Fear not vegetarian readers, I too was once a plant-only-eater. In fact, I was vegetarian for about six years, and vegan for one. Without risking sounding like a pretentious foodie, I would argue that I have become such a conscientious eater precisely because a [good] vegetarian must pay close attention to what he or she eats and where it comes from.
After many adventures around the globe, always with a resolute palette, I traveled back into my meat-eating origins over cuy at a farmer’s table in the highlands of central Ecuador. Cuy is guinea pig. Though slightly reminding me of my earlier pet Scrumple, it was surprisingly good.
This was the beginning of only eating meat from the hands of a farmer that gives her animals rights to pasture and sun. And at that, only on occasion; it’s not only unnecessary to squander into my stomach on a daily basis, but can quickly drive up the weekly food bill. All in moderation.
And thus, I enter my third meat share (the first two by way of living with my mother – as a child my mother’s “cow toungue with green sauce” was a favorite dish). Now it’s beef from Tauzel Farms, which skirts Cayuga lake a hop away from downtown Ithaca. The farmer is in fact none other than one of Bobby’s classmates! We received a lusty array of cuts, in all shapes and sizes ranging from ground beef to chuck roast, and like a good Anglo-Italian daughter, liver.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
- 2 bunches of baby bok choi
- 7 napa cabbage leaves
- salt, to taste
- 1 lb thinly sliced sandwich steak
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil or canola oil
- 1/4 cup chives, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon miso paste mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Disconnect the bok choi leaves by cutting the base of the bunch off. Keep the leaves and stems in tact. Coarsely slice the napa cabbage into 1 inch wide strips.
- Heat the olive oil in a wok or frying pan. Add the garlic, ginger, and pepper. Saute for 1 minute. Add the greens and soy sauce. Cover with a lid and simmer until greens are wilted.
- Rinse steak and pat dry. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a frying pan and cook steak for 1 minute on each side. It will cook very quickly! Transfer steak to a cutting board and cut into strips. Add butter to the pan, add miso/water mixture, and stir for 30 seconds. Return the steak to the pan and cook for 30-60 seconds (skip if you like your steak rare. Add chives last, stir.
- Serve over Asian greens with a cup of wild rice.