Tag Archives: stir-fry

Celebrating Spring

The arrival of spring is such an exciting time of the year. Blossoms. Ducklings. Daffodils. My birthday.Sunshine. Dresses. Asparagus. I love spring and the flavours of spring but I still struggle to cook seasonally. I blame reading food blogs written by people in the Northern Hemisphere. It takes some restraint to bookmark all the pumpkin recipes appearing online and not succumb to ‘order envy’ and to embrace what is in season here.

Spring is the season for asparagus, avocados, beetroot, courgette, cucumber and tangelo so I’ll be trying to make the most of these ingredients being cheap and at their tastiest in the coming weeks. I’m terrible at remembering what is in season when, but the Healthy Food Guide has a great reference chart you can easily glance at to see what fruits and veges are available when.

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This stir-fry is very simple. It consists of just orange, pork and asparagus, seasoned and flavoured with a little olive oil and garlic. The flavour combination may seem strange but is light and fresh. I think a cool glass of white wine would have just made it… next time.

Pork, Asparagus & Orange Stir Fry Recipe
(adapted from Good House Keeping)

(serves 2 or 4 if served with rice)

Ingredients

  • 200g pork, sliced into strips (use a bit more pork if serving 4)
  • 500g (2 bunches) asparagus, stalks halved
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper

Method

1. Grate 1 teaspoon of rind from the first orange and squeeze 1/4 cup of orange juice from it. Set aside.
2. Cut the skin and pitch (white bitter coating under the skin) from the second orange. Cut the flesh 8 wedges and then cut each wedge into 3 or 4 pieces.
3. Heat the olive oil in a fry pan over a medium-high heat and stir fry the pork until just cooked. (Don’t over cook it as I did or it will be chewy). Remove pork from pan and set aside.
4. Add asparagus to pan with orange rind, garlic and 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pan and cook for two minutes until the asparagus is bright green and tender crisp.
5. Add orange juice, pork & orange pieces. Heat through.
6. Season with salt and pepper then serve.

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Sesame Beef Stir Fry

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When I was growing up, broccoli seemed almost exotic. Our family didn’t eat broccoli at this stage and I always enjoyed it when I had dinner at my best friend’s house. Years later, the novelty hasn’t worn off but I enjoy broccoli for different reasons. I love how it only takes a few minutes to steam and how sauce gets stuck in its little finger bits (I’m sure they have a name, any ideas anyone?!).

This quick recipe is based on the Sesame Beef & Noodles by Women’s Weekly. I have simplified the method a little bit, added more broccoli (yum) and used dried rice noodles instead of fresh rice noodles because they are a lot easier to find and super cheap too. I like that this recipe doesn’t have  a lot of ingredients.

Sesame Beef Stir Fry

(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 200g beef
  • 1/2t sesame oil
  • 1/2TBSP peanut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 100g rice noodles
  • 1TBSP sesame seeds
  • 1/8C oyster sauce
  • 1/8C sweet chilli sauce

Method

1. Coat beef with oils and garlic. Cover and leave to marinate over night
2. Put rice noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water until soft (about 3 minutes) then drain
3. Cut broccoli head into florets
4. Simmer broccoli for 1 minute until bright green, drain
5. Microwave sesame seeds at minute intervals until golden brown
6. Stir fry beef over a high heat. When just browned add noodles, broccoli and sauces
7. Serve stir fry sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds

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Stolen Sleep

I love daylight saving. It’s fantastic being able to enjoy some sunshine after work and have enough light left to go for a walk in the evenings but right now I am a little grumpy about the time change because daylight saving stole and hour of my sleep. Being a bit more tired than usual today I opted for a quick and easy dinner – Shrimp with Broccoli from eatingwell.com served on quinoa.

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This stir-fry fit what I had in mind for my tea: fast, healthy and light but I was a little disappointed by the flavour. The shrimp is stir-fried in a little oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and added to steamed broccoli and a sauce. The sauce has vegetable stock, lemon and basil and is thickened with a little cornflower. I wanted the sauce to have a little more flavour. I think I’d make this again but would add a little lemon zest to give it some zing.

During the weekend I whipped up a batch of Banana Blueberry Granola. I love home made granola. It smelt so delicious as I was baking it in the oven. The whole house was filled by its aroma and I couldn’t wait for it to cool enough for me to sprinkle it on top of my yoghurt. This recipe is adapted from Allie’s Quinoa Banana Bread Granola. I have cut down the sugar a little and added some dehydrated blueberries I got from Farro’s– yum! Having banana in a granola recipe may seem unusual but it adds a subtle sweetness and helps the oats and quinoa form tasty little clusters.

Banana Blueberry Granola Recipe (adapted from Allie’s Quinoa Banana Bread Granola)

P1020521(makes about 4.5 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/8C honey
  • 1TBSP canola oil
  • 1t vanilla essence
  • 3C old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/2C quinoa
  • 1/4C ground flaxseed (also known as linseed)
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/3C pecan pieces
  • 1/3C dehydrated blueberries (you could substitute raisins, chopped dried dates, dried cranberries or dried banana chips)

Method

1. In a large bowl, mash the banana until smooth
2. Mix in honey, oil and vanilla essence and stir with a fork until a smooth paste has formed
3. Stir in the remaining ingredients apart from the blueberries (or whatever substitute you prefer)
3. Spread mixture out in a roasting dish lined with tin foil (you want to spread the mixture out as much as possible so it crisps but need a dish with sides so you can stir it easily)
4. Bake at 175C until golden, stirring every 10 minutes or so
5. Toss through the blueberries and allow to cool

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