My Go To Veggie Stir Fry

ImageThis Veggie Stir Fry became my ultimate go-to meal while at Clemson. Monday would roll around and I would realize all weekend I’ve only eaten fried pickles, chicken tenders, pizza, Bojangles, a quesadilla, a gallon of diet coke, and fries. Basically if I didn’t consume a ton of veggies quickly, I was either going to combust or turn into a deep fried Healz. ImageGo to the grocery store and grab all of the veggies that look good to you (or are on sale). I always get some garlic, a large onion, a pepper, some spinach, broccoli and maybe some mushrooms or zucchini. Just slice up your veggies in the amounts that you want. I love onions so I usually use at least half of a large one, 2/3 of a pepper, a head of broccoli, and one entire zucchini.ImageIn your super large pan or wok pour some “Wok Oil” (find it in the Asian section of  your grocery store) and add 2 cloves of chopped garlic. As it heats up you can go ahead and add your onions and peppers. As they start to soften you can add your broccoli or zucchini and a couple of tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce.  Image Keep sauteeing those veggies and add your mushrooms if you have them. I probably cook all of the nutrition out of my veggies, but who cares they taste amazing. You can add crushed red pepper flakes if you like things a tad spicy and I like to add a couple tablespoons of teriyaki sauce too. Basically you want your veggies to start looking a little brown from the soy sauce and teriyaki. Toss in your spinach so it can wilt. ImageAt some point while you’re focused on your veggies, get some water boiling for your noodles. I usually use an entire pack of Udon Noodles I find in the Asian aisle. Whole Foods even has organic Udon Noodles if you’re feeling extra healthy! The key is tossing your cooked noodles into your pan of veggies so that it can absorb all of that good flavor. At this point I’ll add some more soy sauce for the noodles.ImageServe your veggie stir fry in a bowl (because everything tastes better in a bowl) with some chopsticks and you’re good to go! I’ve made many different versions of this so feel free to play around to suit your tastes. If you want some meat, frozen chicken strips are a really easy addition. It’s also a great way to use up veggies in the fridge that are about to go bad. This recipe makes a ton of food and the leftovers are amazinggggg and perfect for a healthy lunch on the go!

Homemade Pesto Sauce

ImageMaking your own Pesto sauce is super easy and quick! Seriously, it takes less time than opening a jar of Ragu and heating it on the stove. All you need is basil, parsley, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil and salt. This recipe is from a Better Homes and Garden Italian Cookbook my great aunt gave me when I was little. The pictures in the book are SO 1990’s but the recipes are on point!ImagePlace 1 cup packed basil in your food processor and pulse a few times. We had JUST enough on our basil plants in the garden!ImageAdd 1/2 cup packed parsley (stems removed) and pulse a few more times.ImageToss 1/4 cup of pine nuts in your food processor. Just a heads up, these guys hide out in the baking aisle. Pulse a few times and add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, 1 clove of sliced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup of olive oil.ImageYour pesto will look a little something like this. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor and give it a few more pulses to make sure everything is well blended. ImageServe the pesto in a dish in the middle of the table and let everyone serve themselves. A little pesto goes a long way! You might want to drizzle more olive oil over your pasta if you like it slippery. You can store the leftover pesto in an airtight container in the fridge for two days or freeze it for later.

So fresh, so simple, SO delicious.

Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce

ImageMy dad’s garden has been producing approximately a billion tomatoes a day and I needed a way to use as many as possible, aside from a tomato riot in the streets. This was my first time making a pasta sauce from scratch using real tomatoes and it was surprisingly very easy!

ImageAfter you give your tomatoes (we had about 17 that day) a nice bath, you need to blanch them to make them easier to peel. I submerged three tomatoes at a time in boiling water for exactly 1 minute before putting them in a bath of ice water to cool them back down. ImageAfter you blanch all of your tomatoes, peel the skins off of them. It will start to get REALLY messy because you want to remove as much of the seeds and juice from the tomatoes as possible. I cut mine in half and used a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pockets of liquid.

ImagePut your seedless, juiceless, skinless tomatoes into a large pot on medium heat.ImageI chopped half of a green pepper I picked in the garden that day along with half of a yellow onion and almost an entire head of garlic. You can use whatever veggies you love most or have in your fridge. I sauteed them together while the tomatoes were hanging out in their pot.

ImageAdd your cooked veggies to the tomatoes. I also added a couple handfulls of fresh basil. At this point you can add as much or as little salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, italian seasoning as you would like! I don’t like a chunky sauce so I mashed the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, put the lid on, and went to the couch to watch an episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County. ImageDuring a commercial break I checked my sauce, and it looked like this. I mashed at the tomatoes some more, stirred the pot, put the lid on, and went back to my show. ImageOnce my show was over, the sauce looked good and smelled even better. I added one can of tomato paste to thicken it up. After a last second taste test, It was ready to be eaten!ImageMan oh man was it delicious! It tasted SO fresh and healthy. Definitely add another can of tomato paste if you like your sauce to cling to your pasta. I was kind of shocked at how little sauce 17 tomatoes produces. I thought I was going to be eating this batch of sauce for weeks! Thank G there’s another billion tomatoes to be picked tomorrow…THAT’S AMORE!