I chose to make a stir-fry. Stir-frying is an art that everyone should master, because it's a great way to toss a variety of veggies together and make a meal fast! If you're not a vegetarian (I forgive you) you can stir fry your beef, chicken, or pork first and set it aside before you stir fry your veggies. Yes, there are pre-packaged stir-fry meals on the market...but trust me...you can make one that tastes infinitely better and will have less salt and NO preservatives! The most time consuming part of making a stir-fry is chopping fresh vegetables. Keep in mind, though, that there are bags of frozen vegetables that are said to retain more vitamins and minerals than their fresh-produce counterparts. Quite frankly, I just prefer the taste and texture of fresh vegetables over frozen and I can control what size and shape they are cut. The cut of the vegetable is important for a successful stir-fry because keeping everything one size helps your meal to cook evenly.
So what did I put in my stir-fry tonight? Thank you for asking! I began by putting 1/2 cup of Jasmine brown rice into my rice cooker with 2 tsp of peanut oil and 1 cup of water. Rice cookers can be your best friend since they do all the work for you, allowing you to move on to other tasks. You can get Jasmine brown rice at Whole Foods Market in the bulk isle. I love it; I always make sure I have some in my pantry.
|My rice cooker--working up a sweat.|
Next I pulled out all of the vegetables: onion, red bell pepper, carrot, green beans, garlic, and green onion. The more colorful you can make it, the better! I chopped the onion, bell pepper and carrot into 1 inch strips; cut the ends off of the green beans and cut them in half (also 1 inch in length), and then coarsely chopped the garlic and green onion. For the protein portion of the stir-fry, I took out 1/3 of a block of extra firm tofu--cut it into 1/2 inch cubes and wrapped it in paper towels to drain. Once all of your veggies are chopped and ready the fun part can begin! In a wok I heat about a tablespoon of peanut oil on medium and then add the onions and bell pepper first. A lot of recipes will tell you to add the garlic in with the onion but this never works out for me...The garlic usually over-cooks or burns by the time everything else goes into the mix.
|Okay, so maybe they are a little longer than an inch...|
|You have been tofued.|
|Just add water.|
|Put a lid on it.|
|Add the finishing touches...|
|Time to get my nom-nom on.|