Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weekday dinner and table

I'd like to say that the kitchen is always neat, but the reality is it's a hard-working room and too often shows it.   This is typical.  The floor needs sweeping.  The table crowded with Liam's craft supplies and assorted projects in progress.  Various bits of paper and odds and ends.  Today it includes a snow globe Liam just. had. to. have. from a garage sale this weekend and which hasn't found it's proper place in the house yet.  (Why do they all play it's a small world?)  Crumbs, always.  A potted plant. 

And, most nights about 5:30: dinner.

Tonight, green vegetable stir fry.

We eat some version of this dinner at least once a week, and more often twice.  It is the easiest thing ever and I can reliably have it on the table 20 minutes from walking in the door from work.  Faster if I've remembered to prep the vegetables in advance, or chop the ginger and garlic on Sunday night and put them in a jar in the refrigerator with some oil to cover.  (Which happens about 1 week out of every three if I'm lucky.)

Take any relatively crunchy green vegetable, we most often use green beans or broccoli or both.  Asparagus is good too.  Trim and clean.  Chop up a good amount of ginger at at least two large cloves of garlic.  Heat a pan with a little oil (we generally use coconut), saute the green vegetable for 5 minutes or so with a splash of tamari.  You can add onion, carrot, pepper or any other crunchy vegetable at this time.  Liam likes it when I add carrots.  Sometimes I add mushrooms about three minutes in.  Liam likes that less.  Once the vegetables have brightened up and started to cook add the ginger and garlic and heat for a minute or so (Don't burn them!) and then quick, quick add about a quarter cup of water, turn down the heat, and put a lid on the whole thing to steam for about another 5-8 minutes.  If you're going to add tofu, or spinach or something like that, add it right after the water, before the steaming.  Then, take off the lid, turn up the heat, add another splash of tamari and some fresh basil if it's summer and you happen to have it around, taste to make sure it tastes good and is cooked, and you're done.  Pass hot sauce, sesame seeds, and sesame oil if you like at the table.

I most often make this with vegetables only (no tofu) and serve it with rice.  I have this idea that we mostly get all the protein we need and then some, and mostly do not get all the vegetables we need.  Very occasionally, if I'm worried he hasn't had enough nutrition in the past few days, I'll cook a piece of salmon to go next to this for Liam, or a scrambled egg.

Fast. Healthy. Loved by five-year-olds.  What could be better?

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