Turkey Broccoli Stir Fry; Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

The theme for this year is 'A Billion Acts of Green'.

I checked out the Earth Day site looking for an idea for a topic.

I thought about carrying reusable shopping bags, which I've been doing for years.

I thought about walking more and driving less; keeping the house at 66F (I wish it would get so warm) rather than 68F or 70F; and all the other little tricks for using less electricity / gas / fossil fuels / etc.

I thought about growing my own vegetables, recycling into the compost pile for next year….

And that's when my biggest pet peeve reared up and slapped me upside the head.

Since no one else will likely choose this particularl topic, please, allow me a good old-fashioned rant.

I've actually aired this peeve in the past, but from a different perspective, that of good health.

And it is: (drum roll please)….

Restaurants serve too much food.

This is just so wrong on so many levels.

It's on the plate so people eat it…. and gain weight which leads to health problems which puts a strain on the medical system and leads to work problems which puts a strain on the econonmy and so on.

It's on the plate but people don't eat it…. and it gets thrown away and added to the countless tons of garbage that need to be 'handled' every day.

To look at it from the Earth Day 'green' aspect….

In order for it to get on that plate it has to be grown, raised, fed, watered, harvested, processed, transported, handled, packaged, un-packaged, cooked and served…. All that just to be tossed in the garbage?

Obviously we have to eat to live.

No where is it written that we have to waste a good percentage of our food to live.

I've noticed a growing trend among bloggers to have a 'meatless' day. 

Instead of meatless why not just less meat?

Think of how many resources could be saved if restaurants served a 7oz (200gr) steak  – which is a very respectable size, rather than a 12oz (350gr).  Put a few vegetables on the plate and both the diner and the environment would be healthier.

Or served a reasonable order of pasta or rice or potatoes or a sandwich that didn't last for 3 meals.

Oh yes… The argument is that one takes it home and eats it later.  So now you can add the styrofoam container into the mix. And do you actually eat it?  Or does it sit there for 2 weeks and THEN get thrown out?

One can make the same arguments for cooking too much food at home.  It took me a long time to fine tune the 'cooking for two' bit.  Actually, it wasn't until mon mari had his pancreas removed and I had to start measuring everything that I really got it figured out.

I will freely admit that it doesn't 'look' right to only cook 1/2 cup of rice for two people… Or 1 1/4 cup of pasta, or two 5oz potatoes (the size of a woman's fist).

But it works.

I don't throw out food and my refrigerator is shockingly bare the morning before I do the shopping.

Here are my recommendation for Earth Day:

Restaurants serve reasonable portions of food.

Consumers stop expecting to get so much food that you either eat too much or take it home (or both) – you're going out to dinner (or lunch) with the idea of enjoying your companions; not stocking the fridge.

Learn to cook the right amount of food at home.

Both humans and envirnment will be healthier….. And maybe some of those resources can be used to aid food production in areas that have serious agricultural challenges.

Since you have been so patient – here is an easy dinner for two… no leftovers.

Turkey Broccoli Stir-Fry
Turkey Broccoli Stir Fry

10oz (300gr) turkey cutlets or tenderloin
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs minced ginger
1 rib celery
1/2 green pepper
1/2 head broccoli
1 carrot
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp tbs olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbs sherry (optional)
1 tbs cornstarch (Maizena) dissolved in 1 tbs soy sauce plus 1 tbs water

Thinly slice onion. Mince garlic, ginger. Julienne the pepper and carrots. Slice the celery at an angle. Cut broccoli into florets (with some stem). Cut the turkey into strips – bite-size.
Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery to skillet and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and stir-fry another 2 minutes. Remove onions/garlic from pan and set aside. Add sesame oil, soy sauce to pan and heat. Add turkey and stir-fry 3 – 5 minutes, until golden. Remove and put with onions. Add broccoli, carrots, pepper to skillet and stir-fry 5 minutes.
Return turkey, onions, celery, garlic and ginger to pan. Add chicken stock, sherry and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened. Serve over rice, adding more soy sauce if desired, according to taste.

Brown Rice

1/2 cup quick-cooking brown rice
1 cup chicken stock

Cook rice according to package instructions. Fluff and serve.

Something new:  If you would like to receive my regular Friday email with the current week's menu (not the recipes) and Kitchen Tip, leave a comment and I'll add you to the list.

In addition to this, for the week of April 22 we have Roast Leg of Lamb with Greek style Pasta with Lamb for the leftovers, Roasted Salmon, Chicken with Red Eye Gravy, Asparagus, Artichokes….

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8 thoughts on “Turkey Broccoli Stir Fry; Happy Earth Day”

  1. I think the idea of giant portions in restaurants is a leftover from the post-WWII period when people rarely went out for dinner, so bringing home a nice doggy bag of high-end leftovers was a pleasure to be savored over two days. Nowadays, we as a country eat out a great deal more often, and it’s not such a rare pleasure any more. I agree – time for restaurants (and the rest of us) to start eating less.

  2. Zoomie, but I don’t remember big portions and doggie bags when I was growing up. My parents never brought food home from restaurants, and the ones I worked in when I was in school never gave out doggie bags. Maybe it was more of a regional thing. Now it’s everywhere… well, in the US anyway.

  3. I am famous in my family as I HATE WASTE incl all that food thrown out at restaurants. Doggie bags mostly banned here due to health regulations. Restaurants should have chooks to eat leftovers and compost bins and veggie gardens !!

  4. You make SUCH an excellent point! No one really needs to eat a half pound burger or 3/4 pound of pasta at one meal…and so much of the food ends up being thrown out! Portion control, portion control, portion control.

  5. I so agree with you ,portion control is always a big issue with health, more difficult when cooking for two. Will you be giving more hints on recipes designed for two??? Please Please I am so tired of leftovers for lunch. For many years I had to cook for a crowd and now I can’t seem to visualize what is the correct amount.

  6. I love your Earth Day suggestions! I definitely try to use up everything in the fridge before replenishing the stock, and I know what you mean about restaurant meals… I either try to eat it all or I definitely take home a doggy bag (most restaurants here in Louisville use reusable containers for this instead of styrofoam, so I just reuse them after I eat the leftovers!)

  7. manningroad, I hate doggie bags. I want to be served a reasonable amount of food and enjoy it then and there.I don’t want to be scraping it into something, putting it in my bag and hauling it home 😉
    Joanne, not sure which is worse – throwing it out or eating it LOL
    Diane, Done! All of my recipes are for two – happy I could help ;-)) It is hard to accept that some amounts are really going to be enough.
    Peggy, as a traveler in the US, rather than a resident, I hate it. I don’t have a place to put the doggie bag, I’d just rather have a smaller portion – hard to convince anyone, though LOL Sometimes I can get half orders.

  8. I agree, thanks for being concern to our surroundings and for reminding us what to do, you know if we want to be called a food waster why wont we just simply eat in our house, instead of buying or ordering why not be the chef, serve food, it is much better because we can calculate the exact amount of food to serve to prevent left over, waste money and etc, well I’m not saying that having a left over is a bad thing, well if you prefer to eat it again much better just be sure not to throw it on trash.

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