Monday, December 10, 2012

Stir fry salads simply made to suit your mood | Do you listen to your body?



This salad was made in 10 minutes flat one day for lunch and I had the leftovers as an evening snack too. It was this kind of flavors I wanted that day and didn't get bored eating it twice in a row. Do you cook according to your moods too?

The most simple recipes are repeated more frequently in my kitchen and all greens make an appearance here and there as a rule. Unfortunately we have to refrain from leafy green sometimes in tropical counties like ours. We normally avoid leafy greens during rainy season in India as there is a lot of bacterial/fungal contamination, the weather being very conducive for their growth. So the raw food is given a break for a while during this time of the year and my salads turn to the wok. We also avoid any leafy greens during stomach upsets, until the gut flora is restored.

In those times My solution is other green veggies.  A few vegetables are stir fried quickly so the crunch is not lost and yet they are cooked enough on the surface so any contamination is killed. Green beans are my favorite for such crunch. We get very good tender green beans here in Delhi and very fresh sweet corn on the cob. I always get the whole cobs and get it shelled by hands. No grating or using a knife to shell them as the germ of the corn is left behind in that case. So shell out the whole kernel of corn if you can. To tell you the truth, I find a few such activities meditative. Like shelling green peas or Corn kernels. You sit in a comfortable couch by the window and keep an old newspaper in you lap, and just go on with your work. Try that sometime.

ingredients...

green beans chopped in whatever way you like 2 cups
shelled corn kernels 1 cup
boiled, rinsed and squeezed soy chunks 1 cup or more if you like
or add some grilled/boiled and shredded chicken pieces
garlic powder 1/4 tsp or to taste (replace with fresh garlic if you wish)
freshly milled black peppercorns 2 tsp or to taste (I like it hot)
dark soy sauce and very little salt to taste
sesame oil 2 tsp

procedure...

Chop the soy chunks to small pieces if you are using the large variety. Mine was a smaller variety which is suited for this kind of cooked salads.

Heat the oil in a wok/pan and tip in the green beans first, followed by soy chunks and then the sweet corn kernels. Season with the the listed ingredients and toss well for about 4-5 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature. this salad suits very well for lunch boxes. The crunch of the beans and sweet corn and a springy bite due to soy chunks or chicken (if you are using) provides a nice textural richness. You might like to add some roasted peanuts to it if you wish to make it protein dense.

It can be a complete meal in that case. A kind of meal you have when you are not fussing about a well laid out table or the gourmet experience. Eating healthy is not rocket science.

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The recipe is done, any available vegetables can be tossed up to make a salad and just any seasoning can perk up the salad for you, depending on what mood you are in that day. It works this way for me. Well, almost always. Prefixed menus never worked for me as my spices and flavors are decided right at the time of cooking most of the times. Of course everything is worked up according to seasonal produce and climate. When someone asks me how I manage to cook healthy in every season I don't have a clear answer honestly. I just follow my instincts to choose my spices and condiments, listen to my body and try and incorporate all seasonal produce. Never fuss about what is available and what is not. The same applies for many other truths and facts about life.

We have seen people who would hoard mangoes in the fridge for winters. Or freeze berries to last the whole year. When would we enjoy the seasonal fruits and veggies? Every season has something new. Why fussing about a cauliflower in the peak of summers? We ignore something really simple and easily available when we fuss for such things..

 I was wondering about why some people stay obsessed about a particular type of exercise or fitness regime. Or a specific muscle or body part in question.You would see them discussing about a particular lift or a particular push up that has made them look like a Greek God or so they think. I think they have never seen Tribals and villagers who never have imagined a gym and still manage to have perfectly chiseled bodies. No one has taught them how to lift weight and how to squat but they do it in perfect 'technique and form'. If you are wondering how, just think they do it naturally and are not ashamed of their body. They would never think how they are looking when they squat down to do a chore or lift a heavy weight from ground. So they just follow a perfect body posture out of instinctive reflex. The uninhibited attitude works wonders for their body and fitness.

Listening to the body works wonderfully. Making it an instinctive reflex works for life. If you have been spoiled by an urban couch potato life, start doing some body weight exercises or go lift some weights minding your 'form' first. It will become an instinctive reflex after some time. That would be a learned skill but would make your shape better and better. Or the potato in you keep becoming better and better :-)

Being comfortable in my skin and body type works well for me. Worrying about a specific body part is so misleading. Moving the body in the most natural way has more rewards.So let's get going :-)

5 comments:

  1. I absolutely adore stir fry but didn't realize these multiple benefits :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  2. Thanks for this lovely salad recipe. These days I find the stir friend and cooked salads more suited to my taste and stomach :) And Sangeeta, the seasonal stuff have disappeared from our markets thanks to everything being frozen for consumption. I am actually beginning to forget the vegetables and fruits that are season specific, because all are not only available through the year, but also are priced the same whether in or out of season. Take apples for instance. I remember buying them cheap during winters but today I get them for nothing less than Rs100, and when they are cheap, it means they are knocked up or sour. Which is why I ranted about the mega stores in my latest post. Would love your comments on it.

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    Replies
    1. off to your blog to read that one Zephyr :-)
      We still see a seasonal surge in most delicate vegetables and fruits I feel, and apple is not the only fruit we should focus on ;-)

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  3. Thanks a lot, its big help to me as Ron is on diet and takes salad for lunch.Anyway I always take your help for healthy eating.:)and hugely inspired by you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Tapati for the acknowledgement :-)

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