Healthy Vegetable Stir-fry

The weather’s getting nicer outside and that means that many people have started their gardening. In the Hmong-American culture, gardening is a large part of many older Hmong people’s daily summer routine. This article by Young Kim details Hmong-American farming from a unique perspective.

Gardening helps keep the older Hmong generation active, provides abundant vegetables, and brings back good memories of their traditional farming practices in Laos/Thailand. For many, they have continued to grow traditional crops such as mustard greens, bok choy, and corn. Additionally, they have adopted non-traditional crops as well. Some of these are zucchinis, yellow squash, and bell peppers which I will be using to make a veggie stir-fry for this blog post.

The beauty of this veggie stir-fry dish is that it is both healthy and easy to make. Total prepping and cooking time is between 15-20 minutes, which is great for individuals with a busy schedule like me. Let’s get started, shall we?

Meet the Main Ingredients

prepared vegetables

Ingredients List:

Preparation

  • (Optional) Skin zucchini and yellow squash to create a striped design as I did for this blog
  • Chop up vegetables

Cooking Instructions

cooking vegetables

  1. Lightly spray cooking pan with vegetable oil spray
  2. Put on high heat on stove top
  3. Add in the chopped up vegetables
  4. Cook until veggies start to soften
  5. Add 1 tbsp salt
  6. Add sauces and black pepper
  7. Cook for approximately 5-8 minutes total or until veggies are soft

cooked stir fry

Presentation: Healthy Vegetable Stir-fry

healthy vegetable stir fry

  • Scoop some stir-fry onto a plate
  • Add a side of rice
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped green onion

Alternatives

  • If you don’t like the sauce flavor, try making it with just salt and pepper
  • Try other veggies such as mushrooms, broccoli, or even tomatoes
  • Add meat in for some protein and a little texture

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Welcome the Spring Season with Light & Healthy Fresh Spring Rolls

The history of spring rolls comes from cultures all over the world. But it’s not a native food of the Hmong people. It was adopted from eastern and southern Asian cultures. This light, delicious, and healthy cuisine is a favorite among many – probably because there are no set ingredients that you MUST use. For example, iowagirleats.com uses tofu and avocado. And there’s even a whole category of fried spring rolls as seen in norecipes.com. So I want to share with you how I like to make my fresh spring rolls.

Meet the Main Ingredients

ingredients

These ingredients will go inside the spring rolls.

vermicelli noodles packaging

This is the kind of vermicelli noodles that I will be using.

rice paper

And this is the kind of rice paper that I will be using. You can find this and the vermicelli noodles at your local Asian super market.

Step 1: Preparation

  • Vermicelli Noodles
    • Cook in boiling water – 15 minutes
    • Rinse with cold water
    • Allow noodles to drain
  • Shred vegetables (except cilantro)
  • Prepare shrimp – I’m using pre-cooked shrimp
  • Bowl of warm sink water (Used to soak rice paper)
  • Flat surface to roll spring rolls on
    • I used a cutting board wrapped in foil

Step 2: Let’s Get Rolling

soak rice paper
1. Soak rice paper in warm water for 5-10 seconds.

lay rice paper down
2. Lay rice paper on prepared surface.

ingredients on rice paper
3. Arrange ingredients in middle of rice paper.

fold rice paper sides in
4. Fold the two sides of the rice paper in.

fold rice paper bottom up
5. Fold bottom  side (closest to you) of rice paper up.

rolled up spring roll
6. Roll rice paper away from you until rolled up completely.

Step 3: Time to Get Saucy

  • Ingredients
    • 1 part chunky peanut butter
    • 2 part hoisin sauce
  • Instructions:
    • Microwave peanut butter for 10 seconds till soft and stir in with hoisin sauce.

Ta-Da! Completed Fresh Spring Rolls!

spring rolls

Ideas for Alternatives/Substitutions

  • Go vegan – substitute it with tofu or eliminate the shrimp completely
  • Don’t like shrimp? Try ground pork or grilled chicken
  • Want more variety of veggies? How about spinach, basil, green onion, celery, or mint?
  • Try using bean thread noodles or rice noodles as an alternative

I’d like to know what ingredients you would or have put in your spring rolls! Please comment them below.