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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Simply Stir Fry

Tonight was a typical night in the Arnold household. Kind of.

Granted, my husband is out of town for the week, leaving me to play single mom (and might I say, I have the utmost respect for women who can raise children on their own).

And granted, I hauled home nearly a half-ton of essays to grade again tonight (which is probably why I am writing a blog post rather than spending every moment between now and bedtime reading 40+ essays about how the society in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four manipulates language to control the populace).  Ugh.

But otherwise, it was the typical evening.

You know, those evenings when you are desperately trying to make a healthy dinner for your family. Meanwhile, the children huddle around your feet screaming, whining, crying, and pouting while you do everything in your power to not chop off your own ears while you wield a sharp knife.

These nights happen often at my house, and it's on nights like this that it's hard to not throw in a cookie sheet laden with chicken nuggets and tater tots and escape to the living room (where at least the sound of the commotion doesn't reverberate off the appliances and the linoleum floor). But since I no longer keep things like chicken nuggets in the freezer, I still have to find something quick to fix. And one of the freshest and fastest meals that I turn to in these times is stir fry.

My definition of a good stir fry has changed a great deal in the past year. Before, "good" stir fry involved a small sampling of vegetables mixed with commercially-prepared "stir fry sauce" (a.k.a. soy sauce on a sugar high). Now, I heap on a wide variety of fresh veggies (always remembering baby bok choy, a personal favorite green of my daughter) and replace the stir fry sauce with organic tamari soy and fresh pineapple chunks.

And when my toddler and my preschooler slick it up, leaving more rice on their plates than veggies, I know it must be good. 

The following recipe is just what I happened to throw in the wok tonight--but I often vary the ingredients to match the rainbow in my vegetable crisper drawers.

Simply Stir Fry

1/2 medium organic yellow onion, cut into thin strips
1/2 organic red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 large handful organic carrot slices
2 handfuls organic sugar snap peas
1 organic zucchini, sliced
1 baby bok choy, cut into 1" lengths
4 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 of fresh-cut pineapple, cut into chunks
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
2-3 drops of dark sesame oil
Organic tamari soy sauce, to taste

1. Heat oils in wok over high heat. Once hot, add onions, red pepper, carrot slices, zucchini, and snap peas. Stir fry until tender-crisp.

2. Add mushrooms and pineapple to the veggies and stir fry for about 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, add soy sauce to taste. Serve immediately over rice, toss with rice noodles, or eat as is.

3. Savor the peace and quiet that ensues as children stuff stir fry into their mouths.

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