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Getting those vegetables down
November 17, 2011 - Kathie Evanoff
One of my favorite ways to get plenty of vegetables is to make a stir-fry. Stir-fries are probably the easiest and fastest way to prepare a healthy meal without a lot of fuss. The most time consuming part of the meal is chopping the vegetables. I enjoy chopping vegetables and with a stir-fry, you can pretty much use whatever vegetables you like.
There is no recipe. You simply chop up the vegetables, toss them in a pan with the tiniest bit of hot oil and stir them over high heat until they are tender enough to eat but still have some crunch. If you want to add meat, you can cube chicken, beef or pork (leftovers are great for this) and cook those prior to the vegetables. I usually cook the meat first and then take it out of the pan and set it aside. Then I put the chopped vegetables in the same pan I just took the meat from and cook them the way I like them and then toss the meat back in. If I’m using shrimp or cubed fish filets, I don’t pre-cook those.
For seasonings, I’ll add some Chinese Five Spice, soy or teriyaki sauce or I’ll pour in some San-J’s sauce, either soy or teriyaki, or if I’m really feeling the flavor, I’ll use any of the flavored sauces. My favorite is the new orange sauce.
When I make it Asian style, I almost always serve my stir-fry over brown rice. But I have been known to use Italian seasonings too, including chopped flat-leaf parsley, fresh basil, oregano and of course, garlic. When I do this, I serve the whole thing over pasta.
But some days, I just don’t have the time or, especially after a busy day at work, I’m just too tired to cut up vegetables. I admit that I do sometimes cheat and will buy frozen mixed vegetables. The problem with using frozen vegetables is you don’t get to choose what you want. You have to take what’s in the bag, which are usually carrots, squash and peppers. I also like to toss in mushrooms, shredded red cabbage, thinly sliced onions and pretty much anything else I can find in the fridge.
I was recently introduced to a new line of Asian products made by Day-Lee Foods that are cheerily titled Crazy Cuisine. The frozen pot stickers are pretty good and there were enough in the package for several meals. I have also tried the Teriyaki chicken, which I served over brown rice and it is pretty good too. The package includes the sauce and the seasoned chicken, which takes about five minutes to cook. I added the vegetables to round out the meal.
The problem with this product is that it isn’t sold in this area. You would have to drive to Whole Foods, which around here the closest is Cleveland. But if you make the trip for other things because you like Whole Foods Crazy Cuisine is worth giving a try. The company also is offering a $1 off coupon on Facebook if you “like” their page. You can check them out at www.facebook.com/dayleefoods.
What I like best about making a stir-fry is that you can pretty much eat a lot of it without wrecking your diet. I serve two cups of fresh vegetables or one cup cooked for each serving, but eat as much as you want. You can never get enough vegetables.
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