Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day, 80/20 Diet, Stir Fry Vegetables

I saw "Vegetarian Recipes for Earth Month" somewhere at Whole Foods Market website and decided on my theme for today, coincidentally also Earth Day - 22 April 2010: Vegetarian Vegetable Recipes for Earth Month and Earth Day.

There are a few changes I have been making to my eating habits. I try to keep to a 80/20 rule (my food "decision-making" rule):
- 80 for vegetables-beans-whole grains-fruits(largely vegetables though) vs 20 for seafood/meat
- 80 for seafood vs 20 for meat

Stir-Fry Bok Choy and Napa Cabbage with Fresh Mushrooms and Carrots (Recipe below)

This change is 80 by chance (gradual habit) and 20 ("purposed") - probably because I stayed with my friend for about four months (her husband is a vegetarian) and we made sure there are always vegetarian dishes on the dinner table. Now I become really uncomfortable if there are no vegetables on the dinner table. And because they are a Chinese-Indian family, I am blessed with a good mix of Chinese and Indian vegetarian dishes.


Another variation: Stir-Fry Broccoli and Napa Cabbage with Fresh Mushrooms(Adapted from Recipe below)

In the past, I always had a bad impression of vegetarian food because (1) they are always greasy - to disguise their blandness (2) there is too much "fake" meat (gluten) used in vegetarian food.

At present, I am able to find more fresh produce of vegetables which are not just leafy greens; and I could use them to create homey recipes and dishes. I enjoy to permute and marry several ingredients differently to create new flavors and texture. When it succeeds, that is an encouragement. When it fails, I try again. Such is the joy of cooking. And because we have to eat everyday, I get to try everyday (almost...).

Stir-Fry Bok Choy and Napa Cabbage with Mushrooms and Carrots
Ingredients: 2-3 gloves garlic, minced; 2-3 slices of ginger; bok choy, rinsed, stalks and leaves separated; napa cabbage, rinsed; leaves and thicker white stems separated; 1 small carrot, shredded; 3-4 fresh shitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced; salt and white pepper to taste

Directions: Heat some oil in wok. Add in ginger, then garlic and fry till fragrant. Add in carrots, stalks of bok choy, thicker white parts of napa cabbage, mushrooms and fry at medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Then, add in leaves of bok choy and napa cabbage, fry briskly and mix well. Add in 2-3 tbsp of water and allow it to simmer till all vegetables are just cooked. Pinch of salt and white pepper to taste.

Side Dish Showdown Blogger Event

As I know Bok Choy is "springing" for sale at the local farmer's markets in the Bay Area, this side dish should be timely as Spring Vegetables for Side Dish Showdown in April.

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