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
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!