Wok and Roll Is All I know

In Domestic Bliss, Wheel Delicious by Nathasha Alvarez

peas, carrots, sliced potatoes and chicken cooking in a wok

Cooking is my least favorite activity. I’m a tiny person in a manual wheelchair. Barely able to see over a pot of boiling water, I find cooking to be dangerous for my health. When I fry eggs, the oil can splatter into my eyes as I do my best to stand up to see if they are ready. When I make pasta, I can’t see over the pot to see when the water is boiling and I don’t have the strength to strain the pasta.

But when I use the wok, the danger significantly diminishes. I can see what I am cooking without the fear of getting burned.

The wok makes cooking enjoyable and doable for someone like me. I don’t know if it will help every person who uses a manual wheelchair but I know the wok will help many of you.

My Abilities

Sliced carrots, chicken wings cooking in a wok.

I don’t know about you but whenever I read an article about how a physically disabled person did an activity, I tend to wonder if they did it by themselves or with someone else. I’m fine with assistance because I need it too. But I want to know when they needed help and why. So in this article, I will do the same for you.

I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta and though I can’t walk, my arms are strong enough to pick up a gallon of milk as a point of reference. I have very good fine motor skills as well. The only time I really need help is if I have to lift something heavy while pushing my wheelchair. From now on when I tell you about a cooking dish because there will be other articles like this one, I will tell you what I did by myself and when I needed help from others.

Let’s wok and roll!

Hasta La Pasta

As a bilingual Colombian American, I love saying “hasta la pasta” so here goes, hasta la pasta is safe to cook in a wok. In a regular pot, I have to worry about straining the pasta. I am unable to lift the pan. I am too short to see the bubbles when it boils. But with a wok, I don’t have to remove the water because I use a pasta spoon to get the pasta out.

Chicken breasts and egg noodles cooking in a wok

The wok becomes my one main cookware. It makes this pasta meal healthy as well. When I cook pasta I tend to add ground beef and vegetables to it. The water in the wok helps cook all the ingredients. Add seasoning. Let it cook. Then voila, I spoon it out with a pasta spoon! It’s delicious!

Poultry Meals

Without a wok, cooking chicken is dangerously hot! The oil tends to splatter. I end up playing a game of chicken with the chicken. However, with a wok, life is less dangerous. I add the oil, place the chicken pieces in the center, and put a lid on it.

It’s easy to move the wok to get the oil moving around. I use tongs to move the chicken and flip it over. Then I add vegetables to the wok with the chicken still in there. Basically, the items enter the wok in the order of time needed to fully cook.

Cooking chicken is easy with the wok. I’ve learned to create many chicken dishes with the walk. And I’ve made chicken soup in the wok too!

Breakfast or Brunch

I don’t like eating carrots. I really don’t! But if they are sliced and cooked in the wok until they are caramelized, they are delicious! First off, carrots win every time I have to chop them or slice them. I don’t have the strength to evenly slice carrots. And I don’t like chasing them down when they roll off the chopping block. Therefore, I buy them already sliced. Makes life easier for me!

Sliced carrots cooking in a wok

Add extra virgin olive oil, spread it all over the surface of the wok and add carrot slices. They shouldn’t overlap. Let them cook for awhile on high to medium heat. I check with tongs to see if they are browning before turning them over.

Once the carrots are ready, I place them on a plate. I use the same oil to cook the fried eggs. It’s so easy to slide the egg with a wok with less fear of oil splatter.


Clean Up

This is one of my favorite reasons for cooking with my wok. Cleaning it. The one I have is non stick. The wok cools down while I eat my delicious and mostly healthy meal. Sponge, soap and water! That’s it! Easy cleaning.

Of all the cookware out there, the wok helps my life become wheel easy!

In the near future, you will read about the wok created meals that I did! You can also follow me on www.instagram.com/latinadivadines where I post dishes that I’ve made and restaurants that I visit.

You’re welcome to submit your favorite recipe with a wok! Email me at nathasha@audacitymagazine.com and I will feature it in a future newsletter.

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