CSA, we didn't. The picture above is of our stir-fry ingredients - THE best way to eat a ton of vegetables. In fact, we call it "veggie-must-go". So read on to get a peek in our box and read about how easy it is to throw together a stir-fry that uses every vegetable you've got... well, maybe not the beets.

Here it is, our box:

To avoid redundancy, I've decided to not go into too much depth each week since we get a lot of the same goodies. For instance, we got more lettuce, salad greens, spinach, arugula, beets and radishes. The new items we got however are: three heads of garlic, scallions (as seen on the top of the box pictured above) and chard.

Chard wins the award for most exciting addition to the box this week. I love chard! It's a delicate green and so delicious. I find it difficult to get good quality chard at the store and that's why chard is the star of our box this week. I'm super excited to eat it for dinner tonight.

Now on to the exciting part of this post, as promised, I will reveal THE best way to eat a ton of vegetables. Stir-fry! Wait, I guess I blew the surprise in my opening paragraph. Oh well, if you're still reading I know you want to know all about our veggie-must-go. If you've got a ton of vegetables that need to get eaten, there is no better way to do that then make a stir-fry.

Here are the base ingredients you'll want to have a good stir-fry: onions, garlic, celery, soy sauce, honey or orange juice to sweeten and corn starch. The rest is just fluff to make it even better. This is something that Kyle typically just throws together without a recipe for us, so I don't have the exact measurements but let's get going and see what we can create.

Step 1 Start your rice or noodles. (I hate it when I forget this part, doh!) Make extra rice and freeze two cups so all you have to do is reheat the rice the next time you make stir fry (we eat this weekly during CSA season), it's super simple and a great time saver.

Step 2 Choose your ingredients. Like I said, you'll want the basics of onion, garlic and celery; everything else is just fluff. Stir-fry around here is kind of like one of those old "choose your own adventure" books from elementary school. Here's what we needed to eat:

Garlic scapes (we used these instead of regular garlic), collard greens and some old bell peppers (Costco sells big packages of Canadian Hothouse Bell Peppers, as good as organic I'm told, that I keep around to snack on but we had some that had to go). Add the red onion and celery and we have our base. We also had chicken on hand so we decided to have a chicken stir-fry, but you could do this just as easily with any meat. Believe it or not, we've even made a "fried rice", just another take on stir-fry in this house, with ground beef and it was delicious. So use whatever you have on hand, okay maybe not a roast.

Step 3 Prep the veggies. I chopped the collard greens (any green, especially kale or cabbage, goes great in stir-fry) really small since they're a tough green that is typically slow cooked.  

Next I cut the tops off the scapes, I'll use these to make some salad dressing later (Honey Garlic Vinaigrette), and then I cut the thicker bottoms like green beans to be stir-fried.

Finally, we finished up by chopping the onion, bell peppers, celery and chicken. 

Step 4 Make your sauce. Kyle says that he starts with about 1/4 cup of soy sauce as the base and then adds Hoisin sauce, if we have it on hand, as well as a sweetener (orange juice or honey). You can also throw in some red pepper flakes for heat, fresh ginger if you have some, etc. He then whisks in corn starch as a thickening agent. (If you want to use sesame oil, he says to add this once everything is cooked so you don't drown out it's flavor.)

Step 5 Stir-fry. Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet or wok and cook your hard veggies first. Do not cook your greens yet.

It's looking great isn't it?!?

When these are tender, dump them out on a plate and then cook the chicken. When the chicken (or whatever meat you're using) is done throw the veggies back in and add the greens now. Cook until the greens are wilted or softened (depending on what greens you're using). Finally, add your sauce. Let it heat to a boil to thicken. Once your sauce has thickened you're done, remove the stir-fry from the heat.

Step 6 Serve it up! You can eat your stir-fry on top of or mixed with rice or noodles.

If you haven't ever created your own stir-fry, I hope that this post gives you a basis to start your culinary explorations. It's easy, delicious and a great way to clean out your fridge.

How do you eat your veggies? Do you have any stir-fry tips? Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

Janelle said...

Of course Kyle would just "throw this together" Just like Dad! :)

haven't done a stir fry in a long time. I usually saute' them and eat them with my eggs.

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