Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Simple Bowl of Vegetables

I have a love affair with vegetables. Call me obsessed, but these edible members of the plant kingdom just get me so excited. And inspired. I adore so many things about them. Their colors, textures, flavors, and their ability to heal the body are just some of them. I like them prepared in all sorts of ways, whether they're dressed in a salad, steamed on a bed of brown rice, thoughtfully prepared into an elaborate entree, or slowly simmered in a soup. The possibilities are literally endless and I wonder why so many people find it difficult to eat more of them. Perhaps it just seems too complicated or intimidating to prepare vegetables for some? Or maybe those who have an aversion to them only know of the ways they don't like to eat their vegetables? I can only hope inspire people to not only eat their vegetables because they should. I want people to enjoy the process of trying new ones and preparing them in new ways (I said new ways, not complicated ways). I want people to truly savor their flavors, be blown away by their colors and varieties, and appreciate their powerful health-promoting benefits. I can only hope that this blog will inspire people to love vegetables.
Here's a super simple bowl of vegetables that came together in literally ten minutes. I put them over some brown rice and sprinkled them with sesame seeds. They're simple, nourishing, beautiful, and most of all, delicious.

Ginger-Garlic Bok Choy, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Zucchini

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
oil of your choice (I used sesame)
10 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
2 to 3 heads of baby bok choy, roughly chopped
1 zucchini, very thinly sliced (as thin as you can slice, or use a mandolin)
sea salt
tamari, to taste
toasted sesame oil, to taste
sesame seeds for garnish
cooked brown rice (optional)

1. In a large pan over medium heat, saute 1 tablespoon of oil with a tablespoon each of the chopped ginger and garlic for 10 seconds. Add the mushrooms to the pan with a pinch of salt. Stir constantly to avoid sticking, until the mushrooms begin to soften, only about 4-5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside in a large bowl.

2. Add 1 more tablespoon of oil with the remaining ginger and garlic to the pan. Saute another 10 seconds and then add the zucchini and bok choy with another pinch of salt. Stir constantly for another 3 or 4 minutes until the vegetables wilt a little, but still retain their bright green color and crunchy texture. Remove from the pan and add them to the bowl of mushrooms. Toss with tamari and toasted sesame oil. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve over brown rice, if desired.

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