GARLIC GINGER VEGGIE STIR FRY

Ginger Garlic Vegetable Stir Fry

An easy way to get a good variety and amount of veggies into your diet is to toss everything into a stir fry!  This is a low-sodium version that has no salt or soy sauce in it– I am way too addicted to those things and am trying to cut down.  This dish is still flavorful and really allows the flavors of each ingredient to shine.

Veggies for stir fry

Since there are quite a few vegetables that need to be washed and prepared, I really love using Dorot frozen herbs for the garlic and ginger. First, it cuts down on prep time and you don’t have to try to get the garlic smell out of your fingers.  Second, I can never use up herbs fast enough and they always come in a bunch that is too much for me to use in one recipe / for a small serving. It’s nice to have the herbs handy in the freezer and pop them back without having to worry about having to toss any.  Have you tried them before?  You might have seen the small packages in the freezer aisle and the little cubed trays the herbs come in.  There’s a ton of different products in their line including parsley, dill, basil, chili– here is the entire line.  They taste amazing (you can smell the ginger as you peel back the lining) without any hassle!  Pick some up next time you are at the grocery store and start using more herbs in your dishes!

Dorot Frozen Herbs

Dorot Crushed Ginger Cubes

Hope you enjoy this simple but colorful and healthy recipe, feel free to add or substitute any of the veggies and to use as much or as little as you like.  There are no real quantities for this recipe– just use what suits you!  I like making this a meal with rice or noodles and slices of baked tofu on the side.

Garlic Ginger Veggie Stir Fry

– Baby bok choy, leaves separated and washed
– Sugar snap peas, washed
– Carrots (I used baby carrots since that is what I had on hand and they also cut nicely into uniform pieces), sliced
– Red onion, sliced
– Bell peppers, sliced
Dorot’s crushed garlic cubes 
Dorot’s crushed ginger cubes
– a bit of oil for cooking

Prepare all the veggies by cleaning and slicing into bite sized pieces.

Heat up a frying pan or wok and add a bit of oil.  Once the oil is warm add the onions, garlic, and ginger.  Cook until the garlic begins to brown.  Add the remaining veggies and add a few TBS of water if needed.  Stir to mix all the ingredients well and cook until bok choy is just wilted and / or veggies are tender to your liking.

Brussels Sprouts + Glazed Red Onions

Trying to eat healthier for the new year is a great resolution for everyone to have– but actually sticking with it is where it gets tricky.

There’s two main things that keep me from eating as well as I should: 1) I don’t think it’ll taste good and 2) I don’t have time to plan/cook a meal.  So I have been trying to find recipes that are easy, tasty, and can be made ahead of time or partially prepared.  That way you have it stored for fast cooking later when you’ve had a long day and all you want to do is order whatever will get delivered the fastest!

The first recipe I want to share with you are these brussels sprouts with glazed red onions.  You must be thinking, that violates point #1 you mentioned above!  But trust me and try it!

When I was little, before I ever even tasted one of these mini cabbage like vegetables, I thought they would be nasty because I remember hearing about how gross they were– unfortunately they have a bad rep!  I actually made this dish for Christmas Eve dinner and my mom just looked at me skeptically like, are you SURE that’s what you want to make?  Yes, especially after I recently read a few articles on how beneficial brussels sprouts can be– especially for women.

An excerpt from a LiveStrong.com article:

Numerous studies have demonstrated anti-proliferaton effects of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts against cervical cancer, according to Susan Lanza-Jacoby, Ph.D., a professor of surgery at Jefferson Medical College. Diindolylmethane, DIM, the active metabolite of indole-3-carbinol, a naturally occurring active compound found in cruciferous vegetables, has been found shown to protect against cervical carcinoma. DIM blocks angiogenesis, the formation of new tumor blood vessels, which supply tumors with oxygen and nutrients necessary for their survival and growth. Cervical cancer is a viral infection, so there is no medication that will cure this disease. Some studies have shown that nutritional deficiencies may be a contributing factor in the development and progression of cervical cancer.

I completely believe that food can cure us of many diseases from the inside out and naturally, without the use of drugs.  Of course prevention is the most important thing and eating a balanced and healthy diet can help to make a difference.

This recipe doesn’t take much time and I have noted (marked by ***) where you can stop and store to make later if you’d like.  Give Brussels sprouts a chance, I was shocked at how much I enjoyed them and have made this dish numerous times!

Brussels Sprouts + Glazed Red Onions

This recipe is from MarthaStewart.com.

– Brussels sprouts (Trader Joe’s sells them washed and bagged)
– red onion, thinly sliced
– balsamic vinegar
– water for cooking
– olive oil for cooking
– salt and pepper, to taste

For quantities: I try to make sure there is a fairly equal amount of Brussels sprouts to onions.  You can adjust the quantity to your liking.

The sprouts will need to go in an ice water bath.  I haven’t had any ice on hand and keep forgetting to make some so I will put a bowl of water in the refrigerator first before I start anything else to make sure it gets cold.

Wash the Brussels sprouts (if they are bagged I will usually rinse them) and peel off any outer leaves that are very damaged.  I also cut off the bottom of the stems if they seemed damaged or dirty as well.  Slice each sprout in half, lengthwise.

In a pot, add enough water so your sprouts can be submerged.  Bring to a boil.  Add the sprouts. Cook until sprouts are a bright green, outer leaves slightly translucent, and can be pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes, and drain.

Transfer sprouts into the ice water to cool, drain.

***At this point if you have lots of sprouts or want to continue the process later, you can place them in a ziplock bag or plastic container and freeze until ready to use.  Foods are best eaten as fresh as possible so don’t forget about them in there!

In a frying pan, heat up a bit of oil.  Add the sprouts and cook until they are lightly browned, about 3 – 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a large bowl or your serving dish.

In the same pan, heat up a bit more oil.  Add the sliced onions and cook until transparent, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Drizzle with the vinegar.  Stir and cook until onions are glazed and vinegar is reduced, about 30 seconds. Add onions to Brussels sprouts, toss well and serve.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Breakfast Salad

I wanted to try to incorporate more greens into the breakfast scene and to try something different– not the usual omelet recipes that are suggested or a dish with potato as the main veggie (I LOVE potatoes but want to switch it up!)  A salad for breakfast might sound a little weird, but I came across a post in Culinate by Cindy Burke that looked light, tasty, and fresh.  It’s a perfect break if you’ve had too much sweet and/or savory recently.

The original recipe contains egg and cheese which I left out.  Like the egg-less Florentine, I think tofu– lightly pan-fried– would be a good substitute, or maybe soft tofu which would have a similar texture to a soft boiled egg.  I will have to try that next time.

Either way, give this refreshing breakfast salad a chance and let me know what you think!

Breakfast Salad

The quantities below serve about 2.

This recipe is based on Cindy Burke’s breakfast salad recipe.

Cut all the follow veggies into bite-sized cubes:
– 1 large cucumber, peeled
– 1 bell pepper
– 1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes

– freshly ground pepper, to taste
– salt, to taste
– olive oil or flaxseed oil
– mild rice wine vinegar…I didn’t have any so I used sushi rice vinegar– not sure what the differences/similarities are but it tasted good lol
– a spoonful of flaxseed or sunflower seeds

– handfuls of watercress, peppercress, or lettuce torn into bite-sized pieces

Place all your cut veggies into a large bowl.  Drizzle with the olive oil/flaxseed oil and rice wine vinegar– just enough to add a bit of moisture and lightly coat the veggies.   Sprinkle in a bit of salt and mix well.

In a large bowl or in each individual bowl: place a generous handful of the leafy greens to create a nice bed for the salad.

Scoop the dressed veggies on top.  Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and top with the flaxseed/sunflower seeds.  Enjoy!

To save time in the AM, you can prep all the veggies, toss it in the dressing and refrigerate (don’t add the leafy greens or they will wilt with the dressing).  All you have to do then is mix with the greens, top with the seeds and pepper, and you are good to go!

Roasted Rosemary Veggies

I meant to roast these veggies along with the Tofurky but I ended up with so much of it that the Tofurky needed to go into another dish!  I like this combo of vegetables because it’s a little different than what you usually see (I have never ever tried parsnip before) and all the colors are so beautiful– especially the bits of purple from the turnip.  Roasting your vegetables is such an easy method to cook them without overpowering the flavors with a lot of extra seasonings or sauces.  It’s also something that’s easy to throw together for a large group of people– very helpful for the holidays!

Roasted Rosemary Veggies

This serves about 4 to 6 people, adjust the amount of vegetables to your liking and to accommodate how many people you need to serve.

Try to cut all vegetables the same amount of thickness so they cook evenly.

– 3 medium carrots, cut into sticks
– 3 russet potatoes, cut into wedges
– 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
– 2 medium parsnips, cut into wedges
– 1 large turnip, cut into slices
– 1 large onion, quartered
– 1 cup butternut squash, cubed (Trader Joe’s pre-cut bags come in handy)
– fresh rosemary
– olive oil
– salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place all the cut veggies in a large glass baking dish.  Toss with olive oil (enough so all veggies are lightly coated but not dripping) and generously season with salt and pepper.

Roast in oven for about an hour, or until veggies are tender and starting to brown, stirring every 20 to 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and transfer to serving platter, or serve straight from the baking dish.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes + Arugula

I’m such a fan of potatoes (I think it wins the award for “veggie I post most about”) that when I saw this recipe for it’s close relative sweet potato, I decided to give it a try.  This is another one of those dishes (like the tomato toasted bread tops) that seem a little rustic to me and should be eaten on lovely wooden tables with long benches or in a barn or something.

So I went to the grocery store to get some sweet potatoes and was confused at first of what I actually got.  There was a sign in the produce section that said ‘sweet potato’ and another sign that said ‘yams’.  One veggie was red and the one was white but they were all mixed together…I went with the white one because I’ve never heard of a white yam before!  It looks like I got the yellow variety vs. the orange/red variety of sweet potatoes.

This awesome breakdown from zoebakes.com also helps to clear things up a bit…

Regardless of what type I got it turned out to be easy to make and yummy- sweet, a little sour, a little salty, and both crunchy and soft.  Do allow for around 30-45 minutes for baking time though.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes + Arugula

From the October 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens

– 2 to 3 medium sized sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean or peeled
– 1 TBS olive oil
– 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
– 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts (I did not use these in mine but will next time!)
– 2 cups arugula
– 3-4 TBS of apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400F.  Prepare a baking pan or baking sheet by lining bottom with parchment paper (this is optional but makes clean up so much easier and faster).

Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and then into wedges.  Place in the baking sheet.  Toss with oil, salt, and pepper.

Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, toss, then roast for another 15 or until wedges are tender.  Sprinkle with garlic and hazelnut.  Return to ove for about 5 minutes or until nuts are toasted and garlic is softened.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with arugula and vinegar.

Quick + Easy Spinach

I like to eat this Asian-influenced spinach dish with rice and dried seaweed. (You can pick up the rice with the seaweed and make a VERY casual sushi roll lol.) Korean seaweed is my favorite because they salt it and flavor it and make it oh so delicious!)

Garlic Soy Spinach

– Spinach (as much asyou want– keep in mind that it will shrink like crazy when you cook it!)
– as many cloves of garlic as you would like, minced
– soy sauce
– sesame oil
– toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
– oil for cooking

Here is the hard part: wash the spinach well!!! Mine had clumps of dirt in it…at least it was fresh I guess lol.  I dunked it about 4 different times then washed small handfuls at a time, then did a FINAL rinse!

Heat up cooking oil in a pan.  Saute garlic for a few minutes.

Add spinach.  If you can’t fit it all in the pan, start with some and keep adding once the original amount starts to cook and shrink.

Cook for a few minutes until spinach is wilted and bright green.  Drizzle soy sauce on top and toss to coat.  Remove from heat and transfer onto serving platter.

Give a light drizzle of sesame oil and garnish with sesame seeds.