Oh my goodness, you guys. That last few weeks have gotten away from me. It’s been one crazy weekend after another. First, we had the incident with the dog. The following weekend Pat got a 24 hour stomach bug on Friday evening. I tried sleeping on the couch (ain’t no way I am catching that crap… literally) but heard him get up every hour, on the hour. If you know me, I don’t do well on little sleep… at all. So I helped him start the recovery process mid morning Saturday, and the rest of the weekend was spent in bed.
We did go see Star Wars though! Which was awesome! You should go see it, if you haven’t already.
Anyway, the next weekend was Christmas, during which I made nothing, and now we are already staring down the new year. Time flies, I tell ya… But I’m back to my regular schedule now, full of veggie-happy recipes and baked goods. I recently re-watched the documentary Forks Over Knives, as a sort of re-inspiration after my holiday season of rule breaking. I didn’t eat any meat over the holidays, but lots of butter, seafood, and other hidden ingredients. I swear it’s the baked goods that do me in. I am, however, ready to launch into strict WFPB mode.
I still have a stash of veggies that need to be eaten, my avocados are finally ripe, and I made a big batch of garbanzo beans – I have my heart set on homemade falafel. My mom gifted me 2 pie pumpkins, which was perfect as I couldn’t find any in my grocery store and I have a recipe for a homemade pumpkin pasta sauce I’ve been wanting to try. She also gifted me 2 bags of gourmet pasta, which obviously will go perfectly with the pumpkin sauce. It’s like she planned it. My recent Pinterest binge has produced recipes for Polenta Crostinis, Pesto Stuffed Shells, and Crispy Potato Tacos. I’m excited!
Tonight, however, I wanted something with an Asian flare. I didn’t really plan ahead of time. I figured I’d just throw some veggies into a saute pan and put them over rice. I did not realize initially, how low I was on rice. I scraped the last few grains into my rice cooker to make just enough. And even though I started the rice first thing, I was still left waiting for it to finish as my veggies cooled.
With my less than ideal eating choices over the holiday, my stomach started to get a bit sensitive. So I went easy on the onion and garlic – one small clove crushed and a single slice of onion diced. I peeled some ginger and threw the chunk in whole to infuse during the cooking process. I used a light spritz of avocado oil and a few drops of water to add some moisture to the pan. I chopped up a small head of broccoli, a small yellow bell pepper, 2-3 purple carrots, a small zucchini, some green beans, and a few cherry tomatoes. I started with the bell pepper, carrots, and zucchini after the pan was hot.
Once those got enough of a head start, I added the broccoli and green beans, covering the pan once I’d stirred them well. I added another spritz of avocado oil, salt and pepper, a small drizzle of sesame oil, and a tablespoon of hoisin sauce. Probably not the best food to be eating, but per the ingredients on my bottle I do believe it is vegan. I wanted just enough to add that Asian flavor.
At the last minute, I decided I wanted chickpeas as well, so I put a handful in a small frying pan, seasoned with salt and pepper, and browned them over medium high heat for a few minutes, just until the got a bit crispy.
I took everything off the heat while my rice finished cooking, adding the tomatoes at the very end with just enough time for them to heat slightly. I layered the veggies over the rice, followed by the chickpeas. I sprinkled some hemp hearts and untoasted sesame seeds on top. Those toppings were a last minute idea, or I would have toasted the sesame seeds first. And then I sliced up half an avocado, because we all know how fast a ripe avocado can turn.
The result was delicious and satisfying. The sesame oil and hoisin sauce added just the right hint of flavor and seasoning, without over powering the veggie’s natural flavor. Of course, you could add more of both if you want a stronger sauce flavor. Totally up to you.
I hope to be back later this weekend with more yummy recipes, and I’ll keep you posted on how the crostinis, stuffed shells, and tacos go. If you haven’t watched Forks Over Knives, I really do recommend it as an introduction to the Whole Foods Plant Based diet concept. It’s a well made documentary that is unbiased, educational, and inspiring. It’s definitely the best plant-based documentary I’ve seen yet. Here are a few extra tips on starting the transition that I thought we very helpful and encouraging. Diet change can be intimidating, but it isn’t impossible for anyone.
As always, eat more rabbit food!
Currently drinking: the last of the bottle of Eastpoint 2016 Merlot I got over Christmas.
Currently watching: the last 2 episodes of Reign. It started out rough (low budget, not great acting) but is totally addicting and I’m excited to finish it… for many reasons. The acting has improved somewhat over the 4 seasons.
Stir Fry Veggie Bowl
1 clove of garlic, crushed
small knob of ginger, peeled
A slice of onion, diced
A small head of broccoli, chopped
1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
2-3 purple carrots, diced
1 small zucchini, diced and halved
6-8 green beans, diced
6 cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cup of cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans
Sesame oil – to taste
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce – more to taste
Sesame seeds and hemp hearts to garnish
Avocado, sliced (optional)
- Cook the rice.
- Saute the veggies in avocado oil in stages, according to cook time and desired tenderness. I started with the garlic, onion, and ginger, followed by the bell pepper, carrots, and zucchini. I added the broccoli and green beans last.
- Season veggies with salt, pepper, sesame oil, and hoisin sauce. Once incorporated, remove from heat and add the tomatoes.
- Season the chickpeas with salt and pepper, and brown in a small pan on medium high heat.
- Top the rice with veggies, followed by the chickpeas and other toppings. Serve hot.