Guest Post: Jesse Cooks!

My recently engaged friends, Jen and Jesse, are frequent visitors to my blog. They both enjoy food and healthy living. Lately, Jesse has been sending me some great photos documenting his cooking adventures. Below is a stirfry dinner featuring: shrimp, broccoli, green beans, and red pepper. Yum! stirfry

This guy is unstoppable! Check out Jesse’s chili recipe:

Small cubes of beef
Onions
Garlic
Carrots
Celery
Red beans
Cumin
Groumd Chili pepper
Cayenne
Basil
Oregano
Salt/pepper
A can of crushed tomatoes
Half a little can of tomato paste
A little water if it’s too thick

Sauté everything (including spices) except beans and tomatoes, then summer for a couple hours until the meat is cooked and tender and the flavors have had the chance to meld. A fun variation is to replace water and a little of the tomato with beer! Excellent with cheddar cheese on top and cornbread!

Megan’s note: Recipe was adapted from a Moosewood Restaurant veggie chili recipe which used bulgar to replace meat. I love, love, love all the Moosewood Cookbooks which are based on recipes created for the restaurant located in Ithaca, NY. The eating establishment began as a natural foods collective back in the ’70’s. One of the founding members, Mollie Katzen wrote the original edition of The Moosewood Cookbook, published in 1978.  The New York Times listed Moosewood as one of the top ten bestselling cookbooks of all time. Many people claim that it is the most popular vegetarian cookbook in the world!jessechilli

And last, but not least – lettuce plants a.k.a. future salad! I love the idea of re-using Stonyfield Farms yogurt containers as mini planters.futuresalad

  • Love stir-fry dishes!!

    Cute lettuce plants!!

  • There are also little Oregano, Basil, and Dill plants in my reused Stonyfield farm yogurt cups. I’ve planted Cilantro, Parsley, Thyme, and Rosemary outside already (it’s already planting time in DC!) Enjoy!

    Jesse

  • Jen

    You don’t know how happy this makes him, Megs!

  • Hey quick question…what was the actual recipe for the stir fry???

  • My Dad’s Sezuan Stir-fry template. Note: my measurements are NOT exact, just my best guesses at ratios.

    Meat:

    This stir fry works with just about any meat. I used frozen, uncooked shrimp for this one but it also works very well with chicken or beef cut into strips. I thawed the shrimp then sliced them each in half lengthwise (not necessary but this gives them the nice curly shape once they cook).

    Veggies:

    I used Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Green beans for this stir-fry. Experiment with whatever veggies you have on hand. A good addition is Bok Choy or any other Asian Green. I like to chop most veggies in thin slices for stir-fries so they cook fast.

    Sauce:

    Soy Sauce: 3 tbsn
    Rice Vinegar: 2 tbsn
    Water: 1 tbsn
    Brown Sugar (or other sweetener): 2 tsp

    You can experiment with different ratios of Soy Sauce, Vinegar, and Sugar to adjust the flavor. More Soy is saltier, more Vinegar is tangier, and more sugar, sweeter. Also, this might not be enough sauce for a larger stir-fry, so you can adjust the amount to fit your needs as well.

    In the pan before you turn on the heat:

    Olive oil: 2-3 Tbsn
    Garlic: 2-3 cloves
    Ginger: 1-2 Tbsn grated (I keep it frozen and use my favorite kitchen gadget, the microplane zester, to grate the Ginger.
    Hot Chili Sauce: 1-2 tsp or more if you want it hot! (This is the stuff that comes in a clear plastic jar with a green screw top. It often comes with garlic already in it, but I add more anyways!)

    Thickener:

    1-2 tsp corn starch
    1 Tbsn water

    The timing takes a little practice with stir-fries to make sure ingredients get cooked, but not over cooked. Heat should be fairly high under the stir-fry so it cooks fast. Start by heating the pan with the oil, garlic, ginger, and chili until it starts to sputter. Then add the meat and stir or shake the pan fairly steadily until it’s most of the way done. Pour or spoon the meat into a bowl, trying to leave some oil, garlic, etc in the pan for the veggies (a slotted bamboo spoon works nicely). Add the veggies in order with the ones that take longer to cook first. When they are mostly done, add the meat back into the pan. Pour in the sauce. Let it cook for a minute or so before adding the corn starch mixture to thicken the sauce. Careful not to let this cook too long or you’ll have a hard time cleaning the pan later! Serve immediately over rice, quinoa, or just by itself.

    Enjoy!

    Jesse

  • THANKS!