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By Mary Honrud
The Courier 

Can't Have Too Much Of A Good Thing

 

Mary Honrud / For the Courier

Beef Stir Fry and fried rice

I posted a photo of the volunteer sunflowers in my garden, stating that perhaps I'd left too many of them. A friend commented, "You can never have too many sunflowers!" But sometimes we do find ourselves with too much of a good thing, don't we?

I picked the first of my green beans on Saturday. I'd already snipped, snapped, and washed them, along with getting out my big pressure canner and washing seven pint jars, when I discovered I didn't have any lids! I really don't care for frozen green beans, finding them to be too chewy, so that wasn't an option. I went with Plan C, which was to bag up the ready-to-cook beans and take them to church with me to give away. You can bet canning lids are at the top of my shopping list. There will be more beans ready soon.

I'm still harvesting lots of peas. Several packages are in the freezer. They are a vegetable I prefer either raw or frozen, never canned.

Having some leftover roast beef, I made a stir-fry. I fried some of the oversized green onions, cut in half lengthwise, in coconut oil. The chopped green tops also went in. While those were caramelizing, the beef got sliced thinly and the fat was trimmed off. I added the meat, along with a teaspoon of my frozen, grated ginger, a few cloves of minced garlic, and some bottled teriyaki sauce. (I lost a point on my Whole Life Challenge nutrition score because of the sugar in that sauce, but it was worth it.) I left the wok simmering while I cooked long grain brown rice for fried rice.

First, a couple of large eggs were scrambled in a pat of butter. Then I thought I should check out fried rice recipes online. Turns out you're supposed to use cold rice to avoid a gummy mess. But not to worry, you can spread the cooked rice out on a tray and quick chill it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. While the rice chilled, I sliced a couple of last year's carrots, and added more chopped green onion tops (I try not to waste those). I already had peas ready. I sauteed the veggies in more butter, then turned them out into a bowl while I fried the rice in yet more butter. Once the veggies and egg were stirred in, I had a great dinner of stir-fried beef and onion with fried rice. We finished that meal with a fruit salad - just watermelon, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, and a mango. Mangos are so sweet when fully ripe that no added sugar was needed.

It seems as though there's too much ready from the garden at the same time. Besides picking (and freezing) lots of raspberries, I also have the previously mentioned peas and beans. There's also lots of beets, buttercrunch and leaf lettuce, Swiss chard, onions, kale, and side heads off the broccoli. (After you cut the first, large head of broccoli, the plants will continue to make smaller heads. And you can peel the stems and eat those as well. Very useful plants, if you can keep ahead of the white butterflies that lay eggs there, so that little green worms hatch and try to consume the plant.)

The herbs are also flourishing. I'm having a tough time keeping ahead of the cilantro, as it really wants to flower and go to seed. I keep chopping it down, but it keeps coming back. The dill plants are also flowering. The two flat-leaf parsley plants are shooting for the sky, while the curly-leafed ones are still manageable. I'm just getting a bit of basil (goes so well with the first cherry tomatoes). I'll have to make another batch of chimichurri sauce. You can marinate steaks, pork chops, or chicken in this, and then grill. You could also spoon it over a green veggie salad, no other dressing needed, or dollop it on a baked potato or any roasted veggies. It's very versatile. There are other variations of the recipe online. I find it good even without the added jalapeno.

Chimichurri-Sauce/Marinade

1 shallot, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno OR fresno chili, minced

1/2 C red wine vinegar

1 tsp kosher salt

2 C fresh cilantro, chopped

1 C fresh parsley, chopped

1/3 C fresh oregano, chopped

3/4 C olive oil

Mix the first five ingredients together and let sit 10 minutes. Mix together the next three, in a food processor. Slowly pour in the oil while processing. Add to the vinegar mixture. Store in a glass jar in the fridge.

I also made this salad, subbing in fresh raspberries for the strawberries. I used a large mandarin orange, squeezing a few slices for the orange juice. Dried lemon peel was used in place of the lime zest, and I used bottled lime juice. I skipped the honey altogether, and used one of my gypsy peppers instead of a jalapeno. Nothing frozen in my version. It's a tasty salad, and pretty. I suppose if you chopped something small, it would be a relish.

Fruit and Cucumber Relish

1 C chopped fresh strawberries

10 oz frozen sliced strawberries

3/4 C coarsely chopped orange segments

Mary Honrud / For the Courier

Sunflowers have decided to make their home in my garden.

1/2 C chopped English cucumber

1/4 C chopped red onion

2 Tbl, chopped, seeded jalapeno

1 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp lime zest

2 Tbl lime juice

1 Tbl honey

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Combine all in a bowl. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I used a regular cucumber, but peeled it and removed the seeds. It was chopped into a colander, sprinkled with the salt, and let set for a while to draw out excess moisture. Then I didn't add any more salt.

 

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