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Bok choy stir-fry

As I was chopping vegetables in the kitchen yesterday evening, I realized something. I hate cooking! Cooking sucks! Sure, I have occasionally been charmed by gadgets such as the apple slicer and I enjoy eating new recipes that turn out tasty and delicious, but I still hate cooking. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I hate standing in the kitchen for an hour chopping and stirring and measuring and flipping. I hate being confused by recipes that say to squeeze the juice out of grated ginger when no juice seems to appear. I hate cleaning a dozen measuring spoons and measuring cups and dirty bowls when I’m done. Drive-throughs and pizza delivery are popular for a reason.

Still, I managed to cook some of my bok choy and ginger using the recipe for Stir-Fried Shanghai Bok Choy with Ginger from Epicurious.com. I started by peeling the ginger with a spoon over the trash can as some of you advised. And DAMN, you were right, that stuff if potent! As soon as the skin came off the aroma was overwhelming but it smelled—AAAAAH, GINGER IN MY EYE! IT BURNS! IT BURNS! None of you warned me about THAT! Ginger is a dangerous spice, practically a controlled substance. You might want to wear safety glasses when peeling ginger because it—OMG! I DID IT AGAIN! AAAAHH! AAAAAAHHHHH!!

Stir-fry ingredients

Anyway, when my left eye stopped watering, I was able to mix the rest of the ingredients into the stir-fry sauce and chop up the vegetables. As I was about to start cooking the bok choy, I started to worry about what would happen if I didn’t like the taste of it. I’d already risked my vision and the tips of my fingers when peeling and chopping stuff for this meal. I wanted it to be edible. So I pulled out come celery and carrots to add to the mix just in case I needed to pick out all the bok choy when it was done.

Stir-fry ingredients

There was no need to worry though because the result was delicious. I don’t know if it was worth an hour in the kitchen though. Bok Choy tastes like lettuce or celery or what you’d expect a leafy green vegetable to taste like. I don’t know if I’ll get bok choy again in the future, but at least now I know to be careful around ginger.

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23 Comments

DebraSY • January 25, 2010 at 10:26 am

You are a brave lady for using the real stuff. I, too, am only a semi-enthusiastic chef. Once you have used up the real ginger (which will be a long time from now, as I see the picture). Consider the jar ginger from the produce section of the grocery store. Better than the dried stuff in the spice section. Doesn’t last as long as the real stuff you have now stored in the freezer, but it produces the “real” flavor and intensity. Also, I love the jar garlic for similar and more intense reasons.

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Rebecca • January 25, 2010 at 10:57 am

Maybe next time you can figure out a way to cut down on some of the steps. I pretty much only take cooking advice from Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals because I LOATHE being in the kitchen. Who wants to cook when there is TV to watch or blogs to read!

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Karen • January 25, 2010 at 11:04 am

Try different time savings ideas and see which you like best. I’m not an avid cook either, so I use my crockpot, buy prepackaged cut up veggies (or so ahead on Sundays occasionally, or cook two meals in one night (pots of chili and spaghetti sauce) so I get a night off plus healthy tasty leftovers. One last tip – kitchen chores while watching cable television makes the time go faster.

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Aline • January 25, 2010 at 11:08 am

I just made bok choy yesterday for the first time and I am not a fan. It’s a shame because it’s like no 1 or 2 of the most potent vegetables when it comes to nutritional value. I’ll stick with kale.

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Deanna - The Unnatural Mother • January 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Looks yummy, may try it!

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Sukeina • January 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Hi,

I’ve been following your blog for a year since you were featured in the Globe and Mail. I just wanted you to know that it is actually easier to peel ginger with a patato peeler!

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Sukeina • January 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm

oops! typo–potato not patato!

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Lauren @ Eater not a runner • January 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Well it looks delicious even if it wasn’t worth the wait!

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AndrewENZ • January 25, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Good on ya for giving it a go!

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jenny • January 25, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Sounds to me like you need to go to a few classes on knife skills, that will really speed up your prep time and then cooking wont be such a drag. I usually grate ginger, which goes a bit quicker and you get more flavor….

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JudithinNYC • January 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm

While I love to cook I can understand not wanting to spend an hour preparing a meal. Maybe it will help to know that the more you do it, the better and faster you get. I, too , cook for myself only, but I have been doing it for close to 50 yrs and I could wash and chop my veggies for a stir fry in 5 minutes plus maybe 5 or 10 more for the cooking, depending on whether I have already pre-cut the chicken breasts, etc..

When I have lots of energy I will sometimes wash,chop, slice, etc. a week’s worth of vegs and put them in plastic containers in the fridge. I will also chop a lot of garlic, ginger, etc. with the immersion blender (I hate to wash food processors and/or blenders). I keep each in separate containers so I can mix and match for different recipes. I will use the same mashed up ginger, for example, for any recipe that calls for ginger, no matter whether the recipe asks for slivered, minced, grated, etc.

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Pat • January 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm

For future reference, bok choy is really delicious raw…

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Dee • January 25, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Wow- you really just sold that recipe with that picture.

I hate cooking too. Not as much as I used to, but it’s still mostly a bore. However, it’s the only way I eat healthy. When I eat out, I can’t pick healthy food. But healthy food is actually easier to make than the bad stuff, so it wins out at home.

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Alely Marina • January 25, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I definitely must try this recipe! It looks scrumptious. Sometimes I’ll turn on a movie or music (I have a “cooking” playlist) to entertain me through my prepping (chopping). Personally, I love to cook, but I can definitely understand the point of view of those who aren’t so fond of it.

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Abby • January 25, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Oh, thank you, Jennette, for hating cooking! I hate cooking, too. I’m so envious of all those people who love to cook and are constantly trying new recipes and baking their own bread and making everything from scratch. I would be that way if I could. But I, too, hate to cook.

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Lainey • January 25, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Psssst…when I grated up ginger for that Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry “Sticky Chicky” recipe, I washed it but I didn’t peel it, and we all lived.

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The Merry • January 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I used to work with a woman who could peel ginger in one hand… yes, she held the knife and the ginger in one hand and peeled it quite neatly. I saw her do it.
Mind you, she couldn’t write tech manual if you paid her, but dang that woman could peel ginger!

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gazellegirl • January 25, 2010 at 10:57 pm

I went to China for about 4 weeks about 12 years ago. We ate bok choy every day at lunch and dinner. Lucky I like it. Although I think it feels like what a cow chewing cud must feel like. There’s a lot of fiber in those puppies.

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Lydia • January 26, 2010 at 2:27 am

Looks delicious. I may have to have Chinese food in the near future.

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Bethama • January 26, 2010 at 8:31 am

I only learned this recently, but my mother keeps ginger in the freezer. This is, when you do that, it’s ridiculously easy to peel and it grates cleanly. Plus, no stinging and it lasts forever!

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Rebecca • January 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I’m with you on that one. I don’t enjoy cooking at all! I’m slow with the chopping and I’m never really sure what the different cooking instructions mean or whether I have the stove on high enough. I did find a cookbook that I kind of enjoy cooking meals from though. It’s called The Ultimate Healthy Eating Plan by Liz Pearson and Mairlyn Smith. They also have a newer version called Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health. I like them because the recipes are healthy but tasty, they’re fairly simple meals with minimal pots, pans and utensils to wash at the end, and because the ingredients are readily available in your grocery store and stuff you’re likely to use on a regular basis. The few ingredients that are kind of out there seem to be ones that can last in the fridge for several months so you don’t have to worry about what to do with the leftovers if you don’t make the same recipe again right away.

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Denise • January 28, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Hey!

I thought of your blog yesterday. I caught part of Oprah yesterday evening and I guess her theme was about eating healthy/better foods. Alicia Silverstone was one of her guests and she mentioned bok choy. Later on she said her goal was to help teach people they could “flirt with a healthy lifestyle”. I got a kick out of that. See if you can find the episode online! Perhaps it could provide you with some blogging leads.

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Pam • August 3, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I am so tired of cooking too. Sure, the results are worth it..but what a lot of work. I guess you have to figure you are burning calories, which is good, since you are about to consume some. But the WORST is cooking food for my family that I can’t eat. That just sucks!

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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