Friday, August 10, 2012

Introducing The Vegetable ATM

When I started this blog a few years ago  I wanted to understand what a blog meant, who would read it and why.  I linked the blog from my web site, Vegetable Alchemy and I wrote about my growing interest in seeing vegetables move to center of plate and balancing daily meals with more fruits, herbs and spice.  The time has been well spent and while I know I am not writing to a cast of thousands, writing and reading your comments has helped me learn about readers, learn about what is body smart food and find a fun way to look at what I love most, simple, fresh plant based fit food.

Knowing that, Vegetable Alchemy introduces a new title to this blog: The Vegetable ATM.  Going forward I want to write about fashionable, plant based one dish meals that are body smart and for every day eating.  I'm looking for a balance of 55-60 % carbohydrate, 15-20 % protein, 10-15 % fat.  Often times recipes will be written with readers adding back their own proteins.

The journey to plant based one dish meals has taken many turns.  Looking at multiple course menus, even for home use, and seeing the amount of cuisines that are heavily steeped in animal proteins from historic recipes, it is easy to see how an emergy population past 7 billion people will truly tax the land if duplicated.  More importantly, new thoughts in nutrition clearly embrace a plant based diet.  I have nothing against historic cuisine. But with plant based eating I can incorporate new ideas in nutrition, have a tasty satifying one dish meal, keep my weight in check and have still have loads of energy to easily fulfill my daily work and family demands.  We no longer eat to a rythme of three meals a day, meat, potatoes and a smattering of vegetables.  Small and medium size plates, with a multiple of eating occasions from snacking to eating out are the norm.   So tasty, healthful and fun one dish, body smart meals that educate and nourish are certainly for me, the key to easier healthful living.

As The Vegetable ATM continues I will write about all kinds of meal occasions centering on one dish preparations.  You will recognize some dishes, if not many, as they are adapted for this blog. Soon the inventory of recipes will be integrated into an easy directory for last minute referencing.  All suggestions are steeped in plant based living.  I will show you how to get enough and the right kind of protein.  Hopefully you will be attracted to the fun preparations, the tastes and my sincere interest that you learn to prepare foods that you inegrate into you daily lifestyles. These one dish meals will stress some knife skills but also easy clean up. You will see that as I redefine my own flavor cabinets you will want to do the same offering you countless opportunities for last minute cooking based not on cuisines but centered on plant based produce, fruits, herbs and spices with an occasional impromptu inspiration or two.  My measure of success is that you will find yourself wanting to return home at least a day or two each week to grab the ingredients and learn to become a Vegetable Alchemist. 

Green Vegetable Stirfried Rice
Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook time:  10 minutes
Serves          2

Ingredients
2    cups  cooked brown rice
1/2 cup    vegetable stock
1              egg
2    teas    canola oil, divided
2    cl       garlic, chopped
1    Tbl     fresh ginger, chopped
1/2 cup     celery and leaves, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1    cup     Napa Cabbage, cut into 1 " pieces
1    cup     pea shoots, cut into 1 " lengths
1    cup     kale, swiss chard or other leafy green, chopped into shreds
1    cup    scallions, white and green seperated, cut into small rounds
2    teas   tamari or low sodium soy sauce
1    Tbl    oyster sauce
1    teas   sesame oil
pinch of red pepper flakes

Method

Heat a 10 inch non stick pan to medium.  Add one teas of the oil.  Whip the egg lightly in a bowl and add to the pan, scrambling quickly and remove temporarily to a plate or bowl.

Place the pan back on the heat, add the rest of the oil.  When hot begin to stirfy the vegetables starting with the garlic, ginger and celery, then adding and stirfrying the rest, reserving the scallion green. 

Add the stock, the rice and stirfry.  Add the scallion greens, the reserved scrambled egg, the tamari and oyster sauces, then the sesame oil. Stir. Season lightly with cracked pepper if you want.  Plate and sprinkle with a bit of red crushed pepper flake.