Sunday, September 2, 2012

Stir Fry (Cleaned up a bit)

Stir Fry has been a staple recipe pretty much since I first got married. Especially after I discovered the huge bag of Asian mix frozen veggies available at Costco.
Back then I used to purchase Lighthouse brand Asian dressings or marinades and use those as my main sauce to cook the meat in and then throw in the veggies right at the end. I even purchased Panda Express brand orange chicken sauce from Costco a couple of times, until I knew better.

Stir fry became even more frequent for us after Jake's little brother gave us one of the three rice cookers he got for his wedding. It was pretty awesome.

Sadly, it has since broken though, and I'm really missing it. Still these have continued to evolve at our house when it comes to food and what we eat and even stir fry has seen some changes.

First of all, I decided to try Quinoa at the start of this year and that has fast replaced rice in our diet. Not that rice is terrible, it just has so little nutritional value as compared to quinoa which is actually not a grain at all, since it's not a member of the grass family. The part we eat is the seed which has been found to be a complete protein. The hardest part is rinsing it because the seeds are so tiny they tend to fall through my mesh colander. I've tried a few different things but the best I can do so far is to fill a jar with the quinoa, cover with water and then pour off as much water from the top as I can without losing too much quinoa, then fill again and repeat till the bubbles are much reduced. Still, it's worth it.

(Update 2/21/13 I have since purchases a little coffee filter basket. It holds exactly the amount I need to rinse, even if I double it from half a cup to a full cup. It's been a huge time saver so now quinoa is probably the fastest meal I make.)

I don't even feel like I need to add meat any more because the quinoa is already full of protein. Though I still will add meat occasionally. Usually wild caught salmon, and rarely chicken or beef. But those two are very rarely eaten in our home now. I have not yet found a good source for the safer grass-fed versions of these meats. P.s. quinoa is really tasty.

Eeeenyways . . . . So that has changed. I no longer use a pre-made sauce for my stir fry but usually just throw things together that I have that seem like they would work for that type of Asian style flavor. Soy sauce is a no-brainer and luckily fermented soy such as soy sauce is actually the only safe way to eat soy. Any other soy is toxic. That's one thing I've learned in the past four months or so that has changed my thinking yet again in regards to what I will buy/eat. It's sad how many things contain processed soy. I mean, seriously. Especially sad considering how many "health" foods contain nasty processed soy that will mess up your hormones (it contains estrogen imitators) giving you all kinds of problems. Even edamame (which is not a raw food, FYI) is not safe to eat a lot of.

But I digress. I've had a lot of fun making stir fry since my diet has changed to more raw/organic/whole foods. It might not be quite as quick as my old way of making stirfry, but it doesn't usually take too much longer. I still use the frozen veggies but I usually use less and add a few fresh things, whatever I have on hand. Carrots, onions, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage and fresh pineapple is always a treat. I'd like to get some sesame seeds sometime and try adding roasted sesame since it is to die for!

As for the sauce, I use soy sauce and water, as well as simple seasonings like ginger, garlic, fresh ground black pepper and sea salt. (or curry if I feel like going in an Indian direction). I also like to add a little honey or maple syrup sometimes to off-set the saltiness of the soy sauce. I tend to also use peanut butter or tahini if I want a thicker sauce. Organic juice can be good. Adding a can of pineapple chunks, or even just the juice adds a more teriyaki feel. Greek yogurt, butter or coconut oil can also be used. If you have any fun Asian seasonings you use, I would love to hear about them!