Loreen’s Culinary Adventure Through China

My work this year took me to China twice, and each time it was a culinary experience! While I do practice what I preach and eat my vegetables at lunch and supper meals, I was in heaven with the abundantly delicious vegetable dishes I had to choose from.

Over the past decade, I have heard several researchers in Canada say, “If everyone in Canada ate their recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, we would not have the land capacity in Canada to produce enough.” This statement has always frustrated me as it lacks innovative thought and is ignorant. I say ignorant because I think if we look around the globe, other cultures are proving this statement is false and China is a great example!

For both trips, I stayed in the city of Wuhan in the province of Hubei. Wuhan has a population of over 10,000,000 people – that’s in one city!! And here’s the thing, I never saw any sign of vegetable shortage in grocery stores, restaurants or the homes of the people I spent time with. What is even more interesting is the cost – vegetables are cheap to buy, both in the stores and the restaurants I ate at.

This leaves me pondering a few things. First, the researchers and farmers in Canada clearly need to think outside the box and start being creative on how we can produce more of our own produce. Second, flavour is a top priority in determining what foods we eat. This is especially true when it comes to eating vegetables. When vegetables are being shipped from miles away, the flavour deteriorates over time. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that consumption quickly follows. I am sure we have all tasted a woody carrot or a bright red strawberry that has no flavour. The more local the produce we eat, the more flavourful it is, which should increase consumption and decrease the amount of vegetables that are thrown out, saving money as a result.

Finally, I think we need to start having fun with creating vegetable dishes that are bursting with flavour! For some reason, we haven’t mastered this in our Canadian cuisine yet. If vegetables taste better, we will eat more of them and in turn feel more satisfied at mealtime and be less tempted to reach for the sweets.

By eating a variety of tasty vegetable dishes in China, I have learned some great ideas for cooking vegetables at home! See below for some photos of the foods I ate. 🙂

This lunch consisted of pork stir fry, rice and garlic greens. Yum!

This lunch consisted of pork stir fry, rice and garlic greens. Yum!

 

Lotus Root Vegetable

This was lotus root, a very crunchy and delicious vegetable!

 

Another delicious dark green vegetable! Does anyone know the name?

Another delicious dark green vegetable… It’s actually kelp!

 

This is the Chinese version of Pork and Beans! It was delicious :)

This is the Chinese version of pork and beans! It was delicious 🙂

 

Bok choy, pork and beans, and pepper stir fry! The restaurants usually give a lot of rice, but I kept to my serving size and left the rest. It's so easy to eat more rice with some many yummy vegetables.

Bok choy, pork and beans, and pepper stir fry! The restaurants usually give a lot of rice, but I kept to my serving size and left the rest. It’s so easy to eat more rice with so many yummy vegetables.

 

This is a Cauliflower Pork Stir Fry. So yummy that I might recreate it at home!

This is a cauliflower pork stir fry. So yummy that I might recreate it at home!

 

Is flavour key when it comes to eating your vegetables? Let us know in the comments below!

October 28, 2015
Revive Wellness