So I got home last night after picking my eldest up from rowing training in the freezing autumn evening and was greeted by several lovely visitors in our garage all chatting with my partner and no signs of dinner on the horizon. It was already past our usual dinner time, and all I had quick access to was a small amount of left over roast chicken (from a previous dinner this week) and 4 raw sausages in the fridge, that were already defrosted. How on earth was I going to feed 5 hungry people dinner within a very short time frame? Neither of these meat offerings was enough to feed us all.
Do we order in, and suffer the digestive consequences and MSG-rush in the middle of the night again? Not to mention the strain on the bank account. Take away food prices here in Perth have become prohibitively expensive since the mining boom, and now that we have 5 mouths to feed.
So I thought…
What would I get if I could order anything for dinner right now (to hell with my food intolerances!)? My favourite lunch time take away food used to be Singapore Noodles. I loved the combination of the Chinese aromatics and the Indian curry spices, and the mixed vegetables and meats with fine rice noodles. I’ve never made it before, but surely I could create something with what we have?
So I raided my fridge and enormous pantry. No noodles… Of course… But now my heart was set on Singapore Noodles and it was getting dangerously close to 3 year old bed time so I soldiered on with my plan – grabbing some rice out to steam while I created a stir fry to end all stir fries.
This meal used up leftovers in my fridge, vegetables from my garden and took less time to prepare than it would’ve taken for us to order in from our local restaurants. Plus we all had the added bonus of extra nutrition from lots of fresh vegetables and no hidden nasties like MSG, gluten or other additives.
And it was easy. Too easy NOT to make it.
After 5 hungry people devoured every last bit of this meal, my partner declared he would happily eat it every single day for the rest of his days! In my book, that’s a raving success.
It’s been a while since I’ve made a really quick dinner that was so well received so I’m taking a risk and sharing my recipe with you before anyone has had a chance to test it for me. Feel free to comment below with any additions or changes you make when you try it on your beloved family.
Amazingly, given the small amount of food this delicious meal was created from, I actually had enough leftovers from this dinner to have yummy fried rice for breakfast. And there’s enough for tomorrow’s breakfast, too. It really felt like that old bible story I remember from school – the Feeding of the 5000. Where Jesus somehow managed to feed a crowd of 5000 people with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. As I cooked, that hilarious voice in my head (the one that reminds me to see the funny side of life) asked me “what would Jesus do?”. Now, not being even slightly religious this was quite funny to me. But then the thought came to me seriously… We always have food in the pantry and veggies in the garden… We CAN make do. But what if we didn’t have to just make do? What if we could make something amazing just by letting creativity take over with what we have to work with?
What if what we need is already right in front of us?
Perhaps we already have what we are looking for.
What we are seeking so desperately.
Our society is so eager to look outside ourselves for what we need. The next big toy. The next iPhone. The next car. The next perfect job. The next house. The next training course. The next expensive holiday. The next romantic partner. But when we get that next big thing we feel dissatisfied… It can even be as simple as ordering a take away meal and regretting it because it cost a lot of money and didn’t live up to our expectations.
The answers we seek outside ourselves we often fail to find because, in truth, they are hidden inside us all along.
We only need to look with fresh eyes, ask the right questions, and be open to the answers that come to us from within. Or from within our fridge!
What do you cook when it’s “one of those nights” and there’s not enough of any one food that you can feed your family in a hurry?
Singapore Style Stir Fry
1 tbs raw or roasted peanuts
Coconut oil for frying
4 sausages (beef or pork work well, preferably gluten free and good quality)
1 heaped tsp curry powder (I use my own Madras curry powder so there are no hidden nasties, but whatever you have will do)
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 carrot, cut into thin 1/2 inch straws
1/3 zucchini, cut into thin 1/2 inch straws
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
Handful green beans, cut into 0.5cm slices
1/4 white cabbage, finely sliced and roughly chopped
1/2 bunch rainbow chard, silverbeet or spinach, finely sliced
4 Swiss brown mushrooms, chopped
~300g leftover cooked chicken, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
~2 tsp gluten free soy sauce
Good pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 big spring onion, sliced finely on a diagonal
1 red chilli, seeded and sliced finely on a diagonal
Steamed rice or fine rice noodles, to serve
Place rice on to steam or prepare noodles according to directions on the packet while you prepare the stir fry.
Place a large frying pan on medium heat.
Crush the peanuts in a mortar and pestle.
Toss them in a dry hot pan to toast. Remove nuts, and set aside to use as a garnish.
Add coconut oil to the pan.
Squeeze meat out of the sausage casings and into fry pan. Break the meat up into chunky mince and fry until it becomes golden and crispy.
Add curry powder and Chinese five spice powder. Fry 1 minute.
Add carrots, zucchini, ginger, garlic. Toss well in pan for 2 mins.
Add beans, mushrooms, cabbage, rainbow chard, and chicken. Toss and stir fry until vegetables are just cooked and chicken is warmed through.
Taste and season well with soy sauce, salt and lime juice.
You can either stir this stir fry through rice or noodles (to make Singapore Noodles) at this point, or serve the stir fry on top of rice.
I served it on top of steamed rice, sprinkled liberally with peanuts, spring onions and chilli.
Delicious! Everyone loved this one.
For a delicious vegetarian option, leave out the meat entirely and follow the rest of recipe. Fry an egg per person and serve the rice or noodles and stir fry topped with a fried egg.
For a vegan option I would try replacing the meat with tempeh and follow the recipe as written above.
All measurements are in Australian standard cups (250mL), tablespoons (20mL) and teaspoons (5mL).
Copyright Emma Turton 2016.
Leading International Medical Intuitive
Founder & Director of Medical Intuition School
Certified Medical Intuition Practitioner, PMIPM, Certified Intuitive Guide, BSc(Physiotherapy), APAM, CTNC, Functional Nutritionist, Certified Meditation Teacher
Download my eBook
What to do when you're craving dessert.
Filled with stacks of soulful strategies and some sweet, healthy recipes to help you stay high-vibing and on track - download your free copy now.
And as an added bonus you will become part of my inner circle so you can be the first to hear about special offers and upcoming training.