Sunday, December 28, 2014

Spicy Vegetable Stir-Fry



With the holidays mostly under my belt (literally), new resolutions just around the corner, and self-righteous bathing suit collections on the horizon, I'm feeling pretty motivated to start the new year off right. That means trading in the stuffing and pie (so much pie) for something a little healthier. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, as any overworked piece of gym equipment will tell you over the next few weeks, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share this quick and healthy stir-fry recipe.

To be honest, I used to be a little daunted by the idea of making stir-fry, mainly because I had no idea what kinds of spices or sauces to put in, and it never seemed to turn out quite right when I would give it a try. But I've realized over the years that I was way over-thinking it. It's actually one of easiest and most versatile dishes to make, and can be as simple or as complicated as the ingredients you throw into it. The thing I love most is that there are unlimited flavor combinations to suite your particular tastes, or what happens to be in the fridge, at any given moment.

This particular recipe is simple yet flavorful, and has a nice spicy kick. The best part is that it only takes a few fresh ingredients and a really hot pan, so lets get started! 

Getting Started

 

Once all of your veggie are chopped and ready to go, the first thing you want to do is make sure you have a really hot pan. Go ahead and turn the heat all the way up.

I'm using a wok in these pictures, which works the best, but I've used regular saute pans in the past as well. The hardest part about using a regular saute pan, is getting everything to fit and cook evenly, but if that's all you have, you can still make it work. I would sometimes use two pans and that helped. If you are not using a wok, you will probably want to turn the heat down as well.

Once your pan is really hot, add in the oil. It may smoke a little, and that's okay; just make sure you are using an oil suitable for high temps. Vegetable oil worked fine for me, but there are lots of other kinds of oils out there if you want to experiment with other flavors.

Next add in the onions and celery, and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Then add in the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Finally, add in the rest of your veggies and spices. It's important that your pan stays hot, so you may want to add things in stages to keep the heat up. Let everything cook and mingle for a few more minutes, then add in the soy sauce and continue to cook until your veggies are tender.

That's it! I like to serve it over a bed of rice (I cheated and used Safeway's "O Organics" microwavable brown rice bowl, which actually turned out really good), along with my favorite brand of vegetable spring rolls.  

Ingredients

1-2 Tbs vegetable oil
3 heads of baby bok choy, cut into thick pieces
2 packages shiitake mushrooms (about 3oz each), sliced with stems removed
2 celery stalks, sliced diagonally
1/2 onion cut into thin slices
2 cloves garlic, thinly diced
2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fresh red pepper flakes (feel free to adjust; I like things pretty spicy)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Servings: 4 - 6

Rice: O Organics Organic Rice Bowl Brown - 7.4 oz
 
I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do. The way the garlic, onion, ginger and red pepper flakes mingle together really gives this recipe a nice flavor that I keep coming back to, and I hope you will too. Here's to a healthy and happy new year!


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