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In My Harvest Bowl

July 3rd, 2014

This time of year it’s really nice to head out to the garden instead of the grocery store.  Since we have a freezer full of pork and venison, I don’t even need to go for meat.  One of our meals is stir fry.  It’s easily adaptable to whatever vegetables you have on hand and can be made vegetarian or with any kind of meat.  In the winter we enjoy stir fries with carrots, parsnips, onions and mushrooms.  In summer it’s filled with squash, cabbage, peas and broccoli.  My basic recipe has a ginger sauce and can be found over on Eat Outside the Bag.
This week some of my broccoli was ready to harvest as are my golden peas. Garlic scales are coming on by what seems to be the hundreds as well. The onions in the garden are bulbing up enough to start using them as well. I also had an orange in the pantry so I added orange zest and orange juice to the stir fry sauce – a delicious addition that I might put in the recipe. It’s certainly not a bad way to eat vegetables from the garden!

What’s your favorite adaptable meal to use your garden or CSA produce?

Ginger Beef Stir Fry

June 18th, 2011

Actually it was Ginger Venison Stir Fry. Our beef recipes become venison recipes since Mr Chiots is a hunter and we are lucky enough to have 3 deer in the freezer. During the winter we enjoy rich hearty venison stews and warming bowls of venison chili. In the summer I’m much happier eating a venison burger or stir fry. The great thing about stir fry is that you can use whatever vegetables you have in the garden. In the spring we’ll use sugar snap peas and garlic scapes, later in the summer it’ll be zucchini, carrots and onions. It’s quick and easy to whip up a stir fry.

Currently we’re harvesting those golden peas, green onions, kale and garlic scapes, so that’s what I’ve been using as vegetables in my stir fry. I was also lucky enough to find some lovely oyster mushrooms at the farmer’s market and I’m always happy to add those to just about anything.

(adapted from Simply Recipes)

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or coconut water vinegar
5 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce (naturally fermented is best)
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp peeled, grated fresh ginger
1 tsp red pepper flakes (less if you’re of delicate palate)
1 tsp freshly ground cumin (feel free to omit or substitute other spice)
(if you want a thicker sauce add a Tablespoon of corn starch as well)

3 Tbsp coconut oil or lard
1 – 1 1/2 lb steak cut into strips
2-3 cups mixed chopped vegetables of your choice: green onions, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, garlic scapes, sugar snap peas, carrots, zucchini, etc.
chopped fresh cilantro if desired
cooked rice or noodles for serving

Mix ingredients for sauce in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet (cast iron works best) over high heat. Working in batches, sauté beef until just brown outside but rare inside, about 1 minute, transfer to plate.

When all of the beef is cooked, add more oil to pan if necessary and stir fry the vegetables for a minute or two – until vegetables reach your preferred level of doneness. I usually add longer cooking vegetables first, and throw in green onions for the last 30 seconds or so. Return beef to pan. Add sauce and mix everything together. Cook for 1 minute. Mix in cilantro if desired.

Serve over freshly cooked rice or noodles. Should serve four people unless you’re super hungry. (rice is especially good if made with some virgin coconut oil so it has a slight coconut taste)

Nothing beats a quick stir fry with freshly harvested vegetables for a summer evening meal. The great thing about this dish is that you can substitute in other spices if you’d like. Things like coconut milk, ground coriander seeds, orange zest, various chiles and other spices would pair well with different kinds of vegetables and make the dish taste differently each time.

Do you have a go-to quick recipe for using fresh summer vegetables?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.