Monday, July 20, 2009

Stirring Things Up!

It's always good to stir things up every now and then. Whether it is in a salad bowl, a pot of soup, a blender or a wok - it is easy to make a nutritious meal out of a combination of great ingredients. As simple as it is to make a stir fry, I find that often people are very intimidated to "stir" things up in their own kitchen. I often get asked by my clients or participants at workshops and even in my cooking classes - "what do I put into a stir fry? how many veggies can I use? what type of protein should I use? how do I make a "healthy" Teriyaki sauce?" These are all great questions, but it is much easier than people think to make a great stir-fry. I just tell people to just get creative and have fun! What you need to get started is a wok or a large stainless steel pan. I use Titanium cookware for my pots, pans and woks- they are great quality, conduct the best heat, non coated and rarely get burned or have stuff stuck to them - so in essence perfect for a stir fry! Once you have that all set, get your stove top turned up to high heat, throw a little grapeseed oil or coconut oil in the pan (two great oils for high heat cooking) and start stirring. You need to be quick, small movements, always keep the veggies moving. Don't ever let them stay in one spot for too long. You want to cook them, but just a little - a really good stir fry will have crisp, tender and colourful veggies - that are just lightly cooked. There is nothing worse then a wilted brown, dark and soggy stir fry!
What I love about making stir fry's - is that you can get as creative as you want and just throw anything in there. You can make a different combination every time! So there really should be no stress about choosing the right vegetables. For starters it is always good to have some onions, celery and carrots, they provide a great base. Then go crazy with anything like kale, broccoli, bok choy, peppers, bean sprouts, snap peas, green beans to zucchini and even eggplant. For my delicious bowl of goodness (photo above) this week I grabbed a whole bunch of fresh veggies from my garden (kale, carrots, broccoli, snap peas) added some purple cabbage and combined them with marinated Tempeh, Spelt/Buckwheat Soba Noodles and a simple "Teriyaki" sauce (you can just make some extra sauce and use that to marinate the tempeh).
Then I topped it with homemade sprouted mung beans. This just added a little extra boost of protein and raw enzymes to my meal to keep it fresh, light and crunchy!

So next time you want to stir things up, don't be afraid! Grab some veggies, cook up some buckwheat noodles or brown rice, top it with marinated tempeh (or tofu, organic chicken, wild fish) for a change, and you will have yourself a nutritious and satisfying dinner!

Simple Teriyaki Sauce:

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup tamari
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of chopped ginger
juice of one orange
1-2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup

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