Saturday, August 14, 2010

Healthy, Easy Wok Stir Frys

"Gourmet Goodness with the Wok Star"
My cooking demo setup at Whole Foods Market, Pinecrest today.
It's not hard to do a beautiful setup:
I 'borrowed' gorgeous yellow & purple orchids.
Eye popping colorful, fresh veggies.

It's always thrilling to show healthy, easy Wok Stir Frys and today, I got the chance to do just that! It was great to see more kids shopping with their parents and were lured by the delicious smells from my wok cooking. Parents were constantly surprised their kids wanted to taste my veggies since they won't eat them at home. They're even more surprised to find with just a dash of tamari and sherry, veggies can taste so GOOD.

A mom was so excited to tell me that EVERYTHING I used in the dish had NO GLUTEN! Her son had many allergies and she was looking for new ways to make his dinners more palatable and she found the ticket. I had another lady write down all the veggies I used so she could replicate the exact stir fry for her husband. When I explained that there were no rules and you could combine any veggies, she said she didn't want to take any chances because her husband was a very picky eater. She ran around the store and bought the exact same veggies and seasonings I used and was so proud to show them to me.

Many smart moms are bringing their college bound teenagers to my cooking class. They've realized they don't want them to go out to eat every night. It's expensive and probably doesn't involve healthy choices. I must track down numerous articles where college kids take turns to cook on campus instead of clubbing and is the new trend.

I've not finished reading this article: Produce by "Prescription" Seeks to Address Childhood Obesity but I know many kids who stop by my demos really enjoyed my veggies! Flavor is of utmost importance to kids but they also love veggies that are colorful, crispy and crunchy!

Aromatics included scallions, ginger, garlic.
Kick it up with Fresh shitake mushrooms.
Purple curly kale, Shanghai Bok Choy, Nappa cabbageDifferent textures: eggplant, daikon, carrots, red bell, napa, bok choy.
Chopped veggies ready to go straight into wok. Daikon, red bell, eggplant, purple curly kale.
Whenever I do these demos, I simply use all leftover ingredients for that evening's dinner.
I had some cooked red quinoa and firm toufu (Leasa brand) which is my fav, less watery, so you can really crisp it up when you stir fry it. Cubed toufu and marinaded with Stubbs BBQ sauce, such a time saver. It's spicy and tangy, just hits all the right notes.
Stir fry of purple curly kale, turnip, carrots, scallions.

Dinner was ready in minutes. So, when you run out of meal ideas, just remember that you can make a quick dinner with just ONE veggie, a protein like toufu and red quinoa. It doesn't have to be a big production.
Get your kids to help by cutting up the veggies, cubing the toufu, marinading. They love participating in the act of cooking and let them do the stir frying. Believe it or not, they really enjoy putting the dinner on the table if you let them. I know I was always fascinated watching our 'amah' cook when I was growing up in Hong Kong. Little did I know that I would be showing others how to cook in a wok!

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