Spinach, basil and mushroom stir fry

Another one of my favourite blank-canvas recipes!  Anything goes with a stir fry, and this recipe encompasses all of my favourites-fresh, colourful and flavoursome.  I had some left-over steak that I used for this stir fry, but chicken or beef strips will work just as well, whilst keeping it meat-free might work even better.

Although I am incredibly privileged to life in South Africa with our vast, open space, beautiful beaches and stunning Mediterranean climate, I envy Europeans with their fresh food markets and abundance of fresh produce without ever having to visit a mall or retail outlet.  I am specifically remembering the Great Market Hall in Budapest today, where local producers sells the most amazing, colourful variety of fresh produce and a little outdoor market in Kiel, Germany, where you can buy home-made cheeses, juicy fresh berries, and home-baked German brotchen.

In South Africa, we have the Food Lover’s market, but this is just another retailer and is often based or associated with another shopping mall. We do have smaller farmer markets over weekends, and although you can buy food and craft-beer in abundance, it is not often that you can buy fresh fruit or veggies.  As an alternative, I have started growing my own veggies (tomatoes, spinach, basil,  coriander,chilli ect,) and I am very happy to announce that this is the first meal largely comprised from what grows in my own garden!

This recipe give 3 large portions:

8-10 medium sized spinach leaves, stems included, finely chopped

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, julienne

1/2 red pepper, finely sliced

7-8 basil leaves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped

2-3 chillies, finely chopped (optional and to taste!)

2 tablespoons olive oil

5-6 button mushrooms, sliced

100-200 grams egg noodles, prepared according to packet instructions

2-3 tablespoons soya sauce (salty, so add to taste)

Left-over steak, chicken breast strip or meat of you choice if you wish to include meat. As mentioned earlier, I had 100 grams of left-over steak that I cut into thin strips and added at the end

Prepare you egg noodles according to instruction and set aside.  Heat oil in a pan over high heat, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes. Now add the carrot and allow to fry for another 5 minutes, before adding the spinach (yes, stems included if you use fresh, young spinach leaves!) and red pepper.  Stirfry for another 5 minutes, add the herbs and mushrooms and stir fry for another 5 minutes or until the veggies are al dente. I like to keep my veggies crisp and towards the fresher side.  I added my beef strips at the end to heat it through. Remove from heat.

In a separate pan heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add the noodles and stirfry for 5 minutes. Add the soya sauce, mix through, stir fry another 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Serve the stir fry on a bed of noodles and enjoy!  A quick, easy and fresh dinner (that also makes good leftovers!).