Who moved my wok?

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Archive for the tag “simple”

Garlic stir-fried green beans.

Look Mom! I'm a big girl now!

Despite that fact that for much of my youth I refused to come near anything green, I now call most green vegetables some of my favorite foods.  Somewhere around the end of my high school career, I had a transformation and it has only continued since becoming vegan.  Luckily, vegetables are affordable and accessible here in China, so Elizabeth and I decided to re-create one of our favorite Chinese dishes that we usually devour when dining out.  And I have to say, we came pretty darn close.

These aren’t like southern green beans all mushed to pieces and they’re more flavorful than just regular steamed ones, too.  Just don’t make these for a first date…they are full of flavor and they’ll make sure your breath knows it, too.  🙂

This was the only photo I managed to snap before they were gone!

Start by chopping a yellow onion into tiny pieces and throwing it into the wok with a smidgen of oil and a few minced garlic cloves (see what I’m saying about the breath thing?).  While those begin to saute, cut fresh, whole green beans into 1-1.5 inch long pieces and add them into the wok with a few splashes of soy sauce.  You can also sprinkle some ground garlic powder and black pepper on for good measure.  We then took our soup pot lid and covered the pan with it to make the green beans cook faster and to brown them a bit for extra flavor — we try to be resourceful with what we have!

After a couple of minutes, remove the lid, stir and add in more soy sauce and pepper to taste.  Don’t be afraid to add liberally.  These green beans should be bursting with lots of delicious flavor.  Continue this pattern until onions and green beans are cooked and a little brown around the edges.  This dish would be delicious on its own or next to some hearty rice or whatever other dish you choose.  Just make sure you make plenty because it will go fast!

Simply delicious bruschetta.

The first time Elizabeth made this bruschetta for me, I was floored by the fact that something so tasty and distinctly Italian could be replicated in our very own kitchen, without the help of our favorite Italian delivery restaurant.  I was floored again the next time we had this bruschetta as she taught me how to make it.  It is so incredibly simple!  And though it’s technically supposed to be an appetizer or side dish, sometimes I would just prefer to fill up on it.  It’s delicious and satisfying without being too heavy.  Not to overuse this word, but YUM.

Don't lose a finger!

So here is what you need: tomatoes, a little oil, garlic (fresh and/or powder), finely chopped onion, salt and basil (again, fresh or packaged chopped basil is fine).  First, chop the tomatoes into small cubes or chunks.  Depending on how much you want to make, you can use more or less tomatoes.  Three to four medium-sized tomatoes makes enough for 2-4 people, but if we’re having friends over, I’ll use more because we really like this stuff.  Then, add in chopped basil leaves, some finely chopped onion (this should be significantly smaller than your tomato chunks), a small splash of oil (you don’t want too much liquid in it since the tomatoes already have a lot), and salt and garlic to taste.

The end result.

This recipe is really done by eyeballing, so you can use our photo of the finished product to gauge how much basil and onion you should use in yours.  If you’re using fresh basil leaves, we recommend using several stems of the plant.  Otherwise, your bruschetta will just taste like salty, garlicy tomatoes, which is delicious but missing the point.  And fresh basil smells amazing, so it’s nice to have around.

Once finished, serve up on a sliced baguette before or with your meal.  We also like to use leftover bruschetta for extra flavor in tofu scrambles the next day.  No food goes to waste here!

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