I recently received a thought-provoking book from Thomas Nelson, Inc. for review. While reading Is College Really Worth It? by William J. Bennett and David Wilezol, I discovered the world of MOOC: massive online open courses.
To my delight, I discovered I could take a course in child nutrition from Stanford University – for free and earn a certificate! Now, who could pass up the chance to say they had earned “credits” from an Ivy League College?
Tale of a Picky Eater
As the parent of an autistic child, I’m constantly on the hunt for new ideas for cooking up delicious, nutritious food to offset the nutritional losses from all the foods he can’t or won’t eat because of sensory issues.
Yes, I’m the parent of a picky eater, and we’ve tried all the conventional and some quite unconventional techniques to broaden the narrow range of his food preferences.
Fortunately, he loves vegetables, and my first class assignment was to create a visually appealing, easy vegetable stir fry recipe.
Choose Your Vegetables in Rainbow Colors
One of the most important things I learned in this week’s classes is to serve a “rainbow” of foods to provide as many different nutrients as possible.
When you are selecting your vegetables for this stir fry, try to include as many different colors as you can. For instance, wait to choose your bell pepper color until you’ve chosen all your other vegetables. That way, if your dish is heavy on yellows or oranges, you can go with a red bell pepper to offset the other colors.
Easy Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe
You will need:
- Three or four garlic cloves (depending on how much garlic flavor you want)
- Two cups total: chopped carrots, yellow squash and zucchini
- One cup each broccoli and cauliflower florets
- One onion
- 1/2 cup bell pepper in choice of color, sliced and diced
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup plum sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- Dash low-sodium teriyaki sauce
Safety Tip: Another thing I learned in class this week is serving round foods to young children is not a good idea because the food is just the right shape to potentially cause choking. Cut round foods like carrots, squash, zucchini and so on in half to prevent a choking hazard.
Here’s What You Do
- Heat both oils in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and onions; sauté about two minutes, and then add the mushrooms.
- Sauté about two minutes more, and then push the vegetables to the side.
- Add the carrots, broccoli and cauliflower to the skillet.
- Stir and cook the vegetables about two to three minutes, and then add the other vegetables to the skillet.
- Add one or two splashes of teriyaki sauce (depending on your preference) and the plum sauce.
- Gently toss the vegetables in the sauce until coated.
- Cover skillet and cook three to six minutes until vegetables are just barely fork-tender.
- Serve hot with whole-grain bread or rice, and fruit for dessert.
What About Protein?
Cauliflower and broccoli are both good sources of protein, but if you wanted to kick-up the protein punch of this stir-fry, you could add asparagus spears or edamame, which are both excellent sources of protein. Alternatively, you can serve this healthy vegetable stir fry with a tall glass of ice-cold milk. It really depends on your personal and family preferences. Our little guy gobbled it up and washed it down with lots of milk.
Stir fried food image courtesy of rakratchada torsap/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
All other images property of Donna Cosmato, copyright 2013, all rights reserved