Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Perfect Bite - Stir Fry Veggies with Pork

Here’s a question for you. Does your body ever, um, you know, talk to you? By that I mean does your body ever send you signals of what it needs? Now I know some folks crave chocolate and justify snarfing down the dark goddess by saying they are getting the anti oxidants it provides. But seriously, my blogging friends, have you ever just craved, let’s say, a glass of milk ... nothing else will do? Then, while you were chugging down that white beverage, you realized that you’ve been neglecting dairy and so perhaps your body was letting you know what it needed? Or perhaps you really desire a banana or apple or orange, and as the first bite passes your lips, you realize just how long it’s been since you devoured your last one?

All day long today, I’ve been craving veggies. I miss my summer garden, both the convenience and goodness it provided. Now that the weather has turned blustery, we’ve been eating more “cold weather” meals for dinner. Heavier and heartier than our summer dining fare, these winter meals have all been very tasty, yet the thought of eating another large dose of meat tonight just didn’t sit well with me. Then I found my oldest daughter, who is a big veggie girl anyway, snacking on a bag of cut up lettuce. "Okay," I say to myself, "I hear you ... you want veggies! Your daughter wants veggies! I'm not one to mess with fate. Let’s lighten the load and have a full flavored veggie meal."

Then I said to myself, “Self, what about your carnivorous husband and son? What can you do, short of waving the proverbial magic wand, to make veggies the star of the show, but include some meat to satisfy the men-folk?”

Answer: Stir fry. Two words that make me smile and my taste buds dance just thinking about them. Do you ever prepare stir fry’s? What do you think of them? I think they are just super-de-duper. In less than 30 minutes, you can have a really tasty, tummy pleasing meal. Any veggies will do; I used what I had handy. I wish I had some nappa cabbage to add, too, as I love cabbage in stir fry's. Other folks might like sliced mushrooms, bean sprouts, pea pods, etc. I served this tantalizing combo over rice because of my gluten free eater, but you can pair stir fry’s with noodles, if you like. Start cooking your rice or noodles before you begin your prep work, and in no time at all, you’ll be crunching and munching on your dinner.

Another bonus with stir fry’s is that I’m able to enjoy what I like to call “the perfect bite”. (Did you ever see the movie “The Mirror Has Two Faces”, where Barbara Streisand likes to load her fork with different foods in her quest for the perfect bite?) You’ve seen me posting loaded fork photos ... my quest for the perfect blend of flavors all in one bite. Here we go –

Stir Fry Veggies with Pork

1 Tablespoon oil – I used canola
1 head of fresh broccoli – sliced into bite sized pieces
2 large carrots – bias sliced, thin
1 onion – sliced into medium wedges
1 green pepper - sliced into med/thin long strips
1 garlic clove – sliced in half, and then into thin shaved slices
Sea Salt
½ teaspoon Ground ginger
3 pork chops – sliced into thin strips and tossed with salt, pepper, and a little oil
Soy Sauce – I used gluten free shoyu sauce
1 green onion – sliced thin for garnish
Hot chili sesame oil – few shakes for garnish
Hot cooked rice – I used a loooong grain basmati

In a large bowl, place about a ½ cup of water and add the broccoli. Put uncovered into microwave, and zap on high for about 3 minutes. Leave in the microwave to semi steam while you keep prepping the other veggies. In a large sauté pan or wok, heat the oil and add the onion. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the carrots and green pepper and stir fry for an additional 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and keep stirring. Add the ground ginger (I didn’t have fresh) and stir it in. Very quickly, drain the broccoli and add to the pan. Keep stir frying for about 2 more minutes, and then remove veggies and place in a bowl near the stove. Your pan should be really hot. Now add the pork. It should really sizzle up. Stir it constantly until the pork is done. This happens relatively quickly ... just 2 or 3 minutes. Doesn’t it look pretty? Sprinkle the meat with about 3 or 4 shakes of soy sauce, stir it in, and then return all the veggies back to the pan. Toss together and remove from the heat.They look so pretty all mixed together. We’re almost done ... but go ahead and sneak a little nibble. I won’t tell. Plate with rice, and sprinkle with green onion and chili sesame oil. The chili sesame oil really added a ton of flavor and just a wee bit of heat. Use just regular sesame oil if you aren’t a fan of the chili version.
Now it’s time to compose the perfect bite. Lots of crunchy but not raw veggies, awesome rice (look at those long grains!) to provide a different texture component, and a strip of meat to satisfy the carnivores.Just a quick taste and ..... YUM! Flavor explosion!

My kids ate all of theirs ... although my son left most of his rice on his plate (I served his and his twin sisters meals with the rice and stir fry separate). My carnivorous hubbyman ate seconds and I think he snuck in thirds when I was distracted.Hello you beautiful broccoli. You, too, Mr. Carrot.

Simple foods. Quickly prepared. Lots of flavor. Oh yeah, the perfect bite. Added bonus ... gluten free all the way, baby!
Stay tuned ... up coming post to include our version of a gingerbread house ... only this house is made from rice krispy treats! Gluten free, baby!


Bellini Valli said...

Yes Paula I do have cravings. They say it is because your body is lacking certain minerals and vitamins. Right now I need a big tossed salad with tuna.

My New 30 said...

Boy this looks delicious! I do the same thing - when I have been eating far too many carbs and sugars and totally unbalanced, my body lets me know so I start craving certain foods like salads and veggies. I have been known to eat a full plate of nothin' but veggies for that very reason!

Cheryl said...

I often have cravings like that, yesterday was a corn dog! had to have it! Thanks for saving me, I am making this tonight,I have no idea what to make!

Cathy said...

This looks so healty and delicious Paula. We've been hitting the rich food too much the last couple of weeks. This will be a very welcome change.

Marjie said...

Yes, I crave foods all the time. And I won't cook a meal without veggies. I love a salad, but in particular now that it's cold, I just don't want to trot off to buy the fixins! I always have apples, oranges and canned fruit at my disposal for that reason...This stir fry looks really pretty. I love bright green broccoli!

Manggy said...

I do have body signals for tons of stuff, including veggie deficiency :P Or maybe it's the guilt building up?! On that note, I think I need to get stir-frying myself! Or maybe it's the picture calling to me ;)

Lo said...

Oh, yeah. I know what you mean about cravings. We don't eat much meat, but occasionally I'll even get a craving for beef. I've always attributed it to low iron!! :)

Around the end of winter, I also start craving salads pretty hard-core!

This looks like the perfect way to get in some glorious veg!

Pam said...

I do have cravings too. This stir fry looks fantastic, full of color and flavor.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

you've done really well with this stir fry - the meat looks perfect. i love stir-fries, although they're not the family's favorite. but i'd say this is the healthiest way to cook

Linda said...

I crave certain foods all the time. Lately it's been veggies and probably for the same reason as you. This looks good although I might switch the pork to beef:)

Jan said...

Looks delish Paula! I could eat that right now!

Lisa said...

Lovely stir fry! I did something similar earlier this week but with chicken. It's a great way to clean out the produce drawer and end up with something delicious that satisfies the whole family.

Bridgett said...

I love how the body lets you know it needs a bit of healthy to make all things right. Stir fry can please just about any crowd and I love making it for a casual dinner get together, that way I am not slaving in the kitchen all evening. Your dish looks fabulous, as usual!

The Blonde Duck said...

My body not only talks to me, it demands, argues, pleads and threatens.

Nikki said...

I want this. Seriously. My body is telling me I need this. Pork & veggies doused with reduced-sodium soy sauce is calling my name. No, wait...maybe some tamari instead. Either way, my body is talking to me and is telling me I need more veg in my life.

Grace said...

sounds like your body tells you important things. mine only lets me know when there's a rerun of seinfeld on or if there's snow in the air. :)
great dinner all around, paula. :)

Aggie said...

I have cravings too...usually it's peanut butter or milk!

This stir fry looks so good and healthy! That chicken below looks mouthwatering too!!

Pam said...

I've been craving veggies lately too! I miss my CSA veggies!

Jan said...

Stir fry requires a bit of prep work, but it all comes together so quickly, you've got to love them. Great job, Paula.

Proud Italian Cook said...

I'm definitly not craving sweets because I been eating to many!!!
Come Jan 1st, I'll be craving your colorful stir fry, for sure!

Pat said...

I love stir fry too, Paula! Your recipe looks great. We are veggie lovers and I love to cook them in a varity of ways.

noble pig said...

My body talks to me and it always says BACON! What gives, it needs to say veggies! This sounds wonderful.

dp said...

I love stir-fry! When you're a busy parent, stir-fry is the sure-fire 30 minute meal. And it's a great way to get kids to eat veggies.

I'm not surprised your husband went for seconds. Stir-fried broccoli is delicious!