A Veggie Stir-Fry That’s Pleasing To The Eye

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - August 18, 2010
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Dr. Rhoads and Carin Stevens

Ophthalmologist Rhoads Stevens has quite an impressive background. He is recognized among the top specialists in pterygium, cornea and external ocular disease, and practices in the Queen’s Physician Office Building II.

Stevens received his ophthalmology training at the Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and completed a two-year cornea and external ocular disease fellowship at Harvard School of Medicine’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Serving the community as a volunteer, Stevens has been medical director of the Hawaii Lions Eye Bank and Makana Foundation since 1986. In that position, he works to ensure safe and effective donor cornea collection, processing and preservation for human transplantation. He also is an associate professor at John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii, where he enjoys the interaction with his students and keeps up on all of the latest medical technology and care in his field. He keeps fit by working out, aerobics and kayaking.

Stevens lives in Hawaii Kai with wife Carin, who is originally from Hong Kong and a home health care registered nurse at CareResource Hawaii. Carin also participated in the Half Ironman and is very athletic. They both enjoy traveling, skiing and love trying new restaurants. Chinese food is one of their favorites and they like to experiment with different recipes at home.


This column is dedicated to both of them for their dedication and commitment to helping others.

As we eat with our eyes first, this is a visually pleasing and healthy dish that is quick and easy to prepare. You may add tofu, chicken, fish, shrimp or meat for protein.


* 1 cup broccoli florets, washed, dried and cut into bite-size pieces
* 1 cup cauliflower florets, washed dried, and cut into bite-size pieces
* 1 cup carrots, julienned
* 1 cup red pepper, seeded and julienned
* 1/3 cup chopped Maui onion
* salt and pepper, to taste
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger root
* 2 tablespoons sesame oil
* 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
* 2 1/2 tablespoons water

Coat a large wok with cooking spray and heat to medium. Add vegetables, stirring to prevent burning, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

In a small bowl, blend garlic, cornstarch, ginger and sesame oil until cornstarch dissolves; stir in soy sauce and water and stir to combine. Return vegetables to heat and slowly add cornstarch mixture until vegetables are coated. Cook until heated through and vegetables are cooked but still crisp.

Note: If using tofu or other cooked protein, add after cornstarch mixture begins to thicken slightly.

Makes six servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving (without adding protein):

Fat: 4 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: Depends on salt added


(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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