The Cowie Clan likes stir-fry…a lot. Here are reasons I personally like stir-fry:
- Its quick! It takes no time at all to prepare, especially when serving with soba or udon noodles.
- It’s healthy! I can throw in just about anything and the family gobbles it up, assuring that we’re getting in several servings of vegetables in one meal.
- It’s sneaky! It’s a great way to “hide” some less favorite vegetables (turnips were in this stir fry but don’t you dare tell my kids, or my hubby).
- It’s local! It is a great way to use some of the local vegetables that we get from the farmer’s market or our CSA.
- It’s versatile! It allows for many variations depending on what I have on hand.
- It’s happy! Nothing’s better than hearing the compliments on how good it tastes.
This month’s Recipe Redux Challenge asks members to use edible flowers in their cooking creations. There are soooo many ways one could go with this challenge. So many. And believe me, I contemplated many different options. I ended up deciding to make a savory dish using garlic flowers, better known as garlic scapes, as my edible flower element.
I grow garlic in my garden every year, partly because it is so easy, but also because it seems to keep the pests away (and vampires I suppose). About this time of year, planted garlic bulbs send out a little shoot with a “flower” at the end, the garlic scape. Cutting the garlic scape is a win-win: the scape is edible, resembling somewhat of a cross between garlic and a chive. And apparently it helps the plant too: cutting back the scapes helps send nutrients down to the garlic bulb, producing an even bigger end product.
If you don’t have garlic scapes available, no problemo- just use fresh garlic and/or chives instead. Remember, this type of recipe is quite forgiving and versatile. Just about any vegetable can be chopped up and thrown in and generate the same fab results. And if tofu doesn’t work for you, try adding cooked cubes of chicken breast, pork, or beef instead. The only part of the recipe that I would suggest remain constant is the sauce, otherwise throw in everything but the kitchen sink!
Kitchen Sink Soba Stir-Fry (Recipe inspired by Kitchen Sink Soba in July 2014 issue of Food & Wine)
1 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp. soy sauce (we used Ozark Forest Shiitake Mushroom Soy Sauce)
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
12 ounces dried soba
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained, water pressed out and cubed
3 Tbsp. oil (I used half coconut oil, half grapeseed oil)
½ cup garlic scapes, finely chopped (if you don’t have scapes, use fresh garlic and/or chives)
½ cup broccoli, cut into small florets (ours from Green BEAN delivery)
2 carrots, cut into small pieces (ours from Green BEAN delivery)
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced (also from Green BEAN delivery)
2 large turnips, peeled and cut into matchsticks (ours from Kenny Duzan’s Farm, Columbia, MO via Local Chef StL)
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, rough chopped (ours from Local Chef CSA)
2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
1. In a saucepan, simmer the orange juice until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 15 minutes. Whisk in lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar and sugar.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add soba noodles and cook to al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.
3. Transfer noodles to a large bowl, add ½ of the sauce. Add the tofu to the remaining sauce.
4. In a wok or large skillet, heat oil. Add garlic scapes, broccoli, carrots and ginger and stir-fry until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add chard and cook until wilted about 2 more minutes.
5. Add vegetables to the bowl with the soba, top with tofu and black sesame seeds.