It can be quite hard to decide what to eat/cook when your trying to be healthy, especially when you need something quick and easy but also enough to fill you up for a while. I find that stir-fries are a great way to make a fast and healthy meal with whatever is already in the house!
The other day I realized that I had some baby spinach and broccoli that I knew would go bad if I didn’t use them up soon so I decided that throw everything together and make a stir fry. This is probably the easiest meal you can make because you can literally throw in anything you want. I don’t have an exact measurements for this stir fry as I just kind of threw everything in there, but here is how I made it.
I always keep brown rice in my house, and to me, rice holds up really well to the traditional flavors of a stir-fry. Brown rice is a healthier alternative to white rice as it contains dietary fiber that aids in digestion and provides a slower release of sugar giving you a more lasting energy and feeling of satiation. For a non-traditional route you can also use couscous or quinoa. If you love noodles, try to use some variation of whole wheat pasta instead.
It’s a good idea to throw in some protein for added flavor, appeal, and to help you get fuller faster. I decided to go for a vegetarian stir fry and used chickpeas as my protein source because 1) I already had some in the house and 2) meatless meals contain less fat and cutting down meat consumption proves to be extremely beneficial in preventative health. So to go vegetarian you can use any kind of beans you like, or you can take the meat route and use some diced up chicken, beef, or any meat you prefer.
The suggestions are pretty much endless for this category. I used broccoli, carrots and baby spinach because I already had these in the house and my aim was to use whatever I had without making a trip to the grocery store. A tradition stir fry typically contains a lot of greens like broccoli, bok choy, watercress, celery and mushrooms. However, you can use any vegetables you prefer and as little or as many as you’d like.
Sauce and Spices
I always keep low-sodium soy sauce in my fridge because it is a great flavor enhancer to many dishes so this was the sauce for my stir fry. I find that ginger, cinnamon and curry work really well with soy sauce, and I also used some crushed red pepper flakes for a kick, and garlic powder because I didn’t have any fresh garlic to use. As with the vegetables, the spices you can use are limitless. Don’t be afraid to add your personality and culture to the dish; this is what makes cooking so great!
Putting It All Together
Because stir fries can contain many ingredients it may seem a little overwhelming to cook.But, if you have even the slightest experience with cooking you’ll be able to figure it out quite easily.
Prep Your Ingredients – Decide exactly which ingredients you want to use and get them prepped. Chop your veggies, cook your rice and beans ahead of time, and get everything together that you will need.
Cook in Steps – If you are using meat, get those going first and cook your veggies separately. If your not using meat, then start with the vegetables as they are going to take the longest to cook. I started by sauteing my broccoli and carrots in a little bit of olive oil because I know they take a while. Because they are quite hard I cooked them covered in order to retain their moisture. Once they were about halfway cooked I added in the spices along with salt and pepper to release those flavors and continued cooking them covered. When they were just about done but not quite, I got my cooked rice in there to heat up, then added the beans (which were already cooked) to get those nice and warm. Once everything was just about done I added my baby spinach because I know it cooks very quickly. I added some more salt and pepper, a dash of olive oil and some soy sauce.
Taste – Give your stir fry a small taste to make sure the flavors are there and your meal is done! So easy and it only takes three simple steps.
Next time you want to make a simple, nutritious dish that will leave you feeling full and satisfied, try your hand at a stir fry. If you keep the right ingredients in your house then you won’t even need to make a trip to the store!