The focus for this year’s Food Revolution Day was about sharing the power of cooking, the benefits of cooking from scratch and, ultimately showing people that changing our food choices can make us both healthier and happier. Instead of one official recipe as there has been in years past, this year, we have a set of 10 recipes chosen by Jamie Oliver that he deems the “Starter Pack of Cooking”. Each recipe covers a different skill and technique that can give anyone the confidence to cook good, real, healthy meals for themselves and their families, for now and the future. Jamie has spoken about the idea of ten recipes to save your life since his TED talk in 2010. This year, I’ve been sharing my own twist on Jamie’s recipes, showcased along with nine other Ambassador’s ideas over on JamieOliver.Com. You can see previous posts here.
For this month’s Food Revolution Recipe Twist, where we were tasked with tweaking Jamie’s Veggie Noodle Stir Fry. I love a good stir fry as it’s a great way to use up what’s in the fridge – produce, meats and other proteins – as well as make sure you are getting your “5-a-day”. In terms of cooking with kids, a vegetable dish like this, where the vegetables all need to be sliced fairly evenly, is a great way to teach and practice knife skills and, of course, kids will be much more likely to eat something that they have prepared themselves so it’s a bit of a win-win there!
This version of a “stir-fry” was born from a summer of (slow) roasting beautiful summer produce in the oven – I was doing extensive recipe testing for a couple of recipes for my cookbook and ended up with carrots, two types of zucchini and eggplant leftover one day – not really enough to make one dish out of any of them. As I pondered what to do, this mission came to my mind and I wondered if I might roast these then toss them into some noodles for a fuss-free “stir-fry”. I chopped the veggies into little matchsticks and popped them in the oven to roast then prepared the noodles while they were roasting. It turns out this is a great way to prepare a “stir-fry” for guests as it doesn’t keep you in the kitchen at the last minute, preparing the dish à la minute as it’s best enjoyed. This way you only need a few minutes in the kitchen at the very end to assemble. It’s also a pretty dish to bring to the table to serve family-style if you choose. So, while it’s not a stir-fry proper, it is definitely on my list and will be added to my weeknight meal rotation this fall.
Oven-baked vegetable stir fry
A twist on a vegetable stir fry - bake the veggies in the oven!
- 200 g golden egg noodles
- 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 1 red onion
- 1 medium carrot, peeled
- 1 medium red pepper
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 small green zucchini
- 1 small yellow zucchini
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 5cm piece of ginger
- 1/2 a fresh red chilli, optional
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 a bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 375˚F. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Thinly slice the red onion and cut the carrot, red pepper, eggplant and zucchinis into matchsticks approx ½ cm wide and 7cm long.
- Toss the vegetables with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and spread in a single layer on the baking tray.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the vegetables are all cooked through. Set aside.
- Cook the noodles according to instructions on the package, then drain and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil so they don’t stick together and set aside.
- In a large skillet (one that can hold all the vegetables and the noodles), heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil over medium-high heat.
- Mince the garlic.
- Peel the ginger using a teaspoon then mince finely.
- If using the chili, chop it very finely.
- Sauté the garlic, ginger and chili (if using) in the oil until they begin to soften and are fragrant (they should not get brown).
- Decrease the heat to low, add the noodles into the pan and toss with tongs to coat with the oil, garlic and ginger.
- Add the soy sauce and use tongs to coat the noodles.
- Top the noodles with the oven-baked vegetables.
- (Optional) Top with the chopped coriander and the sesame seeds.