Special-Ingredient Stir Fry

Charlottesville is slowly recovering from yesterday’s rain. But as Shaun and I just learned, we’re not quite over the hump. Less than a mile into our *new* run, the sky opened up and it poured.

I’d be curious to hear what other runners do in this situation. It would have been much easier to turn around and head home, but our thought was, “It can’t do this forever.” We were right, but it did do it for about three miles. We returned home soaked such that all “moisture wicking” technologies in my running gear were rendered useless.  Optimistic Courtney likes to think this added extra weight and thus extra resistance.

On the plus side, it was a completely new route that I thought up in the car this morning. The negative? The rain ruined my Nike+ sensor and potentially my iPod Nano.

NOT dinner.

While I attempted to salvage my possessions in a bowl of rice, I mapped out our route the old-fashioned way…Google Maps. It was a friendly 6.4 miles: longer than next weekend’s race [6.21m], but unfortunately not as long as I’d hoped. We’re happy to have a new and approved route to add to our arsenal, though. Cross your fingers for my bowl of Apple products.

Dinner tonight was a classic, simple recipe made special by an appearance from a guest star:


Kidding. Not a lobstah, but a chunk of fresh ginger root from the farmer’s market. At first ginger root is daunting, but when you make your first cut and the smell takes over your kitchen, it makes the effort worth it.

To use ginger root, first cut off the piece you want to use. A teaspoon of minced fresh ginger is sufficient for most dishes that serve two people, but I always go heavy on spices. Peel your piece [but don’t peel what you’re not going to use or it will go bad], and mince it. I throw it right in with the garlic. As the ginger simmers in soy sauce it creates a delicious “teriyaki.”

Simple stir fry.

This is another versatile dish. Sub different vegetables or add shrimp, and it will still rock. The key is the fresh ginger root. You can’t go wrong with that. This dish can also be made and stored in individual portions in the fridge. It keeps for over a week, making it a vibrant lunch dish.


The veggies were piled high on a bed of stir-fry noodles [a delicious high-protein, low calorie pasta made with wheat] with a sesame seed and mung bean sprout garnish. I usually grow my own sprouts, but laziness [and a need to pick up a few ingredients for tomorrow’s breakfast] led me to store-bought ones this time.

Tonight’s sous chef? Grady.

Right behind my feet, toy and all.

He insists on crawling between your legs and the counter, or sitting directly behind you when you cook. This is going to be a huge problem when he’s the size of a Fiat [P.S., did you notice they have a North American ad campaign now?].


The little guy’s been sick all day though, so he got a get-out-of-jail-free card from me. If anyone knows how to get a dog to stop eating rocks, we’d love the advice. We want Grady back to his normal, playful, puppy self again!

Oh, and otter you doing tonight?*

Fresh Ginger Stir-Fry with Tofu and Vegetables (Vegan, Vegetarian)

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 20 minutes


  • 1/2 package Wel-Pac Chow Mein Stir-Fry Noodles (they are separated into two “sections”)
  • 2 servings extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 scant tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts, for garnish


1. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil.

2. In the meantime, saute the garlic, onion and ginger for 3-4 minutes (until the onion is tender). Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute.

3. Toss in the broccoli and carrots. Add the soy sauce and water, and mix well to combine. Cover the vegetables and let the mixture simmer.

4. Add the noodles to the boiling water, cook for three minutes (that’s all they need!). Drain, rinse with cold water, and drizzle the sesame oil. Mix well and portion onto serving plates.

5. Allow the vegetables to cook until they are tender and the liquid reduces. Pour over the noodles. Top with sesame seeds and sprouts.

6. Sriracha.

* This is what I like to call a “Shaun joke.”


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Categories: Recipes


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/


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5 Comments on “Special-Ingredient Stir Fry”

  1. October 13, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Without fresh ginger, most stirfrys are just sad 😦 Looks great 🙂

    • October 14, 2011 at 8:33 am #

      Thank you! I probably eat this dish entirely too much, but I just really enjoy ginger. If you have any other good ginger recipes, I’d love to share!

  2. B Licon
    October 14, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    Grady eating rocks—try “training for dogs eating rocks “search. Lots ideas about squirt bottle, toys,noise,hot sause and others. Articles say it’s different ideas for different dogs. Good luck.

    • October 14, 2011 at 8:33 am #

      Thanks. Yeah it’s not so much a problem when we’re there, it’s when he’s outside in the yard playing by himself. It’s hard to police it, then.


  1. Test Kitchen: Tofu “Plus”? | Ryes and 'Shine - November 1, 2011

    […] I prepared a stir-fry with the remainder of a package of Wel-Pac Chow Mein Stir-Fry Noodles from a previous recipe, a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables from Kroger, fresh minced ginger root and garlic cloves, and […]

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