12 August 2013

Playing with zucchini and canned pork

In my ongoing effort to eat healthier and try new foods, I used zucchini for the first time this week. I doubt I would have sought out zucchini at the grocery store, but ABM's aunt (the maiden aunt with no children) has taken it upon herself to bring us food the way ABM's mother used to do. So far, all I've done with it is through it into a stir fry, which the kids thoroughly enjoyed. I also plan to try making zucchini bread.

That same stir fry gave me an opportunity to use some of the canned pork in my pantry. If you have never used or seen canned pork, it is one of those commodities that you find on websites that cater to survivalists and doomsday-prepper types. Somehow my late MIL got her hands on several cans and passed it along to us, which is what she would do with any food she was unfamiliar with. It tastes OK, but it is minced so finely that the texture is unsettling to me. It seemed disrespectful to my MIL's memory to throw it out, though, so I came up with a way to make the pork more palatable.

--Make six cups of plain rice (we used our $12 rice cooker).
--While rice is cooking, saute half a can (about 12 oz.) of the canned pork and and one large onion together.
--When rice is done, mix the meat and onions into the rice.
--Prepare your own veggie mix to go on top. I went with Asian flavors in the sauce (soy sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, garlic, cornstarch) and threw in whatever vegetables looked like they needed to be used up. Today, that was broccoli, carrots, snap peas, celery, and zucchini. I imagine you could also go with Mexican flavors or Italian flavors, as well.

Meals like this remind me that I have gotten much more comfortable with experimenting in the kitchen. In the past, I would have accepted the zucchini and let it rot in the bottom of my fridge. Now I am trying to find a use for every product and spice in our pantry. I guess it is part of my Fearless 40s -- I'm getting tired of the same old thing in various aspects of my life, including food, and I am doing my best to branch out.
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