Monday, August 8, 2016

Cooking up a storm of vegetables

During July, we were delighted to have my delightful niece, Older Niece, visiting us. 

Her visit was conditional on her agreeing to show me how to cook some vegetarian dinners.  She more than fulfilled this bargain.  Our vegetable consumption increased three-fold, and our meat consumption declined.  Except the Common Household Husband got fed up (ha!) one night, and brought home Sesame Beef take-out from the Chinese restaurant.

Here are just two of the dishes that ON prepared for us.

Dish #1
Available vegetables
Onions, mukimame and spices

Adding sesame oil.  Yummmm!

Voila, it's Whatever-Veggies-Are-In-The-Fridge
Stir Fry

Whatever-Veggies-Are-In-the-Fridge Stir Fry

vegetable oil (we used canola oil)
onions, chopped
whatever veggies you have in the fridge, chopped
mukimame, if you have it
cooking sherry
soy sauce
sesame oil
garlic, minced
fresh ginger, grated 

In a large frying pan, heat vegetable oil.  Add onions and fry for a few minutes.  Add the other vegetables and fry for a bit.  Add the flavorings and fry for a little bit more.   Serve over rice, couscous, or some other grain of your choosing.

When we made this, we were just getting back from a visit to the Old Folks’ Home, so I had been driving for 5 hours and didn’t feel like driving to the grocery store.  I didn’t write down the recipe at the time, so I have no idea how much of the flavoring Older Niece used.  Going by my photos, our stir fry had celery, carrots, (frozen) broccoli, and mukimame.  Mukimame is edamame without the pesky shells.  I get a bag of it in the freezer section of the grocery store.  I like using freshly grated ginger root, but I also keep a jar of already grated ginger (not quite so fresh) which is easier to use after a long day.  It can take a while to grate a small amount of fresh ginger root.  But YUM!

Here is my text to my brother (ON’s father) and his response about our delicious dinner.  He knows that I detest mayonnaise.

Dish #2
Can we just agree that almost every delicious meal
begins with frying onions?
The expert hand of Older Niece
O cilantro, how I love thee!

Older Niece’s Tomato-Chickpea Stew

Total cooking time: about 20 minutes

2 medium-large onions, chopped
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained
canola oil for frying pan
1 tsp or so minced garlic
2 16-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chick peas)
a sprinkling of ground coriander seed
a sprinkling of black pepper
a large sprinkling of thyme
a medium sprinkling of oregano
¼ to ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
salt to taste.

Prepare everything that needs to be chopped.

Heat oil in large frying pan.  Add onions and cook for a few minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add all the other ingredients.  Let it all simmer in its juices for about 5 minutes.

This was really delicious, and rather quick and easy to make.   If you wanted to feed fewer people, you could use just one can of tomatoes and chick peas each!

* * * * * 

I hope to have more recipes in the near future but I'm crazy busy these days.  In the meantime, if you like, put the title of your favorite vegetarian main dish in the comments - for future veggie inspiration for us all.


Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Those look fabulous!
My husband will grab whatever fresh veggies are on hand, along with whatever he finds in the freezer, and do some of the same -- but without the excellent flavor your ON clearly has going on here.
For summer, I'm usually tired and hot enough to just hope that there is hummus, celery sticks, and carrot sticks in my fridge for lunch or supper. (Is a dish of ice cream with peanut butter swirled into it considered a vegetarian supper?)

The Crislers said...

Apparently I need a vegetarian to come to my house in order to get me to eat more vegetables. I'm terrible about cooking veggies in new and appetizing ways, but these dishes look really good!

I also experienced a moment of panic after reading your first sentence. July is over?!