Two months before I got married, way back in ’98, the pressure was on. The wedding dress had been bought, purposely two sizes smaller, and I needed to lose the weight to be able to walk down the aisle. I bartered with a personal trainer, Michael, and he put me through the paces, both in fitness and food, to the tune of a thirty pound weight loss in about six weeks.
Which then didn’t make the tailor too happy because she had to take in my dress. Again.
First class problems, people.
The food that I ate when I was working with Michael was a handful of items that I rotated to stave off boredom. And what I found out then, as I did again in 2011 when I lost a bunch of weight, is that it becomes less about the food. Like you don’t even think about it anymore.
And as someone who is a freelance recipe developer, this can sometimes be a bitter pill to swallow.
But it is what it is.
One of my go-to meals back then was a stir-fry. Because it’s easy. Hearty. And I knew it would make Michael happy.
And these days, it’s become a go-to for me again. I can mix and match veggies at will, depending on what the kids and I are feeling like eating, and what I have available, and dinner is done in a flash.
Most always under 30 minutes.
Take that Rachael Ray.
And what I know to be true? Eating good food makes me feel good. It’s that special little thing that puts an extra bounce in your step. That propels you forward to making more good decisions. That fuels you in the way that something else won’t. It’s a domino effect to the nth degree.
And sometimes? It’s good to go back to basics. Both in your food choices and in what you know works.
Now this recipe is really just a guideline. It’s the most forgiving thing ever, so you can feel free to swap out some of my vegetable choices for something you or your family might like instead. I focused on green vegetables, and roasting some of them first to bring out all their deliciously deep flavors. I am admittedly a super late adopter to sugar snap peas (never liked them much before this year), and tonight, Nick found out that he likes them as well. Score one for the home team.
But the bottom line? Guilt-free food that is the perfect fuel for whatever you need to do.
And we can all use a little more of that.
Tomorrow? Embracing the camera.
Friday? Bagster review.
Eat Your Veggies Stir-Fry
Recipe courtesy of Cate O’Malley
1 bunch green asparagus, roasted
3/4 lb sugar snap peas
2 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/2 t salt-free Mrs. Dash
2 teaspoons soy sauce
String the sugar snap peas and trim the ends. Cook them in boiling, salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Set aside. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and add the onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and begin to caramelize, 10-12 minutes. Add the peas, asparagus (cut stalks in half so they’re more bite-size), Mrs. Dash, and soy sauce. Heat through, about 2-3 minutes. Serve.
*I usually roast the vegetables one night, and then toss everything together the next night, making for a very fast fridge-to-table meal. Add grilled chicken or shrimp for a complete meal. Also good served (or mixed) with brown rice, or with a poached egg on top.