Garbage Meal: Veggie Stir-fry

by elleryturner

More than one person has pointed out to me that “garbage meal” does not sound like something you would want to eat.  I get that.  But I can’t figure out a better way to describe them, and “Last-Stop-Before-The-Garbage Meal” takes too long to say.  So you’re stuck with garbage meal.  And stuck is an appropriate word here, because judging by the number of you who have mentioned this, I think it’s safe to say that this term is stuck in your heads, meaning you are more likely to implement this philosophy into your weekly meal planning.  Ellery:1, “Garbage meal” haters: 0.

In order to help you embrace the garbage meal, I’ve decided to add recurring garbage meal posts, like my ‘save or splurge’ articles.  This first recipe ended up being a very happy surprise – Merritt and I cleaned out the refrigerator and realized that we had TONS of vegetables considering taking to their death beds.  We rescued them by transforming them into a delicious stir fry, and Merritt really deserves the win here because her suggestion to add a can of black beans resulted in a black blean sauce with an almost creamy consistently.  I feel like a proud mom…watching her child not put all of her food in the pan and then turn it on for the first time (we’re still working on that).

Vegetable Stir Fry (made 2 dinners and 1 lunch portion)

1/2 cup green beans

1/2 zucchini, chopped

1/2 summer squash, chopped

1 cup shittake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped

2 baby bok choy, sliced

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed

1 tblsp sesame oil (vegetable oil can be substituted)

1 – 2 tblsp Bragg’s Amino Acids (soy sauce can be substituted)

Step 1: Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high, or in an electric wok (I used a wok, but I honestly couldn’t tell you how I acquired it, so I don’t expect you to have one).  Add ginger and garlic, saute for a couple of seconds and add in all of the chopped vegetables.  Saute for 10 minutes.

Step 2: Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pan with the amino acids (or soy sauce).  Cook mixture for a couple more minutes, sprinkle with some red pepper flakes if you like some heat, and serve.

That’s it.  Fast, easy, delicious, super healthy…and it all went into a garbage meal instead of a garbage can.

Garbage meals are meant to be guides for you – jumping off places to start creating your own garbage meals, because chances are, your left-behind ingredients won’t match mine exactly.  But once you get the hang of a recipe, you can start to train yourself to open the fridge and say, “I could make a stir fry!” instead of “Bloody hell, there’s no food in this house!” 

And just in case you were wondering, I did decide to make you British in that last part because who hasn’t dreamt of having a British accent at one point in time?  Young, Broke and Hungry…making all your dreams come true.