Ginger and Green Tea with Honey


Feeling a head cold coming on? Bolster your immune system with this natural, healthy drink.

Ingredients:

1/2-inch chunk of raw ginger root, peeled and grated fine
1 single-serving green tea bag (I highly recommend Tazo by Starbucks)
1/2 tsp. honey
Boiling filtered water

Directions:

Wash, peel and fine-grate the ginger. Place in a cup with the tea bag. Pour boiling water into cup and let steep for 4 minutes, then strain.

Add the honey and mix to incorporate. Drink while hot. Repeat as needed.

I usually combine this with a chunk of raw garlic chewed immediately after. I also add 1,000mg of Vitamin-C to my regimen if I feel a really bad cold coming on. Concerning the garlic, you probably won’t earn any points with your spouse, but it beats getting sick!

Stir-Fry Carrots with Shiitake Mushrooms and Scallion


This is a simple, healthy and quick vegetable side dish that compliments a variety of main-course meals. Be sure to add the scallion only at the last minute or two so it doesn’t wilt too much.

Ingredients:

5 large carrots, peeled, cut into thirds and then cut into matchsticks
4 stalks scallion, roots trimmed, cut into thirds and then matchsticks
2 large shiitake mushrooms, washed, stems removed and sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1″ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tbs. brown sugar
1 tbs. rice vinegar
2 tbs. soy sauce
Dash of sesame oil

1 tbs. peanut oil for frying

Directions:

Prepare the vegetables and pat dry, so the stir-fry will be crisp and not soggy. Allow to warm up to room temperature. Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar and rice vinegar in a small bowl and set aside. Mince the garlic and ginger in a food processor and set aside.

Heat a wok until it just smokes over high heat – a drop of water should vaporize within one second when ready. Add the peanut oil to the sides of the wok and swirl to coat the surface. Add the garlic and ginger and quickly stir-fry for about ten seconds, until aromatic. Immediately add the carrot and mushrooms and stir-fry until lightly seared, about two to three minutes.

Add the soy-vinegar-sugar mixture and stir to incorporate. Reduce for one minute. Add the scallion and sesame oil and stir until just heated through.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Serves 2-4

Beef with Broccoli Stir-Fry


This is a fantastic, healthy and quick meal to prepare. Make sure that your wok is preheated until it’s blistering hot – ensuring that the flavors are seared quickly. In a pinch you can use snow peas or even asparagus.

Most indoor ranges cannot put out enough heat for a proper stir-fry. I use my cast-iron Lodge wok on my 22″ outdoor Weber charcoal grill. It works great and eliminates the need for an expensive, high-BTU output propane burner.

Ingredients:

1 pound beef sirloin or tenderloin, cut into 1/8″ strips, against the grain
1/4 cup soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. hot chili sambal paste
3 cloves mashed garlic

2 large heads broccoli, washed and trimmed
2 fresh large scallion, trimmed and cut into thirds, then julienned
1 red bell pepper, cored and thin sliced
2 carrots, peeled, cut into thirds and julienned
1 cup beef broth
2 tbs. soy sauce
1/4 cup cold water
2 tbs. corn starch
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1-inch long pieces of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp. sesame oil

2 cups cooked white rice
2 tbs. peanut oil

Directions:

Prepare the beef marinade by trimming the beef and placing it in a ziplock storage bag. Combine 1/4 cup soy sauce, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp. hot chili sambal paste and three cloves mashed garlic. Stir well to incorporate and add to the bag. Seal, shake it well and let sit in your fridge for at least two hours.

Prepare the vegetables and place in a bowl so you have them ready to go.
Mix the two tbs. corn starch and 1/4 cup cold water in a small dish and set aside.
Mix two tbs. soy sauce and the beef broth and set aside.
Mince the ginger and three cloves garlic and combine in a small serving dish

Everything should be brought up to room temperature before being placed in the wok. Ensure that your vegetables are patted dry. Wet vegetables will create soggy food.

Prepare an outdoor grill with enough charcoal for a very hot fire, using direct heat. The mound of charcoal should touch the bottom of the top rack when placed on the grill. Lightly wipe down the surface of the cast-iron wok with peanut oil and place on the grill when the coals are nearly white-hot. The wok will be hot enough when a drop of water vaporizes instantly.

Have a covered serving dish, two silicone spatulas, a meat tongs, oven mitts and a Chinese-style spider-strainer ready. This meal will be done in under four minutes. Have all other ingredients at the ready. Combine the corn starch mixture and the beef broth and stir one last time to incorporate.

OK, are you ready? Add the two tbs. peanut oil to the wok and swirl quickly to coat the surface. Immediately add the ginger/garlic and quickly stir-fry for about thirty seconds until just aromatic. Immediately add the beef using a tongs (marinade should be drained off.) Quickly stir-fry until no longer pink, but not thoroughly cooked. Remove the meat with a spider-strainer and set aside in the covered serving dish.

Add the vegetables and stir fry for about two minutes until just crisp-tender. This part is critical. If you cook them too long, they will be overdone and soggy when the beef is recombined in the next step.

Add the beef back to the wok, combine and add the sauce mixture. Heat until it thickens, about thirty seconds to one minute. Add the sesame oil and combine.

Remove the wok from the grill and transfer the stir-fry to a covered serving dish. Serve with steamed rice.

Stir-Fry Vegetables with Ginger and Garlic


This is a simple stir-fry recipe that can be used with any fresh vegetables that you have on hand. Just make sure to cut them in small, even pieces. The seasoning is light and flavorful. If you prefer it spicy, add a couple of crushed chilies to the wok oil before frying.

A properly-heated wok is a must with this recipe to ensure that the veggies don’t get soggy. My electric flat-top stove doesn’t generate enough heat so I use my cast-iron Lodge wok on a 22″ Weber grill over real wood charcoal until it’s blistering hot.

Ingredients:

2 handfuls fresh string beans – washed, ends snipped and cut into 2″ pieces
2 carrots, peeled and thin sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1/2″ strips
1 head broccoli, washed thoroughly and trimmed
2 scallions (green stalk onions), washed, split and quartered with roots removed.
1″ chunk of ginger, about the diameter of a quarter, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. pure sesame oil

2 tbs. peanut oil for frying

Directions:

Prepare all vegetables and seasoning before cooking. This recipe cooks fast – it will be done in four minutes once it hits the wok.

Trim all vegetables and pat dry. Let warm up to room temperature before placing in the wok.

Combine the minced garlic, ginger, 2 tbs. soy sauce and 1 tsp. sesame oil in a small mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat until it smokes. Add the 2 tbs. peanut oil and swirl to coat the sides of the wok. When it just starts to smoke test the temperature by adding a drop of water to the side of the wok. It should sizzle and evaporate almost instantly.

Add the ginger and garlic mixture to the wok and quickly stir fry using a wok ladle or two silicone spatulas to avoid scorching until just aromatic. On a very hot wok this should take no more than 30 seconds. Immediately add the vegetables and stir to coat well. Let sit for a minute. Stir briefly, let sit for an additional minute to sear. Stir well to incorporate and remove when just crisp-tender – about four minutes total.

Serve with steamed white rice and your choice of a dinner selection.

Serves 2-4.

Golden Tomato, Ginger & Chipotle Salsa


From Mark Miller’s Great Salsa Book

A very good recipe; the ginger adds complex flavor for a nice change of pace.

Ingredients:

3 yellow tomatoes (about 1 pound), roughly chopped
1 chipotle chili en adobo (San Marcos brand)
1 tbs. chopped fresh ginger root (washed and peeled)
2 cloves roasted garlic
1 tbs. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Preparation:

In a food processor or blender, purée 2 of the tomatoes, the chipotle chili, and ginger. Remove and place in bowl.

Add the remaining tomato and all other ingredients to the food processor and pulse just enough to create a chunky mixture. Add to bowl, mix well and serve.

Serving suggestions:
With grilled tuna, swordfish, salmon, pork or duck.

Makes about two cups.

Heat: 7