Pineapple Ginger Stir-fry with Snow Peas, Cabbage and Zucchini
I love ginger. It is one of my favorite healing foods, and between juicing and ginger tea, I get a healthy dose of this spicy root every day. This week hadn’t been a huge cooking week for me – I was headed out of town to Chicago (where I am writing this now) to visit friends and family, so it was more about cleaning up shop and eating things I didn’t want left behind in my fridge.
We got an awesome CSA haul this week (I’m trying to get better about photo-documenting everything, but as you can see from a steady stream of iPhone photos, photography is not my strongest suit. One step at a time, though.) and I was excited to create something inspired by all my new produce: snap peas, zucchini, swiss chard, two huge heads of lettuce, cilantro, strawberries, rhubarb, mixed greens, 1/2 dozen eggs and lavender (which was put in a vase and not in the fridge – another thing I should have photographed.) So I decided to make a stir-fry with a tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) and ginger sauce. The pineapple adds a delicious sweetness to this dish, which cuts wonderfully against the acidity of the tamari and the spiciness of the ginger. Because the vegetables are all quite crunchy, the soft, slightly meaty pineapple provides a nice textural contrast as well. If a dish is too one-sided it throws off the equilibrium, and you may finish something divine only to end up trying to satiate a textural craving in another way (like when I eat a meal that doesn’t have enough crunch, and I wind up craving a handful of chips. How elegant.) I ended up serving mine over quinoa, rather than brown rice, because I wanted the extra nutritional boost. That’s the beauty of a stir-fry though – like chili – it can really be adapted to suit whatever taste you’re in the mood for. This would be delicious over quinoa pasta, farro, spelt, groats, lentils – pick your nutritional poison and go to town.
Recipe: Pineapple Ginger Stir-fry with Snow Peas, Cabbage and Zucchini
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
3 inch hunk of ginger, peeled and diced (I am a ginger freak though. This is a lot of ginger, feel free to start with 1 or 2 inches and increase to suit your taste.)
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable stock (Pacific’s veggie pho soup base would be amazing here – it’s my new favorite veggie stock, although I got really inspired to start making my own after reading this post about freezing all your veggie clippings for to save for stock-making.)
1/2 cup pineapple, cut into 1/2 inch hunks
1 cup snow peas
1 huge hunk of cabbage, loosely chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup cooked quinoa
For the sauce:
I really want to start making miso-based sauces for Asian-inspired dishes, but here I was aiming to utilize items I already had in my cabinet. This makes quite a bit of sauce, but I put some aside so I can make this again later on in the week. Put the diced ginger and garlic in a bowl with the tamari, water and veggie stock. Mix well. Make the sauce first so the ginger flavor has adequate time to develop.
For the stir-fry:
First, make the quinoa according to the package directions. 2 cups water per 1 cup quinoa, always. This takes about 15-20 minutes depending on how much you’re making. I was waiting for a very handsome delivery man to bring the CSA veggies home, so I made mine about 45 minutes before I started cooking and just kept it on the stove in the pan. The veggies will heat it back up, so don’t worry about trying to keep the quinoa hot. I also used spoonfuls of it to continually test the sauce…you know, just to make sure it was still good.
I’m trying to find ways to use a little less oil in my cooking, which is why this recipe is oil-free. Put a bit of the sauce in a pan with all the veggies (and pineapple) to start them frying. Spoon out the ginger and garlic that’s sunk to the bottom of the bowl and toss that into the pan so that it gets fried up with the vegetables. I removed about half of the ginger and garlic from the original mixture. After 5 minutes or so, start adding a bit more sauce in to the pan. I like things very saucy, so that there’s extra juice to soak into the grain. Once there is enough sauce in the pan so the vegetables won’t burn, turn the heat down a bit and let them marinate in all the gingery goodness. I prefer my veggies cooked well, but still a bit crispy. Once they’re cooked through, take them off the heat. Put however much quinoa you’d like in a bowl, and layer on the veggies. I topped my bowl off with a bit more sauce for good measure. For an extra boost of ginger, I paired this with a ginger, cabbage, fennel, pineapple juice (in a wine glass, of course). It’s my new favorite cocktail for digestion support. Enjoy!