Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fun with your food.

Last night's dinner was "fun with food." Playing with your food makes it happy! Fresh squash from Monika's garden, rutabaga greens from 3M's garden, and red kale with a weiner from Whole Foods.

Dinner tonight was my first attempt at authentic Chinese cooking. It's sorta convoluted, but here's how the story goes... My dad's Chinese wife's mother is living with them. This last time I visited she introduced me to the glorious world of sweet potato noodles. Needless to say, they rock my world. She taught how to cook with these noodles. It does take a bit of extra time, but the payoff is totally worth it.

: Buy the sweet potato noodles at any Asian food store. While you're there, pick up some fish sauce, tamari*, and baby bok choy.

Prep: The noodles need to soak before you cook them, so put them in a bowl of cool water while you prepare the veggies and meat. In this meal, I used turnips (fresh from 3M's garden), carrots, asparagus, and turkey (from a chopped up turkey burger) to make the main dish. This is mostly because this is what was in my house. It turned out DELICIOUS. Slice the veggies into thin strips. I'm sure there's a way to use a food processor to do this, but I haven't figured that out yet. Separate the bok choy leave/stalks from the "root" of the stalk. I also sliced up some squash (from Monika's garden) to cook with the bok choy. Cut the meat into thin strips.

In two pans
Pan #1: Cook the squash first and add the bok choy when mostly done in a little fish sauce, olive oil, and tamari*, and water**.
Pan #2: Cook the veggie mix in the same types of sauces, oil, and water. Once cooked, set aside on a plate. Cook the meat in the same types of sauces & oil until mostly done. Then set aside with the veggies. Cook the noodles in the same types of sauces, oil, and water. This is the slightly tricky part. Only add a little water at the start. Stir continuously. Add a little more water each time the water begins to run out in the pan. Repeat this until the noodles are cooked, then add the meat and veggies back into the pan and mix it all together. It should only take a minute to finish cooking the meat and then you're done.

*Tamari is gluten free soy sauce, not strictly paleo, but much better than straight soy sauce - plus I use less than a tea spoon in each pan. You don't need a whole lot of any of the sauces, just enough to add some flavor. (I'm looking for another option instead of the tamari, but haven't found it yet).
**You don't need a whole lot of water, either. This is just to keep it from drying out and sticking to the pans.

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