Avoiding the Winter Veggie Blues
We have had a long winter in Canada this year. With temperatures still dropping to -15 degrees in the mornings, even as we approach the month of April, we are not sure how long it will be until we will see spring in this country. Actually, Halifax, Nova Scotia had it really bad this week with a snow storm that brought 50cm of snow and heavy winds.
With this crazy weather in mind, it has been harder to find good looking produce in the grocery stores, and therefore, I buy whatever veggies look the freshest and most appetizing and figure out what meals to prepare with these ingredients.
I was in my local grocery store today and was depressed by some of the lack-luster veggies, the poor weather and the fact that I still have to wear a winter coat, and then I realized something. Many people actually suffer depression due to winter, less sunlight, colder temperatures it is a condition called SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
So how do we cure the winter blues? By eating veggies of course!
It has actually been scientifically proven that vitamin deficiency, for example, vitamin C deficiency has been linked to depression. Actually one of the side effects of scurvy is also depression.
Anyways, back to my story, among the veggies I picked out at the grocery store were:
-brocollini, or baby brocolli (a sweeter less bitter version of the brocolli, grocery stores love it because it has a longer shelf life than brocolli)
-Purple cabbage (contains 10x more vitamin A than regular green cabbage)
I just realized that both these veggies are vitamin C powerhouses. One cup of baby brocolli has 130% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C and one cup of purple cabbage has 87% vitamin A, 33% vitamin C and 35% calcium. So I guess it was just what I needed to cure those winter blues! I decided to cook a stir fry noodle dish with the following ingredients:
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 yellow onion
-1 carrot, diced
-One bunch brocollini, or baby brocolli, washed and stems divided from florets
-3 cups purple cabbage, shredded
-2 tsp tumeric
-1/2 tsp cayenne (or adjust to taste, very spicy so be careful, better to add less at first and taste)
-1 tsp black pepper
-2 tsp minced ginger
-4 small garlic cloves (chop two and mince two)
-2 tsp soy sauce
-2 servings chow mein noodles
-1/2 cup frozen edamame
In a wok, turn on heat to medium, add oil and fry onion until translucent. Add carrot and shredded cabbage, fry for 5 minutes. Add chopped brocolli stems, cayenne, tumeric, pepper, ginger and 3 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add brocollini florets, fry for three minutes and add precooked chow mein noodles, soy sauce, two minced garlic cloves and edamame. Toss to combine flavours.
Note: frying time may vary depending on the type of wok/pan, the heat and you personal preferences. So make sure to taste your stir fry as you go along for optimal results!
Turn on heat to medium, add oil and fry onion until translucent.
Add carrot and cabbage and fry for five minutes.
Add chopped brocollini stems, cayenne, tumeric, pepper, ginger, and 2 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for three more minutes.
Serve and enjoy!