I came home today craving something sweet and spicy. I love Asian foods. We live very close to a great Chinese restaurant which has often been my late night craving downfall. We are close enough that you can smell all the delicious food smells, especially on weekend evenings when the restaurant is especially busy. I’m surprised that when we call to place an order, the woman doesn’t recognize our phone number and recite to us our usual menu.
What helped me realize that I could follow a diet without meat and dairy is the fact that what I usually crave is a flavor or a spice, not necessarily a “type” of protein. I might crave a good rare steak topped with cracked pepper and blue cheese–which I admit is delicious–but I think I could be satisfied with something peppery that capture some of the pungency of the cheese. Similarly, you can cook a lot of far east-style foods without a particular protein–or with no protein at all.
I improvised this green bean stir fry with a spicy but slightly sweet sriracha sauce. Sriracha is a very VERY spicy Thai condiment made primarily from red chili peppers, garlic, and sugar. But don’t worry overly much about the sugar if you are watching sugar intake, a very small amount of sriracha goes a long way. You can also increase or decrease the amount of sriracha to taste. The green beans are joined by sliced mushrooms which give a bit of chewiness to the dish and are loaded with healthy stuff. Stuff is a technical term, you know. A dusting of toasted pecans on top of the dish gives it some crunch. Nuts are easy to toast–throw them on a dish and microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until lightly toasted but not burned. This brings out the oils in the nuts and gives them deeper flavor. You could eat this with brown rice for a more filling meal or to stretch it among more people. But the hubs and I just ate the entire platter as it was and it served as dinner for us.
Recipe: Sriracha Green Bean and Mushroom Stir Fry
about 1 & 1/2 pounds of green beans, ends snipped off
8 ounces of white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup of pecans, toasted (see above)
1 teaspoon of sriracha sauce
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
Place enough water in the bottom of a large frying pan to make a thin layer of water. Add the mushrooms and green beans and heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Add more water if all of the water evaporates but the vegetables are not cooked. Cook until green beans are crisp but cooked through and the mushrooms are tender. If the water has not evaporated at this point, drain water and return veggies to the pan. Mix the sauces and vinegar together in a small bowl and then add to the pan, stirring constantly, just until sauce thickens slightly and vegetables are coated. Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with the toasted pecans.