February 11, 2008
HASTY TASTY STIR FRY
Recently I decided to add virgin organic coconut oil to my oil repertoire. Supposedly it has a lot of health benefits, equal to or surpassing extra virgin first cold pressed olive oil. One of the touted benefits is that it boosts the metabolism. I decided to give it a try.
I purchased the brand pictured on this post. It is solid at room temperature, is shelf stable, and has a divine coconut fragrance and taste. It is shelf stable indefinitely. It is not suitable for cooking at high temperatures but is suitable for sautéing and baking. I imagine it would make baked goods incredibly moist.
It can also be used as a skin moisturizer. When I was purchasing my jar a fellow shopper told me she gave it daily to her dogs for their coats, so that they'd shine. If it works for dogs, then maybe it will help my hair which is much dryer and feels more coarse since I entered menopause.
Price wise it is comparable to good olive oil. Since I don't do a lot of frying or baking it will go a long way.
Evidently it is a medium chain fatty acid and goes straight to the liver like carbohydrates do, thereby giving one immediate energy from its calories. Some say it is less likely to be stored as fat since it burns first like carbs.
Regardless of the health benefits, I love the flavor and I think it is a good substitute for shortening or butter. Although coconut oil is high in unsaturated fat, because that fat is medium chain, unlike butter which has long chain fatty acids, it is not supposed to be as harmful---if in fact saturated fat is harmful--- to our bodies.
From my reading I find that it was used extensively in food products in the U.S. until the 1980's at which time the soy and corn producers lobbied against coconut oil---it was "bad" for us---in favor of corn and soy oils. Because most of the coconut oil came from poorer countries they did not have the wherewithal to fight the corn and soy lobby, so it fell out of favor. I pause to question, does this switch from coconut oil to soy and corn oils have something to do with the increase in obesity we see today?
Prior to the 1980's, when coconut oil was the number one oil in manufactured foods, we were not as fat.
And as we all now know---or at least we‘ve been told-- the corn and soy oils that were pushed on us, being polyunsaturated oils, did in fact harm us. Upon the realization of this fact, mono-unsaturated oils took the throne and are still being touted today as best for us health wise.
So many of the decisions made for us seem to have a direct correlation to somebody’s bottom line, and I have to wonder where the truth is in all of it.
Now, for the recipe………….
I recently used my coconut oil in the following original recipe. It was delicious if I do say so myself, besides being quick and easy. The amounts are for one serving.
Hasty Tasty Stir Fry
½ tablespoon coconut oil
3 ounces of cooked pork, thinly sliced (or any cooked protein)
1-2 tablespoons diced onion
½ teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste
1 & ½ cups of frozen stir fry veg (thawed)
½ tablespoon Hoisin sauce
½ tablespoon Oyster sauce
In a non-stick skillet melt the coconut oil. Add the onion and ginger-garlic paste. Briefly stir fry, then add the thawed veg, giving it a good stir, followed by the cooked protein of choice. Continue stirring and add the Oyster and Hoisin sauce. Stir and fry until all is heated through. Just be careful not to overcook the veggies.
Serve over cooked rice or quinoa.
Next time you bake chicken breast or pork loin chops cook a few extra and freeze. With those in your freezer and a package of the frozen stir fry veg, and the oyster and hoisin sauces in your fridge, you’ve got the ingredients for a hasty tasty stirfry.
Also, I always freeze my leftover rice and quinoa. Both freeze beautifully. If you portion it into ½ cup servings it is easy to heat in the microwave or throw into your stir fry pan.
I save my pudding cups which happen to hold a half cup. You can put your rice and quinoa into these serving cups and then set them in a Tupperware container, or even slide them into a freezer bag.
I would advise, though, against heating the rice in those cups in the microwave. While they are food safe, they may not be microwave safe. Just slip the rice out of the cup onto your serving plate and warm in the microwave or throw the rice into your stir fry skillet to heat.
The cups are also great for shaping rice balls--I believe these are called onigiri--which can then be frozen. I like to fill my onigiri with canned salmon that has been mixed with a little wasabi and light cream cheese.
I didn’t believe it, but the frozen then thawed rice does taste great, unlike refrigerated rice, which to me, has an undesirable texture.
And while I’m at it, let me say I love my rice cooker. I’m all about having less stuff, but the great thing about a rice cooker is that you can put the rice and water in and walk away. No waiting for the water to boil, and then getting caught off guard and letting it boil all over your range top which then has to be cleaned in addition to the sauce pan. For years I thought it a foolish purchase when a sauce pan would suffice. But I wouldn’t be without mine now.
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."