Saturday, February 2, 2008

Green Green Everywhere

Not to sound like a broken record or anything, but I’m really trying to make healthier food for my family to eat. That includes more leafy green veggies. This idea presents a bit of a problem as my wonderful hubby has an aversion to leafy green veggies in a cooked form. So I’m getting a little creative to find out just how far I can push the taste experience.

So far, kale, while a truly nutritious green, has not made the cut. I’ve tried some pretty extreme flavors with it to cut the bitterness – vinegar, chili, garlic – but it just doesn’t pass. Spinach is OK as long as it’s a salad. I thought that perhaps trying out a mild green would be a gateway veggie that could lead to more adventurous eating. Enter baby bok choy ...

We love Asian food so I thought a little stirfried bok choy would be a great accompaniment to a simple steamed fish entrée. I shopped at Whole Foods to find my baby bok choy. It was a little bigger than I wanted but beggars can’t be choosers. I was a little miffed when I visited Pacific Ocean Market the next day after eating pho for lunch to see some itty bitty baby bok choys. Such is life … I’ll go there next time.

Baby bok choy is super fast to prepare. That, in and of itself, makes it a fabulous weekday evening side dish. It’s good for you too. I used very little fat to prepare it and the Asian flavors really made the dish sing. I’m happy to report that after a little nudging, my hubby even ate the green parts. Give it a go … your meatitarian might actually like it.

Baby Bok Choy with Braised Shiitake Mushrooms
Adapted from Bon Appetit February 2007

2 handfuls of fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, cut into very thin matchstick-size strips (about 2 tablespoons)

Cut off stems of the mushrooms; discard or save for stock. Thinly slice caps.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add bok choy; cook just until wilted, 30 seconds. Drain. Transfer to platter; cover.

Whisk 1 teaspoon tapioca starch and 1 tablespoon water in bowl. Heat the oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger; stir 30 seconds. Add shiitakes; stir 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium; add broth and next 4 ingredients. Whisk in tapioca mixture; cook until sauce thickens, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add wilted bok choy and stir fry quickly. Garnish with black sesame seeds. Serve immediately.


chou said...

I really like bok choy because it's so mild compared to other greens.

nicole said...

looks wonderful!