New Year, More Veggies

digitS'

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
26,089
Reaction score
29,953
Points
457
Location
border, ID/WA(!)
Vegetable gardeners are interested in eating the production of their gardens. Usually. Reflecting on Chinese New Year, I'm thinking how Asian vegetables and simple cooking, mostly learned as a patron of Chinese restaurants as a kid, has encouraged me to eat more vegetables.
I took out the only Chinese cookbook on my shelves – that I nearly never refer to. I remembered the pictures as top notch but the recipes are, mostly, more complex than this 5-ingredient cook cares to get into. Buuutt, then I see that the pictures show such limited amounts of vegetable ingredients! See, I thought that I'd snap 1 or 2 of them from the book for you to see in this post. There are several reasons that I haven't paid much attention to this cookbook ;).

We put up veggies to be frozen and that's about it. Mid-February, we are usually at the grocery store several times a week. When we were selling at a farmers' market, I claimed that we had to make some money so as to be able to buy broccoli in the Wintertime. Yes, that habit still holds.

Just about any vegetable can be used for stir-fries. We always have lots of bok choy and other garden greens of that sort. They amount to a big part of our diet and are just right for stir-fries. They also go in soups but others are more common for the soup bowl and many of those can last beyond the growing season in cold storage arrangements. Homemade broth seems to always be available in this house, often frozen. A decision that often needs to be made is what starch will we have in our soup. Some potatoes are still in the basement. There are several kinds of rice, many kinds of pasta ... noodles.

Since it's the Chinese New Year, I won't show the nice variety of pasta that is on hand. The stir-fries go on rice or noodles but, of course, the noodles can also go in the soup. I once mentioned ramen noodles on TEG and one gardener responded about how she hates the smell. My guess is that it is the spice packages that she hates. My advice, and what we often do is NOT use them. Soy sauce, Maggi sauce, mixed spices with garlic and onions ...

Most people don't make noodles and I have no experience in that regard. The WA State Ag department says that nearly 90% of the wheat grown in the state is exported with Japan and the Philippines as top buyers ;). The vast majority of the wheat grown on thousands and thousands of acres nearby are varieties used for ramen noodles. And, I try to do my part in sustaining the local economy!

If other types of noodles are more appealing to you, they also can contribute to an enhanced use of veggies. These are some of the Asian types from our kitchen shelves:


IMG_0882.jpeg
The Mamy noodles are made from rice and are just as easy to use as the wheat ramen. The large package is labeled as "vermicelli." That Italian name doesn't seem quite right – they also are made from rice. They are a good soup choice. Of course, there are also egg noodles but I didn't see any in the kitchen :). The Kimbo noodles are bean "threads," mung beans. I just included them but we don't use them for soup or stir-fries. Soak, drain, mix with cooked meat, and roll up in a cabbage leaf. Steam and serve with tomato sauce.

I could go into all the Asian vegetable seed that is available for us to grow in our garden but I'll stop here :).

Steve
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
16,287
Reaction score
24,606
Points
417
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
@digitS' every time i see the word vermicelli it makes me think of vermin... so not a word i think about for something to eat.

while we do eat a fair amount of pasta at times it is not as frequent recently, but today it happens that Mom is making pasta salad and i've also taken some chili out of the freezer so it is very likely i'll put some warmed up chili over cold pasta salad...

there's nothing green i want to harvest and eat out there. i didn't plant any green garlic last fall and the onions are not too likely to be in very good condition with the repeated exposure to frosts and warmth as it has kept cycling through the days.

i used to eat ramen noodles nearly every day. i did not normally use the spice packet and preferred adding my own hot sauce and other ingredients. i also used to like eating them uncooked (only certain brands) as a crunchy snack. i don't do that any longer. there's much better (and healthier) things for me to eat now and i don't need more calories for sure.
 

Phaedra

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
2,816
Reaction score
13,911
Points
215
Location
Schleiden, Germany USDA 8a
I like wheat-based noodles, but also those made from rice, mung bean, and potato. I just cooked the ones made with potato starch -they are cooked with the homegrown purple kales and pruned onion greens. The color from the purple kales made the glass noodles look very appealing.

16305.jpg


16307.jpg


I can add almost all vegetable into fried rice/noodles - they are very forgiving carriers for different ingredients and can result in harmonious comfort food, from warm to chilled dishes.

Pasta or Ramen (or instant noodles) can be used for creating different dishes, too. I never like those spice packages - loads of artificial flavoring agents.
 

digitS'

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
26,089
Reaction score
29,953
Points
457
Location
border, ID/WA(!)
it is very likely i'll put some warmed up chili over cold pasta salad
That sounds good. Just understand that I am not encouraging us to eat more simple starches and calories. Just finding what can go with nutrient-packed vegetables to encourage us to eat them.

Example: The USDA says that there is about 30 calories in a cup of broccoli. Let's say that you feel that it is necessary for you to have 2000 calories each day to sustain your level of activity and health. Sixty-five cups of broccoli? Are you kidding?!

We are allowed a little something to go with the broccoli. And honestly, don't vegetables suggest a very good way for losing weight and to keep it off?

Sweet potato noodles, @Phaedra ? :)
 

Latest posts

Top