Ingredient Prepping or, a Holiday Survival Guide
Updated: Jan 3, 2020
A concept I started adding into our lives for the Holiday season is ingredient prepping. You read that right. Not meal prepping, but ingredient chopping (essentially what it is, no suspense here). With so many places to be to celebrate Christmas out of town, then Hanukkah on the other side of the family, I wanted to make sure that we didn't end up ordering in whenever we were home due to the lack of groceries and time. It is both costly and unhealthy- especially paired with the fact that the Holidays themselves are filled with starch, Champagne and chocolate (but don't get me wrong we do appreciate a Chinese takeout here and there). So I looked at our Holiday schedule- every inch of it- and started chopping. For example, if we had a Hanukkah party in the afternoon (Ella falls asleep very early so the afternoon is where it's at), I would take 15 minutes that morning to chop all the ingredients needed for a stir-fry that night. It seems like a useless effort as 15-20 minutes of prep isn't much to begin with, but when you have a baby whose bedtime is near and far less energy later in the day, you can thank yourself for that thought.
So this is one of my many examples of how you can make your life easier during busier periods of your life, wither it be birthdays, Easter and Passover or midterms in school. A busy schedule does not have to equate with poor health choices! You can always make it work with a little organising. Now get chopping!
What you will need to chop for this Green Monster Stir-Fry,
A bunch of Tupperware/bowls to cover
Green vegetables of your choice:
Broccoli (1, chopped)
Zucchini (1/2, chopped)
Green pepper (1, chopped)
Yellow onion (1)
Garlic cloves (4)
Mushrooms (Half a package- I think you get it by now, chopped)
Rice noodles (1 pack)
Sesame oil (4 tbsp)
Hoi Sin (2 tbsp)
Chili oil (2-3 drops)
Soy Sauce (3 tbsp)
Sesame seeds (garnish)
Coriander (I prefer not the chop in advance as it wilts very fast, so just keep a few stems aside and pluck out and throw the leaves into the mix when the time comes)
*I ended up having tons of leftovers as it was only for my love and I, so either use half of these quantities or invite friends over! Or embrace leftovers like I do I love finding them the next day.
A few simple steps,
1. Earlier in the day, chop absolutely everything except for the coriander leaves and keep in separate containers or even bowls which you can cover if you are out of clean Tupperware and in a rush.
Just a tip: I personally always purchase minced garlic in a glass jar to use for occasions like these, as the fresh garlic smell will be hard to clear from your Tupperware! So in order to avoid this, I would simply use pre-minced garlic, but if you don't have any on hand, I suggest placing the freshly minced garlic on top of other vegetables (such as the zucchini slices) so it does not directly touch the Tupperware or its lid. The trick is to smuggle the garlic between the chopped vegetables.
2. When you are back home and hungry, throw the onions and garlic in a large pan over medium heat with the sesame oil. Stir until the onions are translucent.
3. Add all vegetables and stir in the soy sauce, ginger powder, scallions, coriander and Hoi Sin. Lower heat and let simmer, while stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes. You can add chili oil at this time if you wish!
3. In a separate pot, bring salt water to boil and cook rice noodles (follow package instructions). Drain and throw into the vegetable pan. Drizzle with sesame oil and mix well.
4. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve!
Optional: I personally added beef, which I typically sautée with a little sesame oil and soy sauce for 5-6 minutes over medium heat.