Let me tell you, this cabbage and carrots stir fry is more than dinner. In Ukraine, our meal ritual looked completely different than Canadian one my kids know. It was European way of eating: a filling breakfast like oatmeal or eggs with potatoes before school; a sandwich around 12-1PM; a full lunch at home at 3PM and then dinner around 7-8 PM. Do you notice no snacks? Because there was no pre-packaged foods, toaster or a microwave, our main meals had to be filling till next meal time.
Eating old school European way eliminates a lot of junk considering most snacks are added sugar. I mean, there are healthier snacks but mostly they are not filling, contain empty calories, and wholesome ones are a ton of work to make. On days I choose this path, I end up cooking 24/7.
On Monday, when my boys showed up from school at 3PM, I put 2 small bowls of stir fry noodles in front of them. They both gave me a stare but I quickly heard spoons clicking against the bowls. I do not have to ask my kids twice to eat pasta of any kind. I forgot Kyle doesn’t like cooked carrots, he survived. Forgive me, child. I forgot to fill up my car with gas last week.
For dinner at 6PM, we had the stir fry noodles again. So what? If you ask me, I think it is very hard to be a mama in 2017. I was raised by a house full of relatives, walked and bused everywhere from age 8, and had a house key necklace. Yes, my grandma and mom cooked from scratch, did laundry by hand and walked to the grocery store, but their lives definitely weren’t devoted to us 24/7. Nowadays, you have to literally hold your child’s hand until he/she is 10 to cross the road and until 25 before he/she shapes into a responsible adult. Lunchbox with 6 compartments of neatly chopped food gives me a headache. Can our kids bite and have only 2 things for lunch?!
So, to make my life easier this year, I have been doing what I feel like doing. Boys have been having dinner for an after school snack. My SIL mentioned that is what she does and I had an “aha” moment. If I have a main ready before kids get home, they get it right away. Ukrainian borscht, buckwheat soup or hearty minestrone soup recipes are great that way.
For this type of Chinese stir fry cabbage recipe, I used brown rice vermicelli noodles, which are product of Malaysia but are “China Sun”; the fact I had to let go of. “What can I make with cabbage and carrots?” is always on my mind in winter months, when majority of fresh produce is from Mexico, but finding local organic cheap cabbage and carrots isn’t that hard. Quickly stir fried vegetables, added soaked with hot water rice noodles and a simple sauce. That is it. Literally, 20 minute vegan cabbage stir fry dinner. Voila. And if you like cooked cabbage, check out my lazy cabbage rolls and cabbage rolls casserole recipes.
I’m looking forward to this weekend although it will be busy with hockey and Adam’s birthday party. Still, I’m looking to sleeping in past 7AM, not making lunches, wearing everything fleece and cozy till noon, and chilling with friends. What I Ate Weekend post is coming on Tuesday. Boys have no school on Monday, so I think I’m gonna chill with the book because there are no more babies in da house woot woot.
Have a great weekend!
- 2 lbs cabbage, cut into 2” pieces
- 1 lb carrots, thickly sliced
- 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
- 2” piece ginger, grated
- 3 large garlic cloves, grated
- 5 tbsp soy sauce (I used Bragg’s liquid aminos)
- 2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 9 oz (250 g) package thin brown rice noodles
- 4 green onion sprigs, finely chopped
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- Boiled water
- Preheat dutch oven or large skillet on medium heat and swirl 2 tbsp of sesame oil to coat. Add ginger and garlic; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add cabbage and carrots, stir; cover and cook for 6 minutes, stirring once.
- In the meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, maple syrup, water, rice vinegar; whisk with a fork and set aside. Also place brown rice noodles in a bowl with boiled water for 3 minutes. Using kitchen scissors cut noodles right in the bowl. Drain and set aside.
- Pour sauce over cabbage and carrots; add noodles. Stir everything well. Top with remaining 1 tbsp sesame seed oil, green onions and red pepper flakes (if you wish). A few more stirs and serve hot.