I learned a very important lesson recently.
You know those lessons that you’ll never forget because they were so embarrassing to learn? Yep, it was one of those.
Lucky for you that I’m going to share it with you so that you will never have to learn this the hard way: when you are signing one of those slightly awkward cards being passed around your office (you know those cards from everyone for someone’s birthday, departure, or a general congratulations, etc…), make sure to double check who the card is for.
I mean, you wouldn’t want to be the one who wrote “best of luck at your new job!” to someone who’s supposed to be getting a “congratulations” card for starting their family, would you?
That’s just awkward. Don’t be that person.
But, if you do happen to be that person, here are a few options:
Option #1: White it out. However, this only works if the card is white and those tricky Hallmark folks love those fun colors…
Option #2: Cover it up with stickers. Of course, that is assuming that you are an adult who happens to carry stickers around. Unfortunately, (or perhaps, fortunately), I’m not that person.
Option #3: Own it. Just admit that, yes, you are that person who wrote the weird message in someone’s card and there is no taking it back now.
Ohh if only cards were as easy as stir-fries…
See, with stir-fries, there are no mistakes, no awkwardness. You can always alter ingredients or change things up as needed. They’re impossible to mess up. And they work for any occasion.
So, I guess the lesson I learned is really this: sign less cards and make more stir-fries. I think that’s my new motto.
This stir-fry starts with a spring favorite: asparagus.
Next we add in another spring favorite: leeks. Never used leeks before?
Don’t be intimidated, let me show you how!
Leeks are part of the allium family and taste similar to scallions, but with a bit more flavor. Look for fresh, firm leeks with white necks and no bruises. Large leeks tend to be too fibrous so I usually select medium leeks that are about an inch and a half in diameter.
Start by chopping the tip and the tough green tops off so you have just the middle section of the leek (see the left side of the picture below). Compost the tops or save them to make veggie stock. (If you are storing fresh leeks, keep them whole in the refrigerator and they will easily keep for 1 – 2 weeks.)
Next, slice the leek down the middle and open it up to see all the inside layers (see the right side of the picture below). These layers tend to trap a lot of dirt (as you can see) so be sure to wash them thoroughly.
Then simply slice the leek into small 1/2-inch slices (not pictured).
You’ve just prepared a leek, my friend! Give yourself a high five!
This stir-fry is easy to adapt and is a fabulous way to use up any leftover produce that might be laying around your fridge. It’s perfect as a side dish to any weeknight meal or you could also add a good protein-source to make it a stand-alone meal. This recipe has minimal spices so the flavors of the leeks, asparagus, and mushrooms really shine. If additional flavor is desired, some tamari or red pepper flakes would certainly spice things up.
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 medium leek, ends trimmed, and sliced
- ½ cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
- ¼ cup raw or lightly toasted cashews
- Add oil to a pan over medium heat.
- Add leek and mushrooms and saute for about 3 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add asparagus, garlic, ginger, and cashews and saute for an additional five minutes, until asparagus is just tender.
- Remove from heat and serve hot.
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