Some days, I don’t have enough time to put together a coherent meal (or thought) and have to work with what I’ve got on hand. Yes, today is one of those days, and I find myself very busy obsessing over a dog (see all of this week’s previous posts), worrying about the future of my career, and apologizing to people I may have inadvertently miffed while worrying rather publicly about said future. Which leads me to the vegetable bin.

Contents: bits n’ pieces of vegetables. Hmmm. Those, along with that 1/3 of a box of pasta that’s not enough for two people, or the tail end of the package of brown rice, and the Hubbins and I have got ourselves a sassy little stir fry. Cheap, delish, and it keeps me from having to clear the vegetable bin of mulch in a few days. And that’s one less thing to worry about.

Ingredients:
Any spare or half-eaten vegetables you have: those last few carrots, the half-head of broccoli or cauliflower, pepper parts, two measly mushrooms, etc.
Iron Chef Sesame Garlic Sauce & Glaze or 2 Tablespoons soy sauce (hey! Now you can use up those packets you have left over from the last time you ordered Chinese!) plus 2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
Whatever starch you have on hand: rice, soba noodles, pasta, spaghetti, etc.
Oil for frying (coconut, olive, vegetable, canola, sesame, etc.)

Directions:
Start cooking rice or heating water for pasta or noodles. Brown rice takes a good 35 minutes.
Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
Put 2 tablespoons of the oil of your choice in wok or large frying pan over high (but not inferno-like) flame.
If using Iron Chef sauce, go on to next step. If making sauce, combine soy and molasses in bowl and stir. Set aside.
Check your pasta. If done, drain.
When oil is hot, start cooking vegetables, putting hardest ones in first (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.). Let them cook for a minute or two, stirring them—otherwise it’s not a stir-fry, you know—while they fry.
Add next softest vegetables (such as peppers). Cook for a minute.
Add softer veggies (eggplant, mushrooms, scallions).
Add 2-3 Tablespoons sauce. Stir! Fry!
Remove from heat when your hardest vegetable is cooked to your liking—not hard anymore, but not mushy.
Pour stir-fry over starch and enjoy while nice n’ hot.
(Sorry no photo, but I am one lousy food photographer and I didn’t want to scare you away from a good meal with a yucky photo.)

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