M.I.A.

I’ve been missing from my blog for about a month now. And I had a sorry showing in the month of February.  All I can say is that I have been very busy and to be honest, a bit unmotivated in the kitchen department.  I purchased a few magazines and cookbooks that drew my interest, but I haven’t pushed myself to go through them and tag the recipes I want to try.  I can’t figure out why I am not as motivated as I used to be. I don’t think it’s the gloomy weather; grey wet days don’t bother me. I was also in California and I felt the same way there as well.  Is there such a thing as a cooking slump?   If there is, I think I’m in one right now. Perhaps it’s similar to writer’s block. But I think in my case, I might have an imaginary cutting board blocking me from culinary greatness!
In an attempt to redeem myself, I recently made a hearty vegetable stir-fry with buckwheat noodles.  It looked very earthy and tasted great.  This recipe is more free flowing than others because I started tossing random ingredients in as I cooked. Anything can be added or taken away, the choice is yours to make.
In the recipe I used 3 bunches of buckwheat noodles.  In the package of buckwheat noodles I bought, there are ready-made portions of dry noodles.  If the noodles you use doesn’t come like that, just estimate how much you want to use.
Vegetable Stir Fry with Buckwheat Noodles´╗┐
1 bunch of kale, centre vein removed from leaves and chopped
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
1 green pepper, sliced into strips
12 brussel sprouts, chopped into small pieces
1 cup of broccoli florets
12 cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced
2 scallions, diced
3 bunches of buckwheat noodles
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
olive oil
red chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste
Fill a medium to large pot with water and set to boil on the stove. Once the water is boiling, add the noodles and cook as per package instructions.  Once cooked, drain and set aside.
In a warm wok, add a little bit of olive oil and 1 tsp of garlic. Stir the garlic until slightly golden and then add the chopped kale. Continuously stir the kale until it shrinks in size and is cooked through.  Place the kale in a medium sized glass dish and move onto the rest of the vegetables. Add a little oil to the wok (if necessary) and add in the scallions, red pepper, and green pepper.  Stir fry for 2 minutes, and then add in 1 tsp of garlic, the ginger, the fish sauce and 1/2 tsp of the sesame oil.  Continue to stir fry the vegetables until they are softened. Before removing from the vegetables, add some chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste.  Add the vegetables to the kale and move onto the next batch of vegetables. Add some oil and the remaining garlic to the wok and add in the remaining vegetables.  Continue to fry until the brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and broccoli are softened. Add the rest of the sesame oil and salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste.  Remove from the wok and mix in with the rest of the vegetables.
Add in the noodles, mix and taste for seasoning. Make adjustments as necessary.  Serve hot with soy sauce or sweet and sour chili sauce.
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