Last Tuesday, our refrigerator broke.
Luckily, we have a backup in the basement, but it is small and got filled to capacity with practically our condiment selection alone. Needless to say, I did not go to the grocery store for additional produce to squeeze into the remaining space.
We ran out of fresh vegetables by the weekend, leaving me scratching my head (for just a minute) about what to make tonight.
I always have these gluten-free ramen noodles on hand, and a stir-fry is always a quick and easy way to use up left overs and frozen veggies.
One such leftover that was in the freezer was some chicken thighs I’d cooked in the slow cooker a few weeks ago. (Maybe a cup and a half’s worth) It already had some stir-fry flavors going on with sesame oil, orange vinegar and gluten-free tamari sauce, so I grabbed any other vegetables I could find in the freezer to add to my protein. I had a bag of chopped spinach, frozen peas, and one lonely yellow bell pepper that’s been waiting to brighten up a dish for sometime.
Now was its moment.
I brought a pot of water to boil to cook 2 of the 3 ramen “cakes” in the bag while heating up some avocado oil in a pan. To the pan I added a large sliced clove of elephant garlic (the size of 2-3 normal cloves) and 1 inch of ginger, sliced, both of which I removed after about 2 minutes of sautéing.
Then I just threw in without measuring a decent amount of chopped frozen spinach, a few handfuls of peas, the frozen chicken, and later (after the pepper sat on the counter long enough to be able to slice), I added the yellow pepper slices. I seasoned with additional tamari sauce and sesame oil and added the garlic and ginger back in (although you may want to keep the ginger out, as they make for a powerful surprise on your fork.)
After the water boiled, and the noodles were cooked and strained, everything could be tossed in the pan together and taste tested for extra seasoning. Go ahead, add some sriracha!
Simple, but delicious. A meal you can’t go wrong with. And yes, our son ate it too!
Of course, there are easy swaps you can make with your own freezer finds. Most vegetables will do, and if you don’t have fresh garlic and ginger, you can always go the powdered or pre-crushed and jarred route. Taste test as you go to determine your own measurements, as I do!
When you think you have nothing, you probably have something. Just add flavor. And always have a few bags of veggies in the freezer!
Hope you had a fantastic weekend, friends. Try something healthy this week!