Stir-fries are probably the most common go-to dinner in this lil’ apartment. Quick to cook, stir-fries are more than ideal for hot summertime kitchens, plus it’s a healthy option and you can mix up the flavours and ingredients and always come up with something special. I know that some people find chopping up so many vegetables tedious, but I find it relaxing. Chopping brightly coloured orange and yellow peppers, cutting the ends of vibrant green beans and pulling out the florets of bright white cauliflower is an almost artistic endeavor for me. I love looking at my handiwork staring back at me in neat little colour-coordinated rows. My summertime kitchen is extra special because the glory of golden hour brings the evening sun into our orange kitchen which bounces off our disco ball hanging by the window. With all the light dancing around the room along with my loud* music**, it’s almost too easy to imagine I’m somewhere exciting and other-worldly. But truth is, I’m quite content in my tiny little orange kitchen and I certainly wouldn’t give up chopping vegetables for the most beautiful food processor in the world.
I make many stir-fry variations depending what I’ve got in the kitchen. I usually add tofu or chicken for protein, or I make it a simple vegetables-only affair. And of course, use what veggies you’ve got in the crisper. I usually add some orange or pineapple juice to the sauce but this evening I decided to use a grapefruit that had found hidden away in the vegetable crisper. The stir-fry didn’t have a strong grapefruit flavour, but I like adding fruit juice instead of adding vegetable broth because I think it adds an extra depth to the fresh flavour to the meal. What can I say, I like things with a touch of sweetness!
chicken & vegetable stir-fry
2 chicken thighs, cut up into strips
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 red onion, large dice
1 orange pepper, large dice
1 yellow pepper, large dice
1 large handful of green beans, cut in half
1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 T oil
1 T soy sauce
1 T brown sugar
1 grapefruit, juiced
1 T sesame oil
1/2 t chili flakes
1 T soy sauce
1 T cornstarch
1. Mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
2. In a wok or large pan, heat up oil and add garlic and onions and heat until translucent. Add chicken and use tongs to stir it all about for about 8 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
3. Add the cauliflower and 1 T of soy sauce into the pan. After a few minutes, add the green beans and then the peppers, stirring everything about. When the vegetables look bright and tender-crisp, give the sauce one last stir and add it to the wok. Again, toss everything about so that everything is well coated and the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and serve over rice or Chinese noodles.
Today’s musical selection provided by local Vancouver band, The Pink Mountaintops. There are a few mp3’s online at their label site, but really, do yourself the favour & buy both cds.
* “Can you do that dance?”, from their S/T release
** “New Drug Queens”, from Axis of Evol