©2018 by Gander's Bits 'n Bobs

Stir-Fries.

September 22, 2019

Stir fries have been a staple for me for the past few months now, always bumping into my mind as I try to decide what to eat for any meal of the day.  It started as a delicious and worthwhile meal to make for breakfast and lunch for when I had work, and then it sort of just became an accidental staple.  It's almost become a default meal for me, one of those dishes that I've come to rely on so much that I can't think of anything else to eat.

 

The funny thing is, I've started to talk with people who obsess over their various food intakes, and while I've tried to tell that calorie counting voice in my head to bug off, it still likes to grumble at me, especially when I go to eat stir-fries. Again. 

 

My food philosophy is "everything in moderation,"  so I eat starches, and butter, and proteins, and veg, and sugar.  And so long as it's a meal that doesn't leave my body in the lurch after, I consider it healthy.  

 

These are the things that I internally say to the whispery little bastard voices that like to have conversations while I cook.

 

Anyway, stir-fries are delicious and satisfying and healthy and absolutely awesome if you have a garden.  Even if you don't have a garden.  I mean, there are other places to get bacon, right?

Bacon/Zucchini Stir Fry

serves 1

 

2 or 3 slabs of bacon, sliced

half a small zucchini or a quarter of a large one

1 clove of garlic

a pinch of sesame seeds

1 large leaf of kale

1 green onion

1 pint or 2 cups cooked rice

a drizzle of soy sauce

 

Fry everything one at a time, moving down the list as you chop and fry in order to allow for everything to cook reasonably.  Add the rice and fry, stirring occasionally, for a minute or two, before drizzling in the soy sauce.

Green Stir Fry

serves 1

 

a large dob of butter

1 large green bell pepper

half a jalapeno 

half a small zucchini or a quarter of a large one

1 smallish green tomato

1 clove of garlic

1 large leaf of kale

1 green onion

1 pint or 2 cups cooked rice

salt

 

If you want some awesome flavours, roast the peppers until their skin is blackened and leave in a covered bowl for five minutes.  After five minutes, peel and chop and add to the fry.  

 

If you don't want awesome flavours, just chop the peppers, discarding the seeds, and fry.  Chop all subsequent veg and fry in lots of butter.  Once the veg is nicely softened add your rice.  Allow to fry for a minute or two, stirring regularly and incorporating the salt.  Deposit in a bowl and enjoy.

 Plant origins!

 

Zucchini originated in South America, along with peppers.  Both were used as food by the Aztecs and other peoples, and both were imported to European countries as European explorers began to take over.

 

Peppers have a much longer and intensive history, and I'm going to begin with Christopher Columbus in the early 1500s, since documentation of peppers before him is vague.  Columbus was looking for black pepper, a vining plant which grows naturally in India.  In his time, black pepper was more highly valued than gold, as it was the only spice which had the ability to produce heat.

 

Instead of the vine which produced black peppercorns, he found a fruit which had the potential for much more heat and flavour, and he named it after the only other spicy thing he could think of: pepper.  

 

Unfortunately for him, the people weren't so interested in his new chilli pepper, at least not for a while.  It took time for the new set of flavours to be accepted, and during that time the new pepper was spread to even more cultures via various trading routes.  

 

Since the start of the 1500s when Columbus introduced it to the old world, both the sweet and chilli pepper have become ingrained in several different cultures, particularly Indian.  It's such a fascinating thing to consider, that before he made those voyages, the spiciest thing Indian cuisine had to work with was black pepper.

 

Compared to the pepper, zucchini has an extremely recent history, since it's estimated that it was first imported from South America to Italy around 1850.  Once in Italy, it became common practice to eat the young and tender squash, rather than allowing the fruits to ripen fully when they develop seeds and a tough skin.  The zucchini became a staple vegetable for Italians, so much so that when they began to emigrate to the Americas in the 1920s, they brought their seeds with them.

 

And there you have it, both peppers and zucchinis began in South America and traveled to Europe and beyond before coming right back and settling in North America!

 

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