Monday, July 9, 2007

Summer, a Stir-Fry, and Stanley Park

Being the fair-skinned redhead that I am, I tend to shy away from long periods outdoors in the summer sun. That whole lobster look really doesn't do it for me. Today, though, was just so beautiful that I couldn't resist noshing outside with my current read: Stanley Park by (Canadian!) Timothy Taylor.

I must say how much I really do like this book: it combines my love of cooking with a good mystery story, adding touches of romance, family struggles and the battle of a small-time chef to stay afloat in the sea of corporate menus. The book was a nominee for the Giller Prize as well as a nominee for the BC Book Prize's Ethel Wilson Award for Fiction. It definitely helps that this wonderful novel is set in Vancouver, a place I have come to adore through my travels to visit my aunt and uncle (who live in Langley, a suburb). The descriptions of the different locales alone bring back fond memories of picnics and walks along the shore.

Even in the hot hot weather, I was craving a stir-fry. A quick dig through the fridge produced a plethora of veggies and some of my home-made teriyaki sauce, and a snoop in the pantry gave me some bulgur wheat. Half an hour later a huge steaming bowl of goodness was steaming in front of me, and I was able to settle down and read a few chapters of my book before getting the familiar feeling of overheating.

Stir-fries are a variety of clean-out-the-fridge recipe and by no means do you have to (or should) stick to a recipe. I figured though that for food blogging's sake, I would tell you how I did mine today.

Sarah's Summer Stir-Fry
Serves One
3/4 cup salted water
1/3 cup dry bulgur wheat
Black pepper
1 cup shredded Savoy cabbage
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 florets each broccoli and cauliflower, chopped
1 1-cm slice Vidalia onion, diced
3 white mushrooms, sliced fairly thin
Good pinch of red pepper flakes
about 2 tsp garlic powder
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/4 cup or so low-sodium Teriyaki Sauce
Few dashes vegan Worcestershire sauce
  1. Bring salted water to boil in a small pot. Add bulgur wheat and a few cracks of black pepper.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Cover pot, remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, steam cabbage, garlic, broccoli and cauliflower 6 minutes.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over high heat, spray with cooking spray.
  5. Add onion and saute until golden.
  6. Add mushrooms, red pepper flakes and garlic powder and cook, stirring, until everything begins to brown and become very fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add tomato and cook another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add steamed veggies and toss together.
  9. Pour in teriyaki sauce and Worcestershire, toss through to coat veggies.
  10. Add cooked bulgur and stir to combine everything and slightly reduce sauce, 3-4 minutes.
  11. Serve immediately.

Happy summer days, everyone!