Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vegetarian/Non-Vegetarian Stir Fry with Rice Noodles

This is the perfect dish to feed to a group of people that includes both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.  This is for those families that have one or two vegetarian members amidst others who want meat with their dinners.  This is for the cooks who want to please everyone.  

One of the tenets of green planet eating is to eat more vegetables than meat, because plants require fewer planetary resources to produce than animals.  Another tenet of green planet eating is to reduce (or better yet, eliminate!) food waste.  Food waste means that some part of the environment was used or damaged unnecessarily.  This recipe encourages the consumption of plants over animals, but by using leftovers that otherwise might have gotten thrown away, we are doing our part to conserve Earth's resources.  In my case, I had a chicken carcass from a few days ago that looked like it had been picked pretty clean.  We had roast chicken for dinner one night and I made a couple of sandwiches the next day with some of the leftovers.  But I got out a bowl and picked at that carcass some more, and came up with enough meat to be able to throw it in the pan at the end and satisfy the teenage boys who complained last night about a dinner with no meat at all.  (Luckily, they do not read my blog, so they have no idea at how scrappy the meat portion of tonight's dinner was!)  Before I added the meat at the end, I served myself a healthy portion.  Unfortunately, I wanted seconds, so I had to serve myself some more after I had added the chicken.  Make sure you do not make the same mistake--serve plenty to the vegetarians before adding the meat.  Remember that if you serve too much before you add the meat, you can always put it back in the pan with the meat later if it doesn't get eaten (as long as it wasn't on the plate that someone was eating off of!)

This is the chicken I was able to pick off of the carcass, with a few pieces of broccoli left on the cutting board after I chopped vegetables.

½ lb. wide rice noodles
¼ cup soy sauce
2 TBS mirin
2 TBS rice vinegar
1 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS corn starch
1 tsp ginger juice (or 1 tsp fresh grated ginger)
2 TBS honey
1 TBS coconut oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 carrots, sliced on the horizontal diagonal
1 small bunch broccoli, cut into florets
½ lb. baby bok choy, each bunch cut in half lengthwise
½ lb. sugar snap peas
1-2 cups of any kind of plain cooked meat (I used leftover roast chicken) or seafood, if desired

Soak rice noodles in hot water for 30 minutes, then drain.  Mix soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, sesame oil, corn starch, ginger juice, and honey in small bowl.  Heat coconut oil in large skillet.  Fry onions, stirring, until translucent and beginning to brown.  Add garlic and stir.  Add carrots, broccoli, and baby bok choy, stir and fry for a couple of minutes.  Add soy sauce mixture and stir until all vegetables are coated.  Add noodles and stir until noodles are spread throughout mixture and coated with sauce.  Add sugar snap peas and stir fry for a couple of more minutes.  If you are adding meat or seafood at the end, stir it in and cook until the meat is warm.  Serves 3-4.

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