|Vegetable & edamame stirfry with Thai peanut sauce|
Did y'all hear me shout from the rooftops last week? I have a big, huge announcement.
I'm. In. LOVE.
Love, I tell you! I didn't see it coming either, but they always say it comes when you least expect it. I kind of forgot what it felt like. But it's back, and it's the real thing. You know how I know? This is what people do when they fall in love:
- Dance around the room like that fool Nellie Forbush singing "I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love, I'm in love with a wonderful guyyyyyyyy!!!"
- Channel Tom Cruise on Oprah and jump up and down on the couch
- Babble incoherently and giggle when speaking of their love
- Try to lead normal, functional lives but inevitably become utterly incapable of thinking of anything else other than their love
- Write about their love to be published for the whole world to see, even if they have a million and ten things to do so there was already a post pre-prepared
Last week I fell in love with my wok.
One night, (can't remember which - must be love brain!), I came home from work and was really irritated about something that had happened that day. In fact, I was so annoyed that I hadn't even thought about what I wanted for dinner that evening. When I got to my apartment, I had a package from UPS! I thought it was a pair of pants I had ordered until I saw the size of the box. Then I remembered what it was! I had ordered this wok a couple days before with my temporary Amazon Prime membership, which gives me free two-day shipping on most items sold by Amazon.com. So, I opened the box and decided on a big vegetable stir-fry. (Side note: I am just now realizing how much Asian cuisine I've eaten lately. I love Asian food - Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, it doesn't matter! Sorry if you don't like Asian food because I know there's a lot of it on this blog!)
For the stirfry, I took a shortcut and used a bag of frozen veggies - a Safeway mixture with sugar snap peas, water chestnuts, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. I threw in some frozen edamame for protein and fresh skinny asparagus and let it sizzle in the wok with a tiny bit of canola oil and soy sauce. I wanted to serve it over white rice, but I was out of it. What a shame!
While the veggies were a wok-in' and a rollin', I prepared a very quick, very easy Thai peanut sauce to drizzle over the finished product. More protein!
Thai Peanut Sauce, a 40-day Vegetarian original
1 tablespoon all-natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon plus 1 to 2 tablespoons water
minced garlic, minced ginger, and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
2. Using a fork, mash the peanut butter into the liquid and allow it to start melting. Add garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, stirring to combine all ingredients. Do not burn the sauce. Add up to 2 tablespoons of water, little by little, if you find the sauce is too thick or is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
3. Drizzle over stirfry and enjoy!
I've made this same dish probably a dozen times before because it's easy, cheap, and Whitney and I love it. But I don't know HOW I did it without a wok! I used to fry the veggies using a huge nonstick pan, but the wok makes all the difference. The vegetables get a deep brown char on the outside, retaining their crunchiness and flavor. This is a stark contrast to the limpness that can afflict vegetables that have been cooking on a pan too long. And bonus! Just like any good man, this thing is fast - dinner went from my freezer to my plate in under ten minutes. Since I am an economist, after all, I'm a real sucker for rationality and efficiency. Most importantly, the meal was so delicious that I wasn't even angry anymore. Boyfriend picks me up when I am down.
So yeah, I am in love with my wok. I kept it under wraps for a week because I didn't want to jump the gun, but we're still goin' strong, so I am ready to announce it to the world. Also, I just read this entry and I realized that there is an unnecessary number of exclamation points and I am literally babbling in parts of it. But ya know what? I'm going to keep both the enthusiasm and stream of consciousness in for added effect. I told y'all I'm in love.
Have y'all ever fallen in love with an inanimate object? (KHelm, I'm looking at you and your iPhone.) Do y'all have any kitchen appliances you can't live without, or any items on your culinary lust list?