My Life With Veg
After four months of writing this blog, I’m realizing that’s what it really boils down to: my life and vegetables. I know most of you who tune in are here for the veg, but good, bad, or otherwise that comes to you through the lens of my life. And my life has been a little bit – full – as of late. My family spent last week processing the loss, dealing with the grief, and finding a way to honor my aunt, a vivacious, loving, and generous woman. In the process, as one cousin put it, we were given beauty for ashes, gladness for mourning, and peace for despair. Through that experience we discovered a renewed closeness and a reminder of the gift that a family can be. It was a very hard but very good week. I was two or three days back before I felt like I was able to resurface and enter my “normal” life. That, oddly enough, is where the veg part comes in.
You see, having attended churches all my life, I know that when tragedy strikes, a good casserole and a Bundt cake are never far behind. Our case was no different; we were well cared for by our own family and by the gracious concern of others. I love me some comfort food, I mean cake and I go WAY back. but as I reentered my life at home I found I was craving an entirely different type of comfort food, namely sautéed zucchini. Not your comfort food of choice? Shocking! Perhaps you just need a new recipe. Allow me.
The recipe below is one of the very easiest dishes to make. I’m not even sure it counts as a recipe seeing as there are all of 4 ingredients if you count the (optional) water. I used zucchini this time but I’ve had great success in the past with bell peppers, green beans, asparagus, even broccoli. I think the only limitation on that front is your own imagination and possibly your vegetable drawer. The truly amazing thing about this dish is that it’s so versatile, an equally perfect side for your pot roast or your tacos. Also, it takes less than 10 minutes. I actually set the timer and noted I was ready to serve it in just 8 minutes. Who can beat that? The sautéed vegetables work perfectly well as a meal unto itself when paired with a few slices of lunchmeat and cheese which makes it a nice option for a warm meal that is also surprisingly quick.
Maybe that’s why it’s a “comfort” food, all the attributes that make it appealing to me also make it easy; something I don’t have to fuss over and yet can count on to still be good. So good, in fact, that leftovers generally don’t happen with this recipe. Whatever the reason, in a week when I really didn’t cook much, I turned to this recipe twice. I hope that gives you enough reason to at least try it once.
This week, may you have the blessing of sitting round a table with those you love and hold dear. To my family, know that I count myself privileged to sit at your table and that you are very much loved.
The Home Grown Mom’s Sautéed Veg
1 pound zucchini (or vegetable of your choice)
2 tsp. olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. soy sauce
¼ cup water (optional)
- Slice vegetables and place in a large pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle olive oil on top of the veg and then stir to lightly coat.
- Place lid on pan, slightly askew to let air escape. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes. If you’re using a firm vegetable, add in up to ¼ cup of water at this point to help speed up the cooking process and prevent the vegetable from sticking.
- Once the vegetables have started to cook down and the edges are browning nicely, pour in the soy sauce. Stir to distribute the sauce evenly.
- Let cook uncovered for 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables have a caramel-colored finish and the soy sauce has evaporated. NOTE: It’s very important that the soy sauce cook down all the way because the coating is what really makes this dish. It also significantly changes the flavor profile. I recommend tasting it right after adding the soy sauce and again when it’s nearly done to get the full effect.