Stirring up something tasty

Confession: My favorite food in the world is good bread with butter.

stir-fryBut these days, the thing I love to eat is stir fry. I’m cooking it about once a week, and could eat it twice as often. I suspect that those of you who are groaning at the thought are thinking of overcooked broccoli and woody stems. To that I say, Nonsense!

When I think of stir fry, I think of a warm heap of salted rice, tender veggies and delicious chunks of meat.

Think of the pros:

  • It’s hard to find a cheaper food than rice.
  • It’s hard to find a more nutritious food than all those green vegetables!
  • The proportions of meat-to-produce are healthy—a bit of protein alongside lots of vitamins and fiber.
  • It’s simple enough to cook any weeknight, but special enough to serve to guests.
  • The adaptations are endless. You can use what’s in season, what’s in your refrigerator, and any kind of meat.
  • It takes only about 20 minutes to make.
  • My kids LOVE it.

Here are some ideas to mix and match:

Meats Veggies Special Add-ins
Fresh chicken breast or pork chops, cubed, seasoned, and sautéed Broccoli, sliced carrots, diced green peppers and onions Baby corn
Chunks of roast beef or strips of steak left from last night’s supper Asparagus, zucchini or summer squash, button mushrooms Water chestnuts
Imitation crab Sugar snap peas, Portobello mushrooms Pineapple chunks

I saute the veggies in butter and canola oil till they’re tender, shake some soy sauce over top, and cook the rice like this:

  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 t. salt

Mix all together in a pot. Bring to a rolling boil. Stir, then cover and reduce heat so the rice mixture simmers for 20 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve, topped with veggies.

And now for the secret that transformed Ryan’s opinion of stir-fry: homemade sweet-and-sour sauce. Mix equal parts of ketchup, sugar, and vinegar. Microwave till hot and a little bubbly. Pass with stir fry. YUM! The leftover sauce keeps for weeks in the refrigerator, so you don’t have to make it fresh each time.

Tonight I made this dish to share with a friend who’s vegan, so I made it meatless, with plenty of mushrooms. Ryan says it was still good.

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12 years ago

[Cue Mr. Lunt’s voice] You’re making me hungry.

Maribeth Herr
12 years ago

Wow… love the diagram! With all this work you might as well start making a recipe book! =) Your idea sounds delicious… (but don’t tell my mom I said asparagus was yummy)! =) I love reading your updates…

12 years ago

Yum! I need to try that sauce. You are right that it is a super easy, healthy supper.

LaDonna Nice
12 years ago

Love stir fry I like to fry it with noodles sometimes too. Sometimes I fry it on it’s own and make fried rice on the side. Mostly because my husband loves fried rice. Your making me hungry for it 😉 Hmm, maybe for supper tonight 😉

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