Since M started his diet overhaul 2 months ago, I worried about him becoming one of “those” vegans. You know, very preachy in a sneaky, passive-aggressive way, very down-the-nose… Instead, he has opened up the variety of things he eats in crazy ways that I didn’t anticipate enjoying myself. Some things, like his ugly bean meatballs (beanballs, ha!), will just never win me over. I feel bad about it, but it is what it is. Other things, like this simple veggie stir fry, are easy to love. I really look forward to green beans every holiday (cause I’m too lazy to make them otherwise) and the Szechuan sauce adds a nice twist. The original recipe is from Once Upon a Chef but this is M’s version, altered to our taste (a little spicy!). Also, we found that the beans required a little more cooking time, so we’ve edited that from the original, as well. By slipping in an acceptable vegan dish like this every now and then, he’s getting me to rethink vegan food. Tofu? No. Facon? Nooo. Rice cheese? Oh Hell, no. Basic veggies cooked in a very flavorful way? Well, ok.
We used Carolina Basmati Rice because that’s what we had in the house. When the rice got mixed in with the sauce and took on that flavor, it was fantastic! It was just as good the next day reheated in the microwave for lunch. The amount of food this recipe makes can serve 4 if used as a side dish, or 2 if used as the main dish. It’s very filling and works just fine on its own, no meat necessary. The mushrooms have a meaty texture, but the flavor only of the sauce. We like this one so much, he’s made it 3 times in 2 weeks! He changes it up sometimes by using broccoli instead of green beans. If I were making it, I would add cashews and maybe water chestnuts. I like them waaaay more than he does. Way more than most people do, probably. With Earth Day fast approaching, it’s usually around now that I remember my previous year’s promise to eat healthily, locally, organically, whatever. Now that farmer’s market season is starting, dishes like this will be super easy to assemble in a jiffy.
And I won’t have any excuse not to make them.
Well, a delicious dammit, nonetheless.
And soon we will look like this:
Stir-Fried Szechuan Green Beans & Shiitake Mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1½ tablespoons dry sherry, we used flat Prosecco; that’s what was in the house…don’t judge.
- ½ teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 1¼ teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- Vegetable oil
- 1 to 1 1/4 pound green beans, ends trimmed
- 10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- Prep and measure out your ingredients (Duh, I know, but it takes a few minutes with this one.)
- Soak rice in water for 15 minutes. Drain.
- Add rice to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain again. Do not rinse!
- In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, water, dry sherry, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, red pepper flakes and mustard together. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot and shimmering. Add the beans and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, puckered and browned, about 10-15 minutes (cooking time will depend on the size of the beans). Transfer beans to large plate.
- Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan. Add shiitake mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned.
- Reduce heat to medium, then add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
- Return the beans to the pan and add the sauce and sesame seeds. Toss and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened and the vegetables are evenly coated, about 10 seconds.
- Toss everything in a large bowl with cooked rice and transfer to serving dish. Serve immediately.