It is two months into the year, and we have been successful with our goal to use only locally sourced meats, produce, and dairy items. While it has made meal planning a little more challenging, it has been exciting to visit our biweekly farmer’s market to see what produce will be available. Thanks to some great independently owned stores and farmstands, we have been stocked with dairy and meat items as well.
However, I have to confess that I miss fresh greens immensely. A worshipper of caesar salad (with dressing on the side), I have had to create new lunches that have local produce and a protein source. While I have found replacements, I do miss the crunch and flavor of lettuce and sprouts. Luckily, I have a husband who is excited to exercise his green thumb, even as snow continues to appear.
Two weeks ago he planted alfalfa and mustard sprouts in a hydroponic contraption. By the end of last week, we had fresh sprouts. Although they were tasty, they weren’t quite hearty enough to be the basis for a meal-size salad. Fortunately, he also planted pea shoots last week, and this week they were ready to be harvested. While still small, they have a wonderful pea flavor and a decent amount of crunch.
Although it is only 20 degrees outside, and outdoor planting is months away, it is wonderful to have these green vegetables appearing in our kitchen. Last night we created a vegetarian stirfry using the pea shoots (converted to an omniverous dish with the addition of chicken for our non-vegetarian diners). Tonight we’ll create a micro-salad with a mixture of sprouts, shoots, and carrot shavings.
Yes, it may be only March 3rd, but it is beginning to feel like spring in our kitchen.
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1-1/2 Tb. sherry*
- 1-1/2 Tb. water
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1 Tb. olive oil
- 5 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 oz. extra firm tofu, cubed
- 1 cup pea shoots, chopped
- Combine soy sauce, sherry, water, cornstarch, and ginger in a measuring cup or small bowl.
- Whisk and set aside.
- Heat large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes or until crisp tender.
- Add garlic and tofu, and cook, stirring frequently, for additional 2 minutes. Add pea shoots and soy sauce mixture.
- Stir and cook for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
- *The sherry can be replaced with sake.