Whenever I finish my last work shift for the week and cross the parking lot in search of my car, knowing my day off has officially begun, I should be tired, ready to head home for a nap after having been awake all night, but I'm always filled with energy. As much as I adore my job, I suppose it is simply human nature to always cherish the "weekend," on whichever days of the week it may land! As sleepy as my body might be from a hectic night at work, I just can't bare to waste a moment of the delicious freedom, the possibilities for adventures great and small.
Today, for example, I'm about to start roasting some green beans and preparing our favorite spaghetti for an impromptu dinner party tonight! And last week, on my first day off from work I had a bit of grocery shopping to which I needed to attend, and I decided to visit a store one of my co-workers had recommended, which she described as "a little Korean market with a great produce section." Needless to say, I could scarcely contain my enthusiasm enough to obey the speed limit on the way to the shop... which turned out to be a huge Korean market with the most gigantic produce and fresh seafood selections I've ever seen!
I confess, as I stepped inside the produce section I simply paused for a blissful moment, surveying the full color spectrum of fruits and vegetables. Where was I to begin?
With tender, sultry shiitake mushrooms, of course...
and planet-sized nectarines, heady with their sweet scent...
I also tucked crisp green beans and a few adorable bunches of baby bok choy into my basket, along with a thrilling new discovery: soy bean sprouts!
The sprouts looked so jaunty and energetic, and the nutrition facts on the package revealed that one serving proffers 10 grams of protein! We've been enjoying them contentedly in salads and sandwiches, but, having never tried soy bean sprouts before, I am curious - do you, my wonderful readers, have any suggestions for other ways I can prepare them?
As soon as I arrived home with such lovely treasures safely ensconced in my ever-present giant canvas bag, I immediately began prepping the green beans and shiitake mushrooms, and when Zach arrived home that night, the piquant, alluring scent of stir-frying garlic and sesame oil awaited him.
When I think of all the complicated ways people seek out "entertainment" these days, I'm so thankful to be more than content with a simple grocery outing...
Green Bean and Shiitake Mushroom Stir-Fry
1/4 cup soy sauce 1 T toasted sesame oil 1 rounded T honey 1 onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 T canola oil 6 cups green beans, with stem ends removed 4 oz shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped 1 cup cooked chicken OR 1 cup baked tofu cubes 2 cups brown rice, cooked as you would usually cook rice
~ In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, and honey, and set aside. ~ In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry the onion and garlic in the canola oil over high heat until the onion is limp and translucent. ~ Add the green beans and shiitake mushrooms, and continue to stir-fry, tossing constantly, until the green beans are crisp-tender. ~ Reduce the heat to medium, and stir in the cooked chicken or baked tofu. Pour in the soy sauce mixture, and cook just until everything is heated through. ~ Serve over the brown rice!