I always have a lot of vegetables in my refrigerator since I have salads every day and use a variety of vegetables in other dishes as well.  My favorite way of using up all the “ends and pieces” of these vegetables is to cut them up and stir fry them with some type of meat or tofu.  This weekend I made stir fried chicken and vegetables.  I have posted this before but it is worth repeating.  My private student, Linda Johnson, makes versions of “stir fry” frequently and she has developed quite a reputation for her delicious stir fry.

Master Recipe for Stir-Fried Vegetables and Meat

Step 1:
Choose a protein
3/4 lb. steak, pork, or chicken thinly sliced
3/4 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 oz extra firm tofu, cubed
Freeze meats first for easier slicing. Place cut meat in bowl and drizzle with 1 T low sodium soy sauce or Tamari, 1 T wine, sherry or Sake, if desired. Set aside.

Step 2:
Prepare 3 cups of any vegetables:
Sliced carrots, celery, bell peppers, onions, shallots, quartered mushrooms, sliced bok choy or cabbage, whole snow peas, sliced asparagus, baby spinach, halved cherry tomatoes, blanched brocolli or cauliflower florets, thawed or fresh peas or edamame, fresh or frozen corn or baby corn, cubed eggplant, sliced or cubed zucchini or yellow squash. If it can’t be cooked in a couple minutes pre-cook it by blanching in boiling water or a couple minutes in the microwave. For a spicy stir-fry slice up some jalapeno peppers.  If you don’t feel like making a sauce, just use the very simple “sauce”, which is just some garlic, ginger and soy sauce, then drizzle a little sriracha on top.

Prepare garlic and ginger by mincing 2 cloves of garlic and 1 T fresh ginger.

Prepare garnish: Thinly slice scallions, chop peanuts, slice up some jalapenos, chop some cilantro and set aside.

Choose a sauce:

Very simple
2 cloves garlic
1 T fresh ginger
1 T reduced sodium soy sauce

Spicy
1/2 c chicken broth (low-sodium canned is fine)
1-2 T soy sauce or tamari (I use reduced sodium.)
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes or chili sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
Mix together

Sweet and Sour
3/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c ketchup
2 tsp soy sauce or tamari
3 T rice vinegar
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sesame oil
Mix together

Simple sauce:
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch
1 T soy sauce or tamari
1 T hoisin or Oyster sauce
1 T Chinese rice wine or sherry
(or leave out the Hoisin or Oyster for a clear sauce)

Drain marinade from the protein. Have all ingredients by the pan. Heat pan until very hot, then add 1 T vegetable oil. Cook the protein for a couple minutes. For tofu, brown on both sides, don’t stir. Remove from pan and set aside.
Wipe out the pan, heat again, add another T of oil. Add the garlic and ginger, 2 minced scallions, a pinch of salt and sugar. Stir fry 30 seconds. Add the vegetables and cook until tender/crisp, then add meat an sauce and heat for 3 minutes. Add this point you can add some cooked noodles, either wheat or rice noodles which were previously cooked and drained well.
Garnish with the scallions, peanuts, cilantro. Don’t forget the garnish–it really adds something.
Serve with rice if you didn’t use noodles.