I don’t remember my mom ever telling me I had to eat my vegetables.
As I recall, roughly from the age of four on, there were no late nights sitting around the table, having been told to clean my plate or I’d have no ice cream, no whining at the sight of peas or broccoli on the table, and rarely a green been pushed aside.
In fact, I’m pretty sure I remember a few times I was upset about there being too little peas on multiple occasions.
To this, my mom says that it’s probably just because she cooked her vegetables the right way. Hot, but not mushy. Lightly seasoned, perhaps with a splash of oil or butter. Always, always, delicious.
Also, she didn’t like lima beans, either, so it helped that no one had to gag on those.
I consider this a valid point. That cooking veggies properly is important, not about lima beans… And yet, WHAT is a lima bean and WHY…? Just why? It should be called a CHALK bean. It has no flavor and it feels like chewing on CHALK. Okay – I take back what I said about liking every vegetable. We also won’t go into my opinions on jicama, water chestnuts and mini corn cobs. Oi!
Anyway, I honestly, really, do love vegetables. When they are cooked just right, and have that kind of fresh, al dente kind of bite, with some variety of delightful spices… Yum!
So this dish, in tribute to all kinds of wonderful veggies, is entirely a vegetable dish. Seven, in fact, if you don’t count the onion. Yeah, “eight veggie” doesn’t sound quite as poetic.
But it’s cool, because we are still pretending like we have a pasta base. Spaghetti squash makes a stunning appearance yet again.
Covered in a wonderfully peanutty Thai sauce that has become a staple in my house, this is an easy, healthy meal that will last you through the week. Or, if you notice how the broccoli florets soak up all the sauce, maybe everything but the broccoli will last the week. Not like I pick them out cold from the fridge for snacks or anything…
And, if you make sure to cook these with care, the result may even be some new veggie lovers!
Seven Veggie Stir-Fry
1 large spaghetti squash, cooked (directions here)
1 recipe Thai Peanut Sauce, here
1 yellow onion
1 ½ c. snap peas
1 stalk broccoli, chopped into florets, and stalk chopped up
1 cup quartered Brussels sprouts
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced in half width-wise, and then lengthwise into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, same as red pepper
2 medium carrots, peeled, and then use a peeler to cut it into ribbons
2 tsp. Thai spice blend (usually found in the spice section of the grocery store)
Black chia seeds, white sesame seeds
2 stalks green scallions, chopped
Cook the spaghetti squash, a day or two ahead or about 90 minutes prior to needing them ready - (here’s how I do it!) and transfer the “noodles” to a large bowl. If the squash was in the refrigerator, warm it either in the pan or microwave until heated through.
Prepare the Thai peanut sauce according to these directions.
Coat a large sauté pan with canola oil cooking spray, and heat to medium. Sauté the chopped onion for two minutes, or until you can start to smell them.
Add the broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and snap peas and spritz everything with more oil. Cover and cook about two more minutes, to soften slightly, before adding the bell peppers and carrots. Add a bit more oil spray and Thai seasoning blend and cook, stirring the veggies occasionally, until they take on an “al dente” bite – cooked through but not overly soft.
Everything should take on a really vibrant version of their natural color. This is where you want them to stay, so be sure to remove them from the heat as soon as they are ready, and transfer them to the bowl of (hot) spaghetti squash.
Heat the sauce and add to the veggies.
Serve hot and garnish with chia seeds and sesame seeds and scallions.