#OwenCooks: Healthier Chinese Stir-Fry Sauce


It's funny how the people we've loved can continue to influence us, long after they're gone from our lives.

I've talked before about how when we went grocery shopping, my partner and I would each take a basket and meet up at the cash registers when we'd picked out what we wanted.

My basket was always filled with cookies and crackers and precooked dinners, instant rice, etc. Hers were mostly green: spinach and kale and all kinds of vegetables. Berries. Nuts. Beets.

I'd always feel a bit guilty, comparing our baskets, but not guilty enough to improve my diet. I liked what I liked.

But when I made my commitment to healthier living this winter, I started to notice that my shopping cart looked a lot like her baskets. I was mostly buying fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy building-block ingredients, instead of the lazy-man premade stuff I was choosing before.

Hell, I even bought oil of oregano when I got a cold, and I hate that stuff. But it works.

I worked out more often. I bought environmentally-friendly soaps and detergents. I bought a food processor. I started reading for self-improvement, and through this blog, I began keeping a kind of journal.

I even ate a beet, though I wouldn't make a habit of it.

Even though we'd broken up, there was still plenty I could learn from her, and plenty of ways I could make quick and easy lifestyle improvements just by thinking about what she did.

Anyway, how this relates to stir-fry:

I eat a lot of stir-fries and stews and curries and such, both because I'm lazy and like to make big vats of good food I can eat for days on end, and because I really enjoy eating big globs of homogenous goodness.

The old me would buy a premade sauce, chop up some vegetables and some protein and call it a day.

But my partner wasn't about that. She made her curries from scratch, and though it took a little bit longer, it was undeniably the healthier option.

So I've been trying to do the same. I had great success with the No Butter Butter Chicken, and I wanted to cook a Chinese stir-fry for my family without relying on a heavily-sweetened, sodium-overloaded sauce from a jar.

Enter this easy recipe from Natalie at Tastes Lovely. It's sweetened with honey and uses low sodium soy sauce (and I use the President's Choice Blue Menu Light Chicken Broth). I also used ground ginger instead of peeling and grating my own, because, lazy.

I doubled the recipe with no issues. And I chucked it over some boneless short ribs, baby corn, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, garlic and onion and cooked up some whole grain rice and it came out just wonderfully, a light taste that doesn't overwhelm or leave my stomach feeling awful afterwards.

If my ex ever read this, she'd laugh her ass off at me for being proud of this baby step toward healthier living and self-sufficiency.

But hell, we've all got to start somewhere, right?