ISSUE #5: Wok this way
I mentioned previously that my high speed blender is my #1 kitchen gadget because of its ability to make delicious smoothies, which are my #1 tip for turning your nutrition around. While it’s possible to drink smoothies or to juice three times a day (just watch Fat Sick & Nearly Dead), I think most of us want a little more variety than that.
That brings me to my second favorite kitchen gadget, the wok. Cooking a meal in the wok is incredibly fast and easy. Heat up some oil, throw in some veggies, top with a little sauce, and pair it with rice or noodles. It’s that easy! Yes, there can be some prep time involved. If you’re using fresh vegetables, you’ll have to do a lot of cutting, which can be time consuming. However, there are other options to speed up the process; 1) buy a bag of frozen veggies specifically designed for stir fry or 2) buy pre-cut veggies in your grocery store’s produce section. You’ll pay a premium for being pre-cut, but it’ll save you time. While at the store, pick up a bottle of stir fry sauce in the “global foods” aisle. You can even find some stir fry noodles in that same aisle.
Here are a couple other tips to help make your stir fry a success; 1) If you do go out and purchase a wok (they typically cost $25-$50), the first thing you’ll want to do is season it. Simply Google “season a wok” for information. Seasoning turns your wok black, which is a good thing – don’t try to wash that off after using. 2) Use an oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil. Stir frying involves high heat, so you want an oil that can handle that without starting to smoke. 3) Pair your wok with a rice cooker to simplify the process even more. Just be sure to start the rice first because it takes longer to cook than the veggies. And be sure to use brown rice instead of white rice, which has been polished and striped of all its nutrients. 4) As with everything else, there are tons of recipes online. Typically, I just use veggies like carrots, snow peas, mushrooms, peppers, onion, broccoli, water chestnuts, and bok choy. Heat the oil in the wok over high heat, throw in the veggies for 5-10 minutes, top with sauce (start with a little because you can always add more), and simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until the rice or noodles are finished. Top with some cashews and/or sesame seeds.
It’s that simple.
After every meal I cook in my wok I say “I’ve never had a bad meal when using the wok.” It’s true, I really do say that, just ask my family. Seriously, if you like Asian food and don’t own a wok, I suggest making the investment. You can be annoying your family with similar statements within a week.
What I’ve been and listening to and reading:
Given that about 95% of the readers of this newsletter are runners, I thought I’d share this conversationbetween Rich Roll and Kilian Jornet, who doesn’t do a lot of long-form interviews. For those who don’t know Jornet, he’s basically the best endurance athlete on the planet. After winning nearly every race imaginable, he’s take to creating “events” to challenge himself – like summiting Mount Everest WITHOUT oxygen TWICE within SIX days! Give it a listen and let me know what you think.
Sticking with the running theme, if you’re at all a fan of competitive running, particularly on the women’s side, then be sure to check out (and subscribe to) Alison Wade’s newsletter. It’s ridiculous how much information she packs into every issue. And, of course, there’s Mario Fraioli’s The Morning Shakeoutnewsletter and podcast. Both Alison and Mario have been around the running industry for years, so they know what they’re talking about.
Quote of the day:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle