Stir-Fried Pea Shoots & Pac Choi

My favorite thing about working with food is that there is always something new to discover; a new technique, fun fact, or new ingredient just waiting to peak the curiosity. On the weekends, I love to wander the local farmers market and see what is in season and if there is something new to work onto my dinner plate. This weekend did not disappoint as I discovered two new ingredients I hadn’t worked with before, pea shoots and pac choi (also seen as pak choy).

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The tangled little bundles of pea vines on the table were so inviting and lured me in for a conversation with the farmer. Pea shoots are the young and tender vines of the pea plant available during spring and early summer season. A delicate green traditionally used in Asian cuisine that can be eaten fresh or cooked and could be used as a substitute for similar greens, like spinach. A little bundle was definitely coming home with me. Next I stumbled across what at first I thought was baby bok choy, a bunch of leafy greens with white stalks, but a tiny hand written chalk sign said different, pac choi. Another conversation starter as I tried to figure out what the difference between pac choi and bok choy was, as they looked identical. The differences are small as they are essentially the same plant, both Chinese cabbage, but as the farmer explained pac choi at full size is about the size of a baby bok choy. Intrigued and excited by my farmers market finds I went home with inspiration for my dinner in hand.

Stir-Fried Pea Shoots & Pac Choi

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • Vegetable Oil                 2 tablespoons
  • Sesame Oil                     ½ teaspoon
  • Yellow Onion                1 each, peeled & julienned
  • Fresh Garlic                  3 cloves, peeled & minced
  • Fresh Ginger                1 inch piece, peeled & finely grated
  • Pea Shoots                    1 pound, washed & cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Pac Choi                        1 each, washed & cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Tamari or Soy Sauce   2 tablespoons
  • Black Pepper                to taste
  • Sesame Seeds               for garnish

Directions

  1. Prepare and measure all your ingredients and set aside. Pro Tip: Freeze the fresh ginger first before peeling and grating! I recommend using a microplane zester to get a finely grated ginger.
  2. In a skillet or wok, combine the vegetable and sesame oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the julienned onion and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the onions start to caramelize and turn golden brown.
  4. Add the minced garlic and grated fresh ginger and cook for about a minute, tossing often.
  5. Next add the pea shoots and pac choi and toss together with the onions, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for a minute or two just until the pea shoots and pac choi are slightly wilted.
  6. Add the tamari or soy sauce and black pepper to taste. Toss together, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
  7. Stir-fried pea shoots & pac choi go great with steamed jasmine rice or even some chicken satay!

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Ginger Molasses cookies are perfect! These cookies are quick, they taste of the season (and will make your house smell fantastic too), and requires very little effort or ingredients to make. Did I mention they also happen to be vegan?

I woke up this morning well before my alarm was due to go off and with a running list of things I needed to get done before Thanksgiving tomorrow, both for at work and at home. However, more than anything I had the urge to bake something. I wanted to bake something for my kitchen crew who come in each day with a smile on their face, work hard (particularly during these busy holiday weeks) and do it with all their heart. They are truly a great and passionate team and for that I am thankful. Seeing as Thanksgiving is all about showing gratitude, this morning it was important to me let the “to do” lists wait and get something working for my crew. My favorite way to show my appreciation is with a lovingly baked food. Seeing that I have made 140 pies in the past week I wanted a change of pace…I am all pied out. Ginger Molasses cookies are perfect! These cookies are quick, they taste of the season (and will make your house smell fantastic too), and requires very little effort or ingredients to make. Did I mention they also happen to be vegan?

I hope you all find you are surrounded by love, laughter, and a metric ton of delicious eats this holiday! 🙂 Happy baking and Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Ginger Molasses Cookies

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • All Purpose Flour                 2 cups
  • Baking Soda                          2 teaspoons
  • Salt                                         ½ teaspoon
  • Ground Ginger                     1 tablespoon
  • Ground Cinnamon               1 teaspoon
  • Ground Cardamom              a dash (optional)
  • Brown Sugar, packed           1 cup
  • Vegetable Oil                         ½ cup
  • Molasses                                ¼ cup
  • Water                                     ¼ cup (a touch more if dough is too dry)
  • Granulated Sugar                 ¼ cup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Set out two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and brown sugar. Mix well.
  3. To the dry ingredients add the oil, molasses, and water. **I recommend measuring the oil first in the measuring cup and then the molasses in same measuring cup after, so that it slides right out!**
  4. Mix all the ingredients together until it forms a firm, but slightly sticky dough.
  5. Wet your hands lightly and shape the dough into 24 balls.
  6. Place granulated sugar in a small bowl or plate. Roll each ball in sugar.
  7. Place cookie dough balls on the cookie sheets about 2 inches apart from each other.
  8. Bake 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand on the pan for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. The cookies will be soft when warm, but firm up as they cool.
  9. Enjoy or store in an airtight container to keep soft and delicious. They go well with some eggnog!