Monday, December 7, 2009

Sunday Night Dinner: Stir fry & a movie review

I'm back with another edition of Sunday night suppers - and I'll be doing a little movie review too!

When I went to my aunt & uncle's for Thanksgiving - they had a little treat for me:

A gluten free Thai Peanut sauce. I was stoked! I have had the hardest time finding gluten free cooking sauces. All the sauces I used to use when making stir fry are now off limits because they all contain wheat. I tried making stir fry the first week I went gluten free and it honestly SUCKED. And I haven't attempted to stir fry anything since.

I don't have a recipe to share with you tonight because the one I made did not turn out great, so it's not worth sharing. It was ok, and the thai peanut sauce definitely helped, but it just left me thinking - 'meh'. I'll still eat the leftovers this week at work because, well, it's my only option. I cook once a week and make enough to have meals at work for the week. So I guess I'll be eating this not-so-fabulous stir fry. But hey, lots of people in the world go hungry every day so I really cannot complain.

Here is the finished product, though!

It's a beef and asparagus stir fry made with round steak.

Speaking of round steak (how's that for a segue?) - where do you buy your meat (if you are a meat eater)? I grew up in a small town in North Dakota; in that area, it is pretty common for people to buy meat directly from a farmer who raises the cattle. At least that was the case for me growing up. Buying meat in a grocery store was a foreign concept for me.

When I graduated from college and had to start cooking for myself (I lived in a sorority in college so all my meals were made by a house mom!), I had to start shopping for meat in a grocery store. And honestly, I was disgusted by the quality of meat. It bothered me how the top layer of ground beef is always colored and then beneath that red layer, it is a sickly gray color. (sorry vegetarians).

I was so happy when my parents offered to split a 1/4 of beef with me this year (that means 1/4 of a cow). I know that might sound like alot of meat, but it's actually the perfect amount for a single girl. I like knowing where my meat came from. Our family knows the farmers who raised the cow and it was butchered at a local butcher shop.

So why am I talking about this? Well, it ties into the movie I watched on Sunday - Food, Inc. It is such a great movie - I highly recommend it. It features interviews by Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore's Dilemma (on my to read list) as well as interviews by farmers and others that raise the chickens, pigs, cows, and corn that feed our nation.

It's a quick, 90 minute film that is very thought provoking and I think it will make you think differently about where your food comes from. It certainly made me think about it differently - and it made me even more glad that I no longer buy my beef at a grocery store.

Have you seen the movie? If so, did you change your buying behaviors after watching it?


Emily Jane said...

I haven't seen the movie, but OMG THAI PEANUT SAUCE. I'm so happy you found a gluten free one because that stuff's the BEST!

Mandy said...

It depends on where we buy our meat. We get a larege majority of it from a local butcher shop. If there's something in particular we need, we do run to the grocery store for it. Additionally, my grandfather hunts so deer meat (and sometimes elk meat when he's gone hunting out west) are staples in the colder months.

Amber said...

I have heard so much about Food Inc but haven't seen it yet!

I try to buy my meat locally as well. I don't think there's anything wrong/unethical about eating meat (I think it's natural) as long as the animals are slaughtered HUMANELY. From what I've heard, Food Inc shows a very UN-humane side of the North American meat industry. I think buying local food is REALLY important not only because it's healthier for you and nicer for the animals but also because it supports the local economy!

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen that movie but I hear it's very good though I admit I'm a tad afraid to watch it! =)

I feel that I should know this already but are you gluten free due to allergies/health reasons? There's talk about my mom going gluten free and I'm just curious as to your reasoning/experience if you care to share?

Unknown said...

Lisa, You are so fortunate to have access to locally grown and butchered meat. I watched Food Inc. as well. What scared me about our nation's food before I watched that movie was only intensified. Yikes. We buy almost all of our meat from a local butcher. I want to attend Kevin's sausage making event to learn more about making my own as well. Coincidentally, I made Thai chicken with peanut sauce last week. It was quite good and we decided it was one to do again so I posted it on my recipe site. Have a good week!

Paul said...

Did see "Food Inc." and kind of knew about the industry from reading Pollan and seeing other documentaries. It sure gives one a different look at corporate farming, Monsanto, etc..

Kyla Roma said...

I've heard a lot about Food Inc. and I think it's fantastic that there are people out there educating consumers about what they're actually eating. The disconnect for so many people is so vast!

We buy amazing free range local chickens for Mister and he loves the difference. If I had ever started eating meat I would definitely eat local- but thanks to my mom intervening I just never developed a taste for it.

Abby said...

I have never tried Thai Peanut anything-but have seen many recipes about it! I will have to try! LOoks delicious!

I will also have to rent that movie! Sounds interesting.

That is so funny about "meat buying". We just get our meat from the store, due to a lack of known butchers!

The first time RYan sent me to the store to buy meat. I came back with all the wrong cuts, buys, everything. I had NO IDEA how to buy beef since it was just always packaged in our freezer from the cow we got yearly!

Definitely miss that!

Little Fish said...

"in North Dakota; in that area, it is pretty common for people to buy meat directly from a farmer who raises the cattle. At least that was the case for me growing up. Buying meat in a grocery store was a foreign concept for me." Yeah!!! that's the way it should be, you're not only being healthy, you're supporting your community.

I have very strong feelings about food issues. Growing up in NJ I didn't know anything about animal farms, but it is such a part of our culture there to buy local produce. NJ has some of the best fruits and veggies (tomatoes, corn, berries, cranberries, eggplant, etc, etc) and in the summer you see farmstands everywhere, even in the city and everyone gets so excited to enjoy our local best!

The way that we view food in this country is scary and needs to change. I am and will always be a meat eater, but it should be consumed in moderation just like everything else. I also believe very strongly in cruelty free meats; animals should be free range, not force fed and slaughteres as humanely as possible.

I have an amazing local market near me that sells top quality meat and fish. It's a bit more expensive, but totallty worth it. No supermarket meat for me!

crystal said...

I did see this movie, it was interesting but I felt like it was very biased. I wish they would have shown more about the "positive" ways to shop.

I am a partial vegetarian (couldn't give up my seafood!) and the main reason is because I don't agree with the way animals are raised and treated for the sole purpose of our consumption. Ever since I became a vegetarian though I have said that I would (theoretically) eat hunted meat because I feel that it is a natural and humane process. As I am also from ND, I grew up eating deer meet and local beef. Unfortunately, that is not common here in the pacific northwest though!

Thanks for the post, I think it is important for people to be aware of!

Lisa-Marie said...

I haven't eem the film, but haing grown up in a farming community, I am quite aware of the meat trade. I eat meat, but I am careful of where I buy it. Legally, a butcher has to tell you how it has been farmed(in the UK) at least.

Also, I must have the stir fry now!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I love stir fry. We like making ours spicy! I gave you an award over on my blog.. :)

Carolina John said...

i haven't seen food inc yet but i've heard it's awesome. i've been choosing the vegetarian option a lot more since the online reviews of that movie have come out

but your beef looks great.

Kelly said...

Have not seen the movie but I should.

I really have gotten into peanut sauce lately, I might have to try that kind...

Shoshanah said...

I've always just bough meat at the store. And in general that's where my parents did when I was growing up. Now they do a lot of their shopping at farmer's market, but more for produce than meat. I don't know where I'd have the option of buying meat directly from the source, but do think its something I'd love to try sometime.

qwerkyqook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
qwerkyqook said...

hmmm. sorry the stir fry was a bummer. I wonder if you could resurrect it by turning it into a fried rice dish. Add some egg, tamari, maybe some pineapple? I bet the sauce would be great if you dipped chicken skewers in it, or as a marinade for chicken. I watched food inc the other week. Holy cow! modern day upton sinclair? doesn't quite have the weight of a well written book i think. Or we are just too addicted to the fast processing to do anything substantial about it. I was familiar with a lot of the practices, ie chickens too fat to stand etc from undergrad classes. But watching the cattle scenes was too much. I'm not a big meat eater, I like seafood mostly. I am pretty sure that I will only eat meat at my parents, from a local butcher after that film though.Whats on the menu for next sunday?

Anais said...

It was a great movie... definitely an eye-opener. I'm trying to be a mostly-vegetarian because of it but it's hard! It's mostly hard because I know I supposedly can't have meat... so not being able to have it makes me want it. Ugh.

Sam said...

I will definitely have to watch that movie! Sounds interesting.