Wednesday, April 25, 2012
It was late morning on a lazy Sunday. The sun shone high up in the sky and the garden had burst into a myriad of colours. Under the clear blue skies, the scent of flowers hung heavy in the air and the bees buzzed noisily. High up on the branches of a tree whose name I don't know, the weaver birds worked furiously to build their nests.
It was the kind of day that made me want to do nothing but bask in the warm sun and feel the gentle breeze ruffling through my hair. It was the kind of day that made me want to lie down on a hammock (which, unfortunately, we don't have) and read a book whilst sipping on a cocktail.
It was also the kind of day that made me crave a hearty home cooked lunch, but one that took little effort to make. I went over the contents of my vegetable crisper but somehow, the cauliflower, the carrots and the potatoes just didn't inspire. .
With the vivid colours of the garden still dancing before my eyes, what I wanted was a splash of colour on the plate.
Since nothing in the vegetable crisper quite fit the bill of 'colourful', the reluctant husband was sent to the nearest fruit and veg market with a list of vegetables to buy.
Within minutes of having the vegetables, lunch was ready. Easy enough to put together, light yet filling - a one pot meal that was bursting with flavour and colour......
Black Pepper Noodles with Stir Fried Vegetables
Dried Noodles: 150 gms
Red, green and yellow peppers: 1/2 each, thinly sliced
Onion: 1 small, sliced
Garlic: 3 cloves, sliced
Purple baby cabbage: 1, thinly sliced
Brown mushrooms: 6 nos
Spring onions: 5-6 stalks, finely chopped (discard the onions)
for the sauce:
Soy sauce: 1 tbsp
Sweet soy sauce: 2 tsps
White wine vinegar: 1.5 tsps
Black pepper powder: 1 - 2 tsps (adjust as per your spice tolerance and preference)
Salt, to taste
Oil: 1.5 tbsps + 1 tsp
Cook the noodles as per package instructions. Drain the hot water from noodles, wash them in cold water, toss in 1 tsp of oil and set aside to cool.
While the noodles cook, slice the vegetables. Also, mix together the soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, vinegar and black pepper powder in a bowl.
In a non-stick wok, heat oil till it starts to smoke. (When stir frying the veggies, always work on high heat and stir constantly). Add the sliced garlic and stir till it starts to turn brown. Add the onions and stir till they start to soften. Toss in the mushrooms and stir till they are cooked.
Then add the sliced peppers and the cabbage and toss for about 2 minutes. Don't cook them, you want them to retain their crunch.
Add the sauce to the veggies. Finally, add the cooked noodles and toss till they are coated with the sauce and the stir fried veggies are evenly distributed through the noodles.
(At this stage, taste for salt; the sauces have a lot of salt in them and I normally don't need to add any table salt to my black pepper noodles).
Dish out the noodles in a bowl and garnish with the chopped spring onions.
It is said that we eat with our eyes first. Tell me, doesn't that bowl of noodles with a rainbow of colours look absolutely appetising?
It is not just about the ingredients or the recipe, good food happens when it is served with love!!
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