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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stir-Fry and Salad Mix

So, you've got a few more vegetables in the fridge - what to do with them? Steamed veges can get fairly boring fairly quickly. And please don't boil them to a mush - apart from having no texture many of the good vitamins will disappear down the drain.

I developed this idea as a way of always having something ready in the fridge for a quick salad or a stir-fry with minimal preparation at cooking or meal preparation time. I don't have a vast range of recipes - but most of my small repertoire are ones I make up in bulk when time is available so that meal time can be quick and easy.

Basic Mix:

One medium onion cut in eighths (halve it, quarter the halves)
1 cup coarsely chopped cabbage (any type)
1 diced carrot
1 cup Yellow Capsicum (bell pepper)
A few stalks of chopped celery

Options. Add all or any of these, but at least four different things. Measurements, unless stated otherwise, are between a half-cup and a cup. Corn and beans are subject to your post-meal BGs, but as it's spread across multiple serves you'll find there will be little effect. Chop or dice as appropriate:

Red or Green Capsicum (bell pepper)
Cauliflower florettes
Broccoli Florettes
Green Peas
Green (string) beans
Snow (snap) peas
½ cup sweet corn kernels
½ cup cooked kidney beans
assorted cooked other beans
Raw asparagus
Bok Choi
Scallions or eschallottes

And anything else I may have forgotten that you like or that is in season in your district. I've found that some veges, such as broccoli, asparagus, fresh peas or green beans can stay fresher and be slightly less "raw" if blanched briefly before slicing (drop in boiling water for a couple of minutes - but not sufficient to cook - then plunge into cold water to prevent further cooking).

After preparation, cover and store in the fridge. It should keep fresh and crisp for several days. See later posts on what to do with it for stir-fry, or simply add your favourite dressing to it for a quick salad. Use a cup or two per person as a serve. You can also add things like lettuce, tomato, avocado, diced cheddar at serving time for a salad, but don't put them in the mix for storage because they will not keep in the mix. Add cold cuts or ham for protein at serving time. Or tofu if you must :-)

My simple salad dressing:
Mix, in a small bottle with a cap, two or three tbsp extra virgin olive oil, one tbsp balsamic vinegar, one tbsp white vinegar, a small chopped clove of garlic, a touch of hot chili, some chopped garden herbs to taste (basil, thyme, rosemary, mint whatever); shake and add lightly to the salad. It will keep for a long time in the fridge, let it warm up to room temperature before using so that the oil will become liquid again.

Cheers, Alan

Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter.


Janet said...

Your make-ahead salad has inspired me. I'm going to be an organized person from now on. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

What a great tip to have these items ready to go. I can organize my meals for the busy work week and the ingredients are ready when I get home. Thanks.