As I’ve mentioned, Rob loves broccoli. Last week, I made Rob a sweet and savoury broccoli salad from Tess’ new superfoods cookbook Radiance 4 Life due out next month (I had the inside scoop as a recipe tester!). However, after using the crowns, I left with 3 large broccoli stems. What to do, what to do… they are definitely still good! Rob has made a delightful creamy broccoli dal from Vegan Yum Yum multiple times, which is filled with broccoli stems.. but I was hoping to try something new.
While flipping through Supermarket Vegan, a stir-fry caught my eye since it was filled with broccoli slaw, which is simply julienned or matchstick broccoli stems. Perfect! Except, I didn’t want to julienne 12 oz of broccoli by hand. I mean, I could, and I have in the past, but I wasn’t keen to do it this time.
Enter the mighty food processor. I finally looked at the other blades, and noticed there was one for julienning! In fact, I have a duplicate for julienning. In case it breaks, I suppose. (Aside, I wish I had a second base for my food processor because it IS cracking and falling apart! Ack! The forty-year-old food processor motor still runs but the plastic becomes brittle, gah!)
So, I peeled my broccoli stems, chopped them into smaller segments and threw them into the food processor. A bit of struggling as it was unbalanced but the food processor did its job. Not as pretty as when I do it by hand, but for a stir-fry, this is perfect. I added some grated carrot, pulled out some chopped frozen red pepper and was off to the stove. Within 15 minutes, dinner was ready. Despite such a simple cast of characters, this was a nice, simple stir-fry. The broccoli had a nice, sweet crunch that worked well with the carrot and red pepper. The addition of toasted peanuts really helped, along with the salty fermented black bean sauce. The original recipe also suggested bamboo shoots, which I didn’t think I had.. until I went through my pantry a few days later while packing (my pantry is such a treasure trove of interesting ingredients!). I have vowed to add it to my next stir-fry.
Where have stir-fries been all my life? Simple, quick and easy! I’d love to hear from you about your favourite sauces for stir-fries. Granted, leftovers aren’t as nice as the first night, but there are compromises I am willing to make for such a speedy dinner.
Broccoli Slaw and Red Pepper Stir Fry with Peanuts
1/2 cup peanuts
2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tbsp water
4 tsp fermented black bean sauce *can easily be found at an Asian grocer
1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
11 oz broccoli stems, julienned (or broccoli slaw mix)
1 cup carrot, julienned
2 cups red bell pepper, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed (or your choice of side- whole grain, noodle, etc)
1. If you don’t have leftover quinoa, like I did, start by rinsing your quinoa. Add to 1 cup of boiling water and simmer for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is soft.
2. Next, start by pan-roasting your peanuts. In a large skillet, place peanuts over medium heat. Cook until lightly browned and fragrant. This may take 5-7 minutes but watch towards the end, because they can burn easily. When done, remove nuts from pan and set aside to cool.
3. Meanwhile, combine stir fry sauce ingredients – tamari, water and fermented black beans. Stir and set aside.
4. After the nuts have been removed, add oil to pan and heat over high heat. Add broccoli stems, carrot and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add in scallions and garlic and saute a few minutes more until vegetables are tender.
5. Add in stir-fry sauce. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer until you have your desired amount of sauce. The original recipe called for cornstarch, but I did not feel like it needed it.
6. Add peanuts, toss to coat.
7. Serve with quinoa or your choice of side.