Time, money and taste are the three main factors when most of us are preparing meals for our families. (Health is a given factor for all food we consume. Remember “Food is Medicine”). I have gone through several seasons in my life and I still look for ways to improve all three of these factors in any meal. When working on a recipe, especially those under the main dish category, I also look for versatility. Dealing with the area of time, prepping the proteins ahead is the key. This is one of my foundational recipes, because you can build it like Lego pieces and move those pieces around any way you want. When using a stir-fry method, I prefer a large, stainless steel wok. I also choose a light healthy oil with a higher smoke point (One of my favorites is avocado oil).
The beauty of stir-fry is that it works great with almost any leftover proteins. I have even used leftover meatloaf. If you’re not using leftovers, then make sure you always have cooked ground beef and cooked shredded or diced chicken in your freezer as fast go-to proteins to throw into stir-fry or soups. I also keep chopped onions, and peppers, spinach and kale frozen as well.
The vegetables can be prepped ahead, but not essential. I keep my favorite “C” foods on hand at all times (carrots, celery, cabbage and cauliflower).
- Choose your protein – cooked; cubed, shredded or ground (chicken, beef, pork, turkey, seafood). The amount depends on your personal preference.
- Choose your vegetables – chopped, cubed or shredded (cabbage; green and red, carrots, celery, onions; green, yellow, red, garlic, leeks, jicama, beets, sweet potatoes, asparagus, peppers, spinach, kale, turnips, zucchini, squash, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower). The amounts and combinations depend on your personal preferences.
- 2-3 Tbsp. healthy oil (I like avocado oil)
- ¼ cup coconut aminos (I buy Coconut Secret by the gallon)
- 2 Tbsp. herbs and/or seasonings (I use Trader Joe’s 21 Salute)
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (I like Alessi 20 year old)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sesame or hemp seeds to taste (optional)
- Prep and cook all protein being used. (If already prepped, cooked and frozen, be sure to thaw).
- Wash, peel, chop, cube or shred all vegetables to be used (This can also be done ahead).
- Heat oil in wok.
- Place prepared veggies in pan, starting with those with longer cook times and adding others as larger vegetables become fork tender; others can be tender crisp or wilted. Stir consistently.
- After all veggies are cooked, add cooked meat and heat through.
- Add seasonings, coconut aminos and balsamic vinegar.
- Heat until liquids are well absorbed, but not dry, stirring consistently.
- Sprinkle with sesame or hemp seeds to taste.