03 November 2009

Stir Fry

Step one to alleviate some Halloween candy damage? Mass vegetables! What better way to cram a plateful of veggies into my kids (and myself) than stir fry? It's quick, it's yummy, it's super easy.

I never make the same stir fry twice. I combine one batch of rice, one source of protein, and as many vegetables as will fit in my largest skillet. The rice could be brown, or as in this case, it could be sticky white "calrose" rice. The protein is very often extra firm tofu, but can also be strips of chicken, steak, or pork. For this dinner, I used some leftover pork roast cut into strips. For an all-veggie version, you could certainly sprinkle on some nuts or soybeans for your protein.

And the vegetables? I survey my fridge and use what I already have. Often I'll pick up a few interesting pieces from the grocery store, such as bok choy, snap peas, asparagus, red pepper, or baby corn. If you're making this for kids, be sure to include a few veggies they like, or at least recognize.

Chop all the vegetables and cook them in an appropriate time line. For instance, carrots and broccoli need to cook much longer than celery and green onions. So for the stir fry pictured above, I added ingredients to my giant skillet in the following order:
  • A little canola oil
  • (If I was using raw meat instead of leftover cooked meat, I would cook the meat here, remove it from the skillet and set it aside until later.)
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Ginger
  • Mushrooms (unless sliced thin, they take a while to soften)
  • Asparagus
  • Bok Choy
  • Cooked meat/tofu
  • Cilantro
At the end, I usually add some sort of Asian-style sauce. This time it was bottled teriyaki. Often, my husband likes to mix a sauce out of the array of Asian condiments we have in our fridge. If you'd like suggestions, leave me a comment.

(Note: my daughter doesn't like most Asian sauces, so I take her portion out before adding any sauce. You might also do this if this is a new dinner for your child. You can always give them sauce on the side to try.)

Serve the cooked protein and veggies over rice. Optional: top with chopped nuts or chow mein noodles for a fun crunch that is appealing to kids.


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