Archives for posts with tag: seasonal

So, you may have read that I like shopping at farm stands and eating fresh.  The eating fresh bit is still relatively new – so new that when I eat a meal the *old* way (like Chinese food… *drools*) I am still surprised when I feel like crap afterwards.  It just reinforces the fact that I need to cook my own meals, using fresh ingredients, in order to be healthy.  One of my favorite things to cook lately is Stir Fry Veggies!

I wasn’t always like this.  I am a big girl, and I have been on a mission over the past two years to change my life – not just lose weight.  It came slow, despite the fact that I knew I wanted to do it.  I really needed to accept the life change, and that was more difficult than I thought.  I started putting veggies into things, soups, sandwiches, etc.  I did this because I didn’t like them.  What a crazy thought!  These days, I like many more vegetables than before.  (like, more than pickles.  That’s the only ‘veggie’ I liked as a kid.)  Stir Fry is a great way to eat a WHOLE BUNCH of Veggies! Including our delicious peas with edible pods!

Image

I am in love with edible pea pods.  Just so you know.  I eat them like potato chips.  🙂

Anyway, I thought I would share with you the stir fry I made tonight.  I used as many local veggies as I could.  I have also been cutting down on the processed ingredients I use, in a effort to be as fresh as possible.  I must say, the results are awesome! Oh, the other thing I should tell you is that when I cook I don’t always use recipes.  I cook what I think tastes good.  With stir fry, it is pretty open for interpretation.  When you use fresh ingredients, you don’t need to hide them in spices.  This is one of those dishes that I can make more than once a week and put enough variety in it that nobody complains. 

This is a very basic Stir Fry recipe, good for any beginner.  It is very subjective, allowing creative freedom in the kitchen.  And who doesn’t love that?  I have made this several times with many different ingredients.  I love playing with flavor.  I use Olive Oil because I like the flavor and it has a lot of positive health benefits.  If you use peanut oil or soybean oil, it will give the dish completely different flavor.  Look in your fridge and be creative! 

Image

 

Image

 

Stir Fry Veggie Bowl

Ingredients:

1 Large Zucchini  (mine was pretty big, so if you have smaller ones, toss as many in as you would like)

1 Medium Onion

Garlic, to taste

1 Green Bell Pepper

1 cob of Corn

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Honey

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Soy Sauce, to taste.

Cooked Rice

Optional recommended ingredients: Mushrooms, Peanuts, Cashews, Bean Sprouts, Carrot, Broccoli, Squash.

I recommend preparing your vegetables before you start the heat on the stove.  It really makes it easier to keep control over the food, and you don’t run the risk of heating one ingredient too much.  Unless you are a trained chef.  Then go crazy, dude!

1) Chop Vegetables.  Cob corn. 

2) Heat Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Let those soften about two minutes.

2) Add Green Pepper, then Zucchini. These vegetable chunks are usually bigger than others, so they need a few extra minutes to cook. 

3) Add corn and any optional ingredients.  Stir to evenly distribute.

4) Add salt, pepper, and any other spices desired.  Drizzle honey over entire pan.  

Keep a watch on the amount of oil in your skillet.  This dish is meatless, so you need a little more than one with beef or chicken.  You may want to drizzle a little more Extra Virgin Olive Oil on here, depending on how much you used before.  You don’t want to drown the vegetables, but you don’t want them dry either. 

5) Fry over medium heat, about 15 minutes.  If you like your vegetables soft, add a little time.  Crunchy, subtract. 

Serve hot with cooked rice. 

 

Enjoy!  What do you put in your Stir Fry?

 

Advertisements

In Western New York (and upstate as well) you always know when it is summer.  Every time you get in the car you’re bound to pass a farm stand or two with summer harvest bounty.  Zucchini, Summer Squash, and endless tomatoes fill the my meals every day.  Here and there you can still find some cherries or a few late berries.  Vegetables from a farm stand are different than the store.  They are warm, fresh, and simply holding them gives you a little thrill.  Every dish tastes better with fresh, locally grown food.  But it’s more than that.  You support local growers.  For example, peaches from down the road instead of across the country. (I look at the stickers on the fruit.)  But this food brings us together.  It brings family and friends around the table, campfire, bonfire, and so on.  It helps us make memories that last a lifetime.

My family has been making a conscious effort to shop at local businesses as much as possible.  We feel that it not only helps support our neighbors and community, but it helps rural poverty.  Here, and many other places like it, are so poor that they barely hang on.  The difference is that nobody talks about it.  Rather, they didn’t before recently. The falling economy has gotten people talking more about their hardships. It can be little things, like the price of milk, or bigger things, like the cost of heating oil.  I know many people who heat their homes with electric heaters over the winter because they can’t afford heating oil.  I guess that if I can help support them, I will. 

Besides, I have been on a journey to get healthy over the last year or two.  I have given up soda, junk food, and fast food.  I have been working vegetables into my diet (because I was one of those kids who hated them.) Shopping at the farm stands makes me eat better, which makes me want to cook more.  And then I buy more veggies.  It’s a fantastic circle!  We all could be a little more healthy, right?

I guess I just want everybody to be happy.  Myself included.  It isn’t always easy, but every little bit helps.  Lately that little bit is Zucchini! 🙂 

Thank you for reading.  I hope you have a wonderful morning/afternoon/evening!