Cooking at home with a glass of wine is one of my favorite hobbies. I love taking a recipe from start to finish. My favorite dish to make is a stir-fry, either vegetable or shrimp. I usually don’t add chicken because I try to eat primarily vegetarian. I do eat fish though so technically I am a Pescetarian, which means I eat seafood but not any other animals. There is a big difference between vegans and vegetarians but I will discuss that in a later post. I also get a lot of criticism from my meat eating friends that you need to eat animal products to be healthy and build muscle. This is when I bring up the thousands of studies that show being a vegetarian is actually healthier then eating red meat. Another aspect to consider is if you want to spend the money on buying organic. This is a controversial issue, but I feel that if you have the money it’s worth the investment. You can also research the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” theory on buying vegetables. In simple terms, there are certain types that you don’t need to buy organic and other veggies you should always buy organic.
I saw a great video on YouTube that had my favorite stir fry ingredients so it inspired me to write this blog post. When I make this dish I like to use cucumbers, red peppers, scallions, red pepper flakes, jalapenos, and carrots. I usually make it with shrimp like shown in the picture above or you can make it without seafood or meat and it still tastes great! In fact, after eating a meat free diet for over 5 years I can say I actually prefer the taste of stir-fry without meat. If you cooked your shrimp stir-fry correctly it should look like this before you add teriyaki sauce. I prefer not to overcook my veggies because the longer you cook things the more nutrients they loose.
The other thing to take into consideration when eating a healthier lifestyle is the sauce and condiments you use. I try to cook with coconut oil most the time, but occasionally I will use olive oil. The reason I prefer coconut oil is stays healthy even when cooked at high temperatures. Oils like olive, canola, and butter are damaged by cooking at high heats. For this dish I used Nutiva Coconut Oil which is my favorite brand. I also cook with crushed black pepper which I feel gives the dish more flavor. The other myth out there is that all salt is bad for you. I cook with Himalayan Crystal Salt which is the healthiest of all the salt types. This salt is usually pink in color and is mined from Pakistan and is millions of years old. The final thing to consider is your use of condiments when cooking. I suffer from Celiac Disease so I try to avoid gluten in my diet. There are tons of companies creating gluten-free products that cater to people who suffer from this disease. One of my favorite products to cook stir fry with is a gluten free teriyaki sauce by a company called Keli’s. You can also just search “gluten-free” to find other products out there.
The final thing to consider is how your food is prepared. Obviously, deep frying your food is a lot less healthy then cooking over a wok with coconut oil. I also prefer to cook at lower heats and not too long so I loose the minimum amount nutrients. There’s another concept out there called Macrobiotics which states that you should mainly eat produce that is local in currently in season. I tend to agree with this line of thinking. Well I hope you enjoyed my stir-fry blog and my ranting about how I think about nutrition. Remember, dietary changes are hard to make, so start small and move on from that.