A Word A Week Challenge: Vibrant

“What do you think, red peppers or green peppers?”  Asked my boyfriend, as we stood staring at vegetables in the corner store.

“I’ve never noticed a taste difference in them,” I replied.

He scrunched up his face.  “Really?  The red peppers are a little more sweet, and the green peppers are a lot more…vegetably.  Earthy.  There’s a big difference.”

Now that he mentioned it, he was right.  I never quite noticed before.  “Red peppers!  We already have a lot of green stuff, red would make it look a lot nicer.  Like it’s Christmas!”

For Sue’s photo challenge this week, I thought last night’s home-cooked dinner was perfect.  My favorite thing about Chinese food is how lightly you cook the vegetables!  There’s a small window where they turn BRIGHT and saturated with color…but leave it just a few seconds longer and you can overcook them to turn dark and almost brownish.  Hitting that sweet spot keeps the veggies nice and crisp when you crunch in to them.  Nutritionally speaking, because you only barely cooked them, they retain a lot of their vitamins :)  It’s less than what you’d get as purely raw vegetables, but honestly, I don’t like the taste of most raw veggies.

My boyfriend cooked this up, and it was the cutest thing ever :D  He was nervous and self-conscious about it, probably because I’m Chinese….he kept asking if it tasted ok, if he did it “right”, things like that.  And it tasted good!  I ate a lot of it.  But a few things did go wrong, some of which was just due to bad planning…so it’s pure accident, nothing I think he should be ashamed of.  The chicken wasn’t quite seared the way it ought to be (if one were cooking in a cast iron wok like we do at home) – the pan was ceramic and didn’t get hot enough before he threw in the meat.  It was a bit liquidy too, because of some sesame marinade that was on the chicken breast.  The vegetables became a little bit overdone and soggy…and this is the part that I don’t blame him for.  Neither of us remembered to do the rice concurrently >_<  So we left the stir fried food on low heat while waiting for the rice to finish, and the ‘sweet spot’ for fresh and crisp vegetables was lost.

Stir fry is my favorite “lazy” food to eat!  The longest part of preparing it depends on how fast you can chop, and you can pretty much throw in whatever meat and vegetables you have available!  It takes longer to steam the rice to go along with it.  My boyfriend doesn’t seem familiar with Chinese food, though he really likes Japanese, Thai, and all the other kinds.  I plan to take him to eat more of real Chinese food, not that take out crap…fingers crossed that he enjoys it as much as I do.

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