It’s a common misconception that real, whole foods are time consuming and difficult to prepare. As “healthier” fast food choices have begun to saturate the market, even the most conscientious amongst us are moving further and further away from the kitchen. Today the average American spends approximately 27 minutes a day on food preparation. As a human activity, this act is far more important to our health than, for example, going gluten free or vegan. It is one of the most basic expressions of humanity. The relationship it affords us with nature, our families and friends, and our sense of wellbeing is irreplaceable. Efforts to boost our national health should focus on promoting the preparation of healthy foods at home while remaining sensitive to the time constraints that most of us face. The simple act of Americans taking back their kitchens would no doubt have a positive impact on issues of psychological, environmental, and familial health. Something I hear frequently from people is that they don’t have time to make food at home, and I have deep empathy for this sentiment. Even though I have relatively few demands on my time (i.e. no kids,) I’m often compelled to head for the Whole Foods salad bar when I’m tired or just plain lazy. That’s when I turn to simple recipes like this. It’s nourishing, nutritious, only takes about 2o minutes to prepare, and because you’ve created it yourself you are more likely to sit and enjoy it and marvel at it’s taste. The health benefits of that alone are compensation enough.
for the stir fry
ingredients: choose five vegetables (here I used, 1 baby bok choy, 2 carrots, 2 small heads of broccoli, and about ten shiitake mushrooms). coconut oil, 2 cloves of garlic, ginger, sesame oil, low sodium tamari, quinoa, brown rice or buckwheat noodles, and the protein of your choice (I used tofu but you could also use chicken or beef).
to prepare: cook quinoa, rice or soba noodles. heat coconut oil in a large skillet or wok. add garlic, 1 tsp. of finely grated ginger, and sliced carrots. saute for a minute or two. add protein of choice. + thinly sliced mushrooms. drizzle with a bit of tamari. continue cooking. add broccoli florets and cook for another ten minutes or so, stirring frequently. check your protein for doneness (for chicken, cut a cube in half to ensure it’s thoroughly cooked). add chopped bok choy, drizzle with more tamari and cook for another 2 minutes or until it’s wilted. remove from heat and drizzle with a bit of toasted sesame oil.
plate stir fry over quinoa, rice or soba noodles. sometimes I will drizzle a bit of tahini sauce over the top along with a small handful of pumpkin, sesame, or sunflower seeds. for the tahini dressing simply whisk together a tsp. of tamari, 2 tablespoons of tahini, juice of 1/2 a lemon, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. if it’s too thick, add a tbsp. or 2 of filtered water. enjoy!