Less time in front of the stove, more time at the table together: A quick, delicious dinner

It may sound cliché or unlikely, but I absolutely love the housewife part of being a mother and live-in girlfriend or domestic partner or whatever the proper term would be for my role in my family’s home life. While I don’t necessarily love cleaning, I do know how to do it well and I take a lot of pride in my home. More so than cleaning, I love love love to cook for my family. I love coming up with my own recipes and putting effort into something that my family can sit down and enjoy together. Few things please me more than my two year old going back for seconds because dinner is so “yummy in the tummy.” As beautiful as those sentiments may be, however, it is a fact that sometimes cooking can be a chore. A lovable, gratifying, time-consuming chore. Meals like this make cooking just a tad less time consuming because the family part of family dinner is the most important part, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste or healthfulness. I give you my 30 minute stir-fry. This particular recipe is meat-less, but you can easily add chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or whatever protein you like. The great thing about this recipe is the flexibility of it. You can pretty much toss whatever veggies, fresh or frozen, you have on hand into your wok (or in my case, large non-stick skillet), add whatever protein you’d like, and the outcome will be delish.

My ingredients: Pasta- I used thin spaghetti, but it’s just personal preference here. (Linguine would work, spaghettini, traditional spaghetti, whatever) Fresh broccoli (though I always have a pack or two of florets in my freezer) Baby carrots, halved lengthwise Yellow onion Green bell pepper

chop veggies

If I were to make this tonight, I’d add some frozen shelled edamame, some shredded cabbage, and bean sprouts.

20131003-170143.jpg

Spices/Sauces: Black pepper Onion powder Garlic powder (or garlic salt, which is used more sparingly) Crushed red pepper Olive oil (for sauteing) Soy sauce Rice vinegar 20131003-170112.jpgYou can also use broth (veggie, chicken, beef, whatever) if you want your pasta to be a bit more saucy, but I like it drier with the flavor of the soy and vinegar.

So, put simply, while I boiled the pasta, I chopped my veggies into fairly uniform bite-sized pieces, sautéed in olive oil, sprinkled with my spices in no particular measurement. (Not the best instructions for a recipe, I know, but I keep it simple.) I pretty much just coat the surface of my veggies with the spices, most heavily with garlic and onion powders, more sparingly with the red pepper (unless you want it spicier).

By the time the veggies have softened, the pasta is done and drained. I then added the pasta to my skillet, drizzled with more olive oil, and added enough soy sauce to wet all of the noodles, tossing the pasta continually to ensure even coverage. I then drizzled the rice vinegar, which is more for taste, and continued tossing the pasta and veggies. Another sprinkling of the garlic and onion powders, a few more turns, and the pasta was done.

20131003-170021.jpg

One cutting board, one skillet, one pot. Super simple, super quick, super easy. Most importantly, super delicious. This is something I like to serve with a simple green salad. It’s a pretty healthy meal and by skipping the salt while cooking, the soy sauce doesn’t overwhelm your body with sodium. Toss some veggies into a skillet with some soy sauce and rice vinegar, make some brown rice or pasta to go with it and you have a simple meal that’s satisfying, cheap, and (at least in our house) toddler-friendly.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s