Valentine’s Day today was perfect. I feel like when you’re with the one you love, every day should be a day where you express your love and appreciation for one another. Sure, getting flowers, chocolates, and gifts are always nice, but now that I’m married, I find that every day is Valentine’s Day, and that I don’t necessarily need material things to make me happy. What makes me happy these days is my family and knowing that at the end of a long day, I can come home to the ones I love and count on them to cheer me up, no matter what may have gone awry. So, for Valentine’s Day today, my husband and I didn’t have anything extravagant or lavish planned. We randomly decided to have a fun day out, a family day so to speak, with each other and our son. We woke up together, shared a delicious breakfast, and decided to take our son to the park since the sun was shinning brightly in the bright blue California sky and the temperature was a perfect 70 degrees.
Afterward, we grabbed a bite to eat, did some shopping since the President’s Day sales were so enticing, and came home to unwind. We were hungry by then, as lunch had worn off, and wanted to make something relatively simple. I looked in the fridge and saw we had the basics: beef for stir fry and a load of different vegetables that needed to be used before they spoiled. They say the more color you add to your diet, the better it is for your health and your waistline, so I was excited that we had so many vegetables that I could use. Tonight’s dish was a winner; the ingredients meshed beautifully together to create a savory stir fry that was packed full of flavor. The end result was a beautiful and colorful dinner that my husband couldn’t stop raving about and one that my son loved, too.
One thing I want to mention is that I didn’t measure how much olive oil I used. As a rule of thumb for this dish, use olive oil liberally any time the pan gets dry and you need a little more moisture to nicely sauté the vegetables.
- 1 pound beef for stir fry (it should already come thinly sliced)
- 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 2 cups mini bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon paprika
- Extra virgin olive oil
Chop all your vegetables and set aside. Look how gorgeous all the bright colors look next to each other!
Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a nonstick pan and cook beef over medium heat until browned.
Once browned, drain the fat in a bowl to discard later. Add a few splashes of olive oil, and season the beef with salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika; stir.
Add the onions and cook for a few minutes.
Continue cooking the onions. Add the bell peppers. Feel free to add more olive oil, if needed.
Add the garlic and mushrooms.
Continue cooking until the onions get nice and soft and the bell peppers become tender.
Add the green onions.
Cook the green onions until they are slightly soft, but not mushy, and still a little crunchy. Then, add the cilantro.
Mix all the ingredients around to combine and remove from heat.
Here’s the finished product!
Nights like tonight, when I’m in the comfort of my own home, surrounded by my loved ones, I’m reminded that you don’t need to go overboard on these commercialized holidays in order to feel the true essence of what the holiday should really be about. Yes, it’s nice to dress up, go out, and eat at a fancy restaurant, but equally so, a night in to celebrate can be just as lovely, if not lovelier, when you’re in your home with your loved ones and don’t have to worry about overpriced menus, hidden ingredients, long waiting times, and crowds.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!