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Karina's Spicy-Sweet Vegetarian Stir-Fry Bliss



This is a post about old school bliss- an easy  budget-friendly stir-fry for a weeknight. The recipe stems from my art school past. Why do I bring this up? 

Because last night we waxed nostalgic.

Over olives, a wedge of Parmesan, and a bottle of Chianti, Steve and I talked about our unencumbered days at art school. The late nights painting. The crazed friends. Midnight movies at the Rialto. Jean Luc Godard. Truffaut. Fellini

And the loft parties- the drama of almost meeting Warhol (he never showed up; he was famous for it).

We talked about all that longing and envy and art student poverty mingling in a passionate virtual eddy of sensing we were a part of something big, a tidal push toward consciousness, toward peace and equality.

Sounds almost quaint, doesn't it?

Though my husband was in Chicago and I was in Washington, D.C. at the time our art student days were archetypally similar. And when painting brought us together more than fifteen years later we had an instant shorthand, a shared lexicon of idealism and curiosity seasoned with an ego-checking love of irony and humor.

Two hearts unwilling to live in quiet desperation for a paycheck. An appreciation of small pleasures. Stacks of books by the bed. Years later, we still connect over ideas. We still become animated discussing film. Or music. Or books. So I made a brown rice stir-fry.

Art school style.


Vegetarian Stir-Fry Bliss: The Recipe (or Waxing Idealistic In the Face of Absurdity)


My recipes for stir-fry are approximations for no two stir-fries are ever truly alike in my kitchen. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Ingredients stem from what I have on hand. Seasoning is much the same. My sauce is constantly changing. Last night's was inspired by Kalyn and a stir-fry sauce she made recently, reminding me of how much I like using preserves in a stir-fry. I opened a jar of spicy jalapeƱo jelly from Las Cruces, New Mexico, and stirred up some fiery-sweet goodness.

Start with a pot of cooked short grain brown rice.


For the stir-fry:


2 tablespoons light olive or canola oil

1 teaspoon each: GF curry powder, cumin and ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 red onion, sliced or diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
3-4 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 large zucchini or yellow squash, sliced into half moons
2 heaping cups shredded cabbage

For the sauce:


2/3 cup vegetable broth, heated

2-3 tablespoons- or to taste- hot pepper jelly
1 handful fresh cilantro, loosely chopped

Instructions:


Heat the oil in a large deep skillet or wok and add the spices; stir for a minute to infuse the oil. Throw in the onion, garlic and veggies and stir-fry until almost tender-crisp- about 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the jelly in the hot broth.


When the veggies are just about to reach that lovely tender-crisp stage, add the sauce and cilantro, and stir well. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring the veggies to coat.


Add in just enough cooked brown rice for serving, and stir to combine. I keep the ratio heavy on the veggie side, and use the rice more as a condiment.


Serves 4.


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Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

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