The First Meal from the Garden

We continue to simplify.  We have been travelling for half of the past year and lived at the lake for part of the remaining bit so we have dropped cable and returned to over-the-air tv.  I do not think we will miss it at all, especially since we continue to have high speed internet and so much is available in that format!  We also changed to Vonage as our phone provider.  We can take the box with us as we travel and receive calls on our “home” phone in most places that we access wireless internet on the laptop.  At home it works well and I have experimented with the laptop…that seems to work well too.  AND, it saves us 30 some dollars a month on top of the cable tv savings.  We can easily afford it but why pay for something with so little return?

It was nearly 100 degrees again today with no rain.  I watered the garden early this morning and harvested tomatoes and broccoli.  We had a thai vegetable stir fry for dinner that was quite good.  I will definitely make it again!

(I halved this recipe for the two of us and still had leftovers but we are older with smaller appetites.  I did not add any of the suggested items to make it a main dish but could see that it would be tasty too.)

D. Schmidt from Thai Food

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: SERVES 4-6 as a Side Dish


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots or purple onion
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
  • 1-2 thumb-size pieces galangal OR ginger, sliced into thin matchstick pieces
  • 1/2 to 1 small fresh red chili, sliced, OR 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
  • 1 medium-size carrot, sliced
  • 5-6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced, or left in halves or quarters
  • optional: 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
  • 2-3 cups baby bok choy, or other Chinese cabbage (leaves left whole if not too large, otherwise cut in half or thirds)
  • handful fresh Thai basil
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or other vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2+1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce (vegetarians/vegans: substitute 2 Tbsp. Thai Golden Mountain Sauce OR 2 Tbsp. soy sauce)
  • 3+1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1+1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/3 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
  • 2+1/2 tsp. brown sugar


  1. Combine all ‘stir fry sauce’ ingredients together in a cup or bowl. Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Taste-test the sauce, keeping in mind that the first taste should be spicy-salty, followed by sweetness and the rich taste of the coconut milk. Adjust these flavors to suit your taste, adding more lime juice if too sweet or salty (note that it will be less salty when combined with the vegetables).
  2. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl around, then add the shallot/onion, garlic, ginger, and chili. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, then add the carrot, mushrooms, and cauliflower (if using). Also add 1/4 of the stir-fry sauce. Continue stir-frying 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli and red pepper plus up to 1/2 of remaining stir-fry sauce, enough to gently simmer vegetables in the sauce (about 2 minutes). Note: this is a ‘saucy’ stir-fry that is never dry – the sauce is meant to flavor the rice or noodles it is served with.
  4. Finally add the bok choy or Chinese cabbage. Add more of the stir-fry sauce as needed, enough to just cover vegetables in sauce. Simmer until bok choy or cabbage is cooked but still bright green with some crispness (2-3 minutes more).
  5. Remove from heat and do one last taste-test. If not salty enough, add a little more fish or soy sauce. If too salty or sweet, add another squeeze of lime juice. Add more sugar or chili if desired. Top with fresh basil and serve over Thai jasmine-scented rice. Or, to bring out the coconut flavor, serve with Thai Coconut Rice. Note: Any leftover sauce can be stored for 1 week in a covered container in your refrigerator for future stir-fries (see below for ideas). ENJOY!

To Make this into a main course dish: Use this sauce to make a main course dish by adding chicken or shrimp, or tofu/cashews if vegetarian/vegan. If using chicken or raw shrimp, combine with 3 Tbsp. of the stir-fry sauce as a marinade. Add marinated chicken/shrimp at the beginning of stir-frying together with the shallot/onion, garlic, ginger and chili.

About Retired woman

retired, dealing with parents recent deaths, wondering what lies ahead with the health of my spouse, overall enjoying each day, love cooking, gardening, travel, Grandsons, family, small town life
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One Response to The First Meal from the Garden

  1. Pingback: Favorite Photo Friday: Thai Chicken and Eggplant Stir-Fry | On Planting Seeds…

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