Friday, March 4, 2011

Five Servings per Day

of vegetables...that's the goal.  It's really hard.

A serving of raw veggies is one cup...of cooked is one-half cup.  It helps to get out something to measure them at see what they look like.  Try to notice how it looks compared to your open palms.  After a while it becomes automatic.  In addition, I'm shooting for one to two servings per day of fruit.  I don't know if the same measurements pertain.

It's hard for several reasons.  First, there's the volume.  Just packing away that much produce takes effort.  We're not used to chewing...eating that much, unless it's for greater instant macaroni and cheese.

And then, there's the need for variety...either of raw ingredient or in preparation.  We each don't like all of the vegetables out there.  It's innate...or environmental...whatever.  You're not going to get me to eat fresh peas.  I'm not going to convince my husband that an artichoke is worth the effort.

It takes some creativity...and that I lack.  Thankfully we have Google

Fortunately,  I love most of the brassicas.  They are available is some form or another year round, and although their flavor profile could be described as pungent (a plus in my book), they still make good templates for all manner of seasonings and cooking methods.

The other immediate goal is to use food that "we own."  By that I mean stuff that's already in the house.  It takes some effort, but I'm trying to go through the freezer and pantry for inspiration, instead of running to the store for more groceries...the easy way out.  Otherwise, the stored items just languish...forever...or until I throw them away.

Last night's menu managed to accomplish what I needed...veggies, frugality, ease and flavor.

Fried Rice:

In a skillet saute in butter the chopped bottoms of some green onions, minced carrot, a star anise, a dried red chile and some diced summer sausage (from the know, one of the several that you received for Christmas).

Then add minced garlic. Stir until fragrant.

After that put in a roasted jalapeno (from the freezer), peeled, seeded and diced, the chopped tops of the green onions and the leftover jasmine rice from your local Thai joint.

Push it around until the rice is all broken up (you know how it clumps in the fridge) and heated through.  Add a little more butter to keep it from sticking if necessary.  It also helps to turn down the heat.

Throw in two eggs (make a well in the center of it all...crack them in...beat with your spoon) and stir them around.  One egg would probably be enough, but it is very satisfying with an Asian Joe's Special.  After the eggs are just set adjust the salt and add freshly ground white pepper and chopped fresh cilantro.

Serve with condiments of your choice:  Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce), Sriracha Sauce, chile-garlic paste, chopped Thai chiles in fish sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)

I realize now, that I forgot to add the frozen peas (^o^).  The rice was delicious, and served with...

Asian Slaw:

Put the slaw together before you start the main course.  It tastes better after the cabbage has collapsed a little and the flavors have come together.

In a bowl mix thinly shredded cabbage, grated carrot, minced fresh ginger, Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce), rice wine vinegar, toasted sesame oil, a pinch of sugar and chopped fresh cilantro.

Make extra slaw.  It goes down easy & packs well for the next few lunches at work.

Good news in the quest for five tasty servings a day...

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