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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Veggies Galore!

Today was definitely something worth registering in the record books.  My husband, who it is almost a requirement to have meat at every meal, ate a meatless meal.  Not one shred of meat was to be had in lunch today.  And he ENJOYED it!  It's up there in temperatures again but you still have to eat.  I know they say Monday is the day for meatless meals but since I don't adhere to those kinds of things I figured why not today.  I knew exactly what I wanted to make because I hadn't made a stir fry in a while, well not since our daughter went back to Tennessee.  So it's been a while.  I have all these veggies, both frozen and fresh, so stir fry it is.  BUT, you knew that was coming right, what sauce to use.  I didn't want the standard teriyaki sauce.  So off I went searching, while hubby sat beside me without a clue.  I found one I thought I'd like to try, but of course some of the ingredients I didn't have.  This of course resulted in what hubby likes to call Melody Tweaks.  
I will call it my Veggie Stir Fry Sauce Recipe, all because well there isn't anything close to meat in it.

1/2 Cup Soy Sauce (I used low sodium or lite)
1/2 Cup of Vegetable Stock
1/3 Cup of Coconut Milk
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
1 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil
3 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon White Pepper (definitely can use black pepper)
2 Tablespoons Peanut Oil
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Cold Water
In a bowl combined soy sauce, stock, coconut milk, lime juice, sesame oil, brown sugar, and pepper.
In a separate bowl combined cornstarch and water.
In a medium saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil, once you see the oil start to ripple add the garlic and ginger.  Heat until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
Add soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and cook 1 minute.
Add cornstarch solution to saucepan and stir until the sauce boils and starts to thicken.  You can immediately add to your stir fry or set aside. 

If after you have added it to your stir fry and you find it too thick, you can think it out with a little vegetable stock.  But remember to add a little at a time and let it absorb before adding more.

What to put in a vegetable stir fry ... any veggie you want.  I am a fan of using both sweet and savory vegetable.  Frozen or fresh, even cans once they are drained and rinsed.  I love to add some pasta, usually a veggie pasta but if I don't have any on hand I will use whole grain linguine.  If you will be adding pasta, make sure to cook it first while your fresh veggies are sauteing.  As for the veggies, cook the fresh first, then add the frozen, then the canned.  In this instance I used a mix of frozen stir fry veggies, along with fresh zucchini, yellow squash, fresh carrots, baby spinach, and onions  Add some canned, drained and rinsed baby corn, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots.  At the end toss in 1/3 cup of honey roasted, chopped peanuts for a little added sweetness and crunch and you will have something TOTALLY meatless, yummy, and definitely filling.  

I like to add to the oil before the I add the veggies a clove of garlic and some minced ginger.  It scents and flavors the oil before starting to cook the veggies and brings the main flavors through the meal.  Once you have browned the garlic clove, remove it and toss.  If you want instead of peanuts, I used them because I used peanut oil, you can use sunflower seeds or even toasted sesame seeds.  

I'm hoping it cools down again soon so I can get back to some baking.  Hubby LOVED the chocolate cupcakes with the coffee chocolate almond frosting so now what to do to top that.  In the meantime, remember the best ingredient is you ... Enjoy!