The last year was a whirlwind of crazy – a great amount of growth, bucket loads of joy and in many ways realizing and learning how to cope with loss. One thing I have learned when reflecting back was that time missed with those you love most cannot be brought back. Though I love the work that I do and am driven to continue growing in my career, I found myself with two part time jobs and multiple contracted work… All to say, it was a little too much. Between walking the dog, commuting an hour to work, a full day at the hospital and wholeheartedly giving my time and attention to my patients and clients eight hours a day, five days a week (plus weekends and evenings for those days I pick up extra), I was beginning to feel a little burnt out. Not that I don’t love what I do or don’t feel a passion or gratitude or wish that I chose a different path, but that it is all just a little too much to sustainably continue.
“Millennial burnout” is what they’re calling it nowadays. Now, there’s no doubt that each generation has their challenges. Today, it’s rising cost of food and interest rates, inflation, the housing crisis, climate change and extreme weather conditions – no wonder we’re constantly grappling to find more ways to earn; more ways to save. Perhaps its the expectations that seem evermore unattainable – detached home filled with furry paws and eventually a family, a small plot of land to garden in, owning a car (or two for the family) and staying active, achieving career growth and acknowledgement in the workplace – all whilst maintaining a good relationship with partner, family and friends. It’s a lot to juggle and it all takes time. Oh, and in order to maintain a social life, one’s got to have a hobby – an interesting one too; one that can be shared; one that can spark conversation; one that you’re good at and one that you’re a ‘work in progress’ still. All of this takes time to cultivate, nurture and grown; something of which we never don’t seem to have enough of.
At the end of the day, however, our health and doing things that energizes us. Hence why this year, I am taking more time off-line. Undivided attention to foster those relationships that continue to support my growth. Challenge my old ways of doing, and find more efficient ways to manage. Prioritize before tackling, because the tasks of every-day living easily grow to be endless. Learn to accept that it’s okay to leave things, choose to be in the present instead of trying to plan ahead and steer every turn. Enjoy the process rather than fixate on the destination.
And that brings us to here. Cooking has always brought me joy. Writing has given me a platform to channel my thoughts. But it all does take time – from grocery shopping, to preparation of ingredients, cooking and cleaning after cooking. So here’s to a quick , one-pot, healthy and wholesome meal that’s been a saving grace when life’s a crazy mess.
One-Pot Sesame Ginger Soy Stir-Fry Chow Mien
MAKES: 6 Servings
PREPARATION TIME: 10 MINUTES. COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES.
Features of this recipe? Minimalist-style amount of dishes to clean up after eating. Easy to find, flexible ingredients to use. And a heck of a satisfying meal for dinner and lunch at work tomorrow all in under 30 minutes! A time-saver so that you can spend more of that valuable time stirring up fun with your soy-mate.
EQUIPMENT: Cutting Board, Knife, Spatula, Large Non-Stick Pot/Wok, Large Bowl(s) and a Pair of Chopsticks When You’re Ready to Chow Down.
- 1 Package (approximately 400 g) Fresh Chow Mien Egg Noodles
- 1 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
- 4 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger, Peeled and Grated
- 1 Carrot, Julienned
- 4 cups Asian Cabbage, Finely Shredded *
- 3 Stalks of Green Onion, Cut in 2 inch Length-Wise Segments
- 1 Sweet Pepper
- 1 cup Mushroom, Sliced
- 2 cups Bean Sprouts
Versatile and use what you’ve got – as long as they’re julienned or all in ‘noodle shapes’ so they meld in with the noodles well. Aim for a variety of colours for your vegetable choices to bring a taste of rainbow to your meal. Load up!
*Taiwanese Cabbage tends to be crunchier, whereas the Napa Cabbage is softer when cooked – either works
- 1 Package (400g) Extra Firm Tofu**, Cut in 2 inch Length-Wise Segments
- 1/2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- Salt and White Pepper to Season
**Extra Firm Tofu holds its shape easier when you’re cooking and may be easier to work with. Alternatively, you can also cook up a couple of scrambled eggs to mix into the noodles for protein as well.
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon of Sweet Soy Sauce ***
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Chinese Cooking Wine (Shaoxing) ****
- 2 Tablespoons of Toasted Sesame Seeds (Optional)
***Can use Oyster Sauce or for a vegan alternative, try Shiitake Sauce or Miso Paste
****Substitutes include Japanese Cooking Sake, Mirin or dry sherry. Alternate options can also include broth.
- Open the package of noodles and prepare according to package. If fresh, place in a strainer and run it under hot water for 30 seconds. Set aside for use later.
- Cook the protein until golden: Heat the wok and add the vegetable oil, sliced tofu and salt and white pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes until golden while flipping. Remove from pan.
- Prepare the sauce: Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
- Return the wok to the stove and add vegetable oil to coat the pan. Add in freshly ground ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds until fragrant and beginning to turn golden. Add in the firmer vegetables (carrots, cabbage, green onion stalks, peppers, and mushrooms). Continue to stir fry for about 5 minutes until softened.
- Add in noodles, the sauce and remaining vegetables (bean sprouts and green onion tops). Continue cooking until sauce has simmered and combined with ingredients while tossing constantly.
- Remove noodles from heat, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately. *Using low heat, toast sesame seeds in a dry pan and continually toss until golden*
Calories: 380 kcal
Fat: 13.4 g
Carbohydrates: 54 g
Fiber: 3 g
(Net Carbohydrate: 51 g)
Protein: 23 g
A source of:
Calcium(from the firm tofu)
Vitamin A and C
3 servings of Vegetables and Fruit from Canada’s Food Guide, 1.5 servings of Grain Products and half a serving of Meat and Alternatives