Stir Fry: Lazy Delicious

This is another of those don’t-really-feel-like-cooking but must-use-up-vegetables kind of meals. Stir fry is awesome because you can basically cook anything and it’s still delicious and nutritious. And it takes like 5 minutes.

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As with other vegetarian meals, I do worry a bit about protein intake (although this might not be a super valid concern, I do tend to notice that I get hungry faster without it). Beans, chick peas, tofu are all great (and vegan) and I eat lots of them. But they take some time to make. Fast, easy, and delicious are eggs. Eggs are also dairy-free, in case you didn’t realize they came from chickens, not mammals. Although not vegan. I don’t really care about labels or sticking to a very particular dietary regime, and thankfully do not have any food allergies. I don’t eat a lot of meat, as has been established, but enjoy it on special occasions, which feels right to me for both environmental and ethical reasons. I think that animals are essential to any food ecosystem and eating them is a part of that, within reason (if you disagree with that, read this). A lot of my meals happen to be vegan, but mostly because I base my meals primarily around whatever fresh vegetables I have (meat has seasons too, but freezes much better and therefore is more flexible). It’s also much cheaper. Anyway, I find that I eat very well, whether vegan, vegetarian, or full-on omnivore.

And now, an ode to eggs. Those of you who know me have probably been waiting for this. But seriously, eggs are so awesome. Scrambled, poached, fried, hard boiled, soft boiled, made into an omelette or quiche or frittata, mixed with a little flour and milk for crepes or pancakes or popovers; whites can be whipped for meringue or angel food cake or marshmallow frosting (or frozen for later use!); yolks can be used for puddings, custards (even to thicken frosting…just wait), crème brûlée,  whipped up in fresh mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce… the list is endless. They are fantastic and delicious and nutritious and if you are the type of person who only eats egg whites, I’m sorry but you are silly. Unless you have a family history of cholesterol.

So there you have it. Stir fry, maybe over some rice, or pasta, or whatever else you have lying around (rice: put rice in pot. Cover with a thumbs-width of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer til soft, about 20 minutes. Same process for other grains as well as quinoa, beans, lentils, etc).

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Stir fry
Vegetables, chopped (I used Napa/Chinese cabbage here, but other cabbage will work, or carrots/onions/celery/chard/kale/beet greens/most things
Oil 
Salt/pepper/whatever seasonings you want (soy sauce, cumin, hot sauce, peanut butter...)

Eggs
Rice

Heat up oil in a pan, then add vegetables. Or just add everything all at once, it doesn’t matter that much. Medium heat is fine, although if you are in a hurry you can turn it up and just make sure to mix it a bunch; or if you need to do other things you can leave it on low and give it a stir every once in a while. Cook until soft.

To fry an egg (this will be more specific because it is actually shockingly hard to get perfect every time): Heat up the pan first with a little oil, medium low heat. Add a little salt and pepper and spices if you like (I like turmeric and oregano). Tap the egg on the counter to break it, then open with your thumbs and drop it into the pan, careful not to break the yolk. I like my eggs medium, which means cooked white and runny yolk. Let the egg cook until the white is mostly opaque, with a little translucent layer on top (shown below), then slide the spatula under the egg, making sure it’s not sticking, and flip it over in one motion. Let it cook for a tiny bit longer (maybe 30 seconds) and then slide it off. You can kind of poke the center – gently! – with the spatula where the yolk and the white intersect, since that’s the last place the whites will cook. If it’s still wobbly, leave it on a little longer (you can also flip it again if you need to, although some might call it blasphemous).

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Pile onto your stir fry, or some toast, and enjoy! Best eaten hot, although they can also be good cold. I find the yolk makes an excellent sauce. Putting eggs with some grain (quinoa is nice), veggies, and a few fried eggs into a container for lunch is also a good meal.

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