Stir-frying – the ultimate fast food! It’s healthy and easy on the budget – you don’t need much protein, it’s a great way to eat lots of different vegetables, and it uses little fuel –so will help keep your energy costs low. What’s not to like?
We all know that eating a plant-based diet is a great way to good health. But did you know that our health is linked to the diversity of plant foods we eat, as they in turn give us fibre for our gut bacteria to feed on? The greater variety of vegetables, fruit and other plant foods – the greater diversity of gut bacteria= the best health.
Stir fries are the ultimate easy way to capture all this goodness Get Started: If you have a pile of vegetables, some spices and sauces e.g., soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce or oyster sauce, maybe a small amount of meat or chicken, and a packet of dried noodles, you’re ready to go. You just need a heavy-based frying pan or wok.
If you want to use some protein, it’s best to cook this first.
Ideas:- beef, lamb or pork cut into thin strips, chicken/turkey thighs or breasts cut into strips or chunks, tofu, and prawns are all good. Remember – a little goes a long way. If you have some oyster sauce-pour some over the meat with some lemon or lime juice
and crushed garlic if you have it. Leave for half an hour. If you don’t have time then just skip this stage.
(More marinade recipes at the end, but if you only have soy sauce that will do!)
Drain the marinade. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in your wok until its really hot, then quickly fry the meat stirring to keep it moving. This should take a few minutes, Set aside,
Stage 2- the veg
This is where you can be really creative and use whatever you have. Its important to cut the vegetables into small pieces. Some vegetables take longer than others to cook, so I put them into 2 cooking groups
a) The slow ones
Carrots – cut into matchsticks or use a peeler to make some ribbons
Onions – sliced
Leeks – sliced
Celery chopped into 2cm chunks or in matchsticks
Courgettes – sliced or chopped
Red and green peppers- in strips
Mushrooms- in quarters or halves if small
Pak choi – chop the white roots into chunks and keep the green bit as a
‘quick cook’ veg
Green beans – sliced
Sugar snap peas
b) The quick ones
Shredded cabbage – any type
Pak choi leaves
Mini sweetcorn or a couple of tablespoons of tinned sweetcorn.
Add about a tablespoon of cooking oil to your wok/frying pan then add the slow cook vegetables and keep them moving with your spatula. Make sure the pan is on HIGH heat
Cook for 5 minutes, until they are cooked, but still crunchy. Then add the quick-cook vegetables and stir fry for a couple more minutes. Then return your meat/ chicken/ tofu whatever you are using, to the pan and keep stirring everything together. Add any marinade you have to stop it burning and to add flavour.
If you haven’t made a marinade you can just add a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce, oyster sauce or sweet chilli sauce or a mixture of any of these
If you like a satay type flavour just mix:-
2 tablespoons peanut butter.
2 tablespoons warm water.
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce in a bowl then add this to your cooked vegetables.
Serve with rice or noodles
Marinades and Sauces
TIP: An easy way to make marinades is to put all the ingredients in a clean jam jar and shake it. Don’t forget to put the lid on first!!