Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A healthy, tasty dinner from veggies left in the refrigerator, freezer, and garden

We're not sure who Kathy is, but we'd sure like to thank her from the bottom of our hearts.

Her recipe, entitled "Kathy's Stir Fry", certainly delivered up for us a delicious dinner that was one of the biggest potpourris of garden veggies I've ever experienced.

And the best part about it was the line on the recipe, "Any vegetable may be omitted or substituted as desired."

That gave me a green light to look in my refrigerator and see what veggies were about to be on their last leg if I didn't use them soon. Solution: since Kathy says this is OK, I simply pull them off the shelves, chop, and stir in.

So, at the place in which she said to add asparagus, I subbed carrots, plus I threw in some chopped celery that was close to looking on the haggard side. Instead of regular onion I threw in the remainder of a red onion that was about to go limp on me. How virtuous I felt to be able to perform these rescue operations! Her recipe even called for 3/4 cup of frozen green peas (a recent Prevention magazine discussed the health benefits of frozen veggies and urged us not to be such "fresh" purists that we disregard the frozen-food aisle, especially when a shopper is pinching pennies.) I was happy to toss in those green peas, whose shelf life soon would be questionable as well.

"Kathy's Stir Fry" was one of my recipes from the Chickasaw Nutrition Services (I've just about made my way through cooking my latest collection of these treasured recipe cards that I obtain any time my hubby, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation (tribe), visits Ardmore, OK, for a health exam. I look forward to another trip to Ardmore a few weeks from now so I can round up a few new cooking ideas.)

The Chickasaws are absolutely DETERMINED to improve the health conditions of their people--to reverse a downward spiral into diabetes, obesity, and other woes (that plague the general U.S. population as well.) These handy recipe cards the Chickasaw's Nutrition Services centers make available free to their people underscore the message over and over again: you CAN cook for your family the fresh way; you CAN make perfectly wonderful meals without adding things that cause ills. (For example, unlike a typical stir-fry recipe, "Kathy's Stir Fry" was amazingly good without the addition of any soy sauce, which usually boosts the sodium content of a recipe sky-high.)

The nutrition information for "Kathy's Stir Fry" read: 80 calories, 3 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 45 g sodium, 10 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber. You can't beat that! (Serving the stir-fried veggies over brown rice, which the recipe suggests, alters those counts a little but adds some wonderful fiber to an already fiber-ific menu item.)

Most fun of all, the requested 3 cups of cabbage gave me a reason for traipsing out to my garden, cutting off a fresh cabbage head, and instantly adding it to the sizzling skillet for last night's dinner. When a meal necessitates that kind of activity, the joy of gardening and growing one's own food is complete. My hubby, on the road yesterday for an errand, returned home to lift the lid on the skillet and find a colorful melange of edible health just waiting for him.

Thank you, Kathy. Wherever--and whoever--you are, keep up the good work. I hope to see your name on some more of my Chickasaw recipe cards in the near future.

Kathy's Stir Fry

2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
2 1/2 cups zucchini, sliced
2 1/2 cups yellow squash, sliced
2 cups broccoli
1 1/2 cups asparagus, fresh, sliced
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup green peas, frozen

Heat nonstick skillet on high heat until skillet is hot. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute onions and red and green bell peppers for about 2 minutes. Add zucchini and squash; cook about 2 more minutes. Add broccoli, asparagus, and cabbage to skillet. Add oregano, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic to vegetables. Continue to cook until broccoli is crisp-tender (about 4 minutes). Add peas. May be served with whole-grain (brown) rice. Makes 10 1-cup servings.

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