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5 Minute Stir Fry

September 7, 2016

 

A 5 minute stir fry is a dream when you're short on time!  Five minutes doesn't include the prep time, but it just takes a few minutes to prep up some vegetables, especially if you have done your 1 hour weekly prep.  It's a wonderful clean-out the fridge type of meal.

Here's what I wanted in a stir fry

  • Something fast.  Check.  This stir fry is done in five minutes! 

  • Something versatile.  Check.  You can use a variety of different vegetables and meats.  You will use a total of five cups of stuff.  This can be any combination you enjoy.

  • One method that can be varied for different flavors.  Check.  You can vary the sauce many different ways to create variety and flavors that suit you.  I have listed 3 sauces below.  In addition, you can leave out the Zen and soy sauce and season to taste after stir fry is complete with Nurture, Hope, Lift, Care, Elevate, Vida Seasoning, or anything else you would like. 

  • Bone Broth as the base of the sauce.  Check.  You can use water, or plain, unsalted vegetable broth, but bone broth is infinitely more satisfying, and nutritious!  It's good for healing your gut and therefore boosting your immune system.  The recipe calls for plain, unsalted bone broth. This is not something you can go out and buy.  It's something you need to make at home.  It's a wonderfully nutritious food and will take very little hands on time to make.  Homemade bone broth is one of the best investments of your money and time.  You get a big bang for your buck!  Your homemade broth will be much different than the watery, salty brine that comes from a can, or carton and certainly unlike the powdered and processed bone broths that are on the market today.  This is the healing food that generations and traditional cultures have relied upon as the staple of their meals.  

  • Slightly thickened, but NOT with corn starch.  Check. 

  • Not overly saucy and soggy.  Check.  

  • No wok required.  Check.  You can use a large cast iron pan that is versatile and can be used for cooking other dishes, besides just stir fry.  Stainless steel pans and other types of pans will not keep the temperature hot enough, to produce a quick stir fry, keeping the vegetables crisp.  See my post on cast iron pans here and here, including how to find a great deal on cast iron.  

  • Vegetarian option.  Check.  If you are going this route, consider adding some type of legume in the stir fry, or as a side dish, as well as serving with some type of whole grain for a more complete protein source.

Three Things That Will Make This Stir Fry Fast

 

#1  Fast Cooking Vegetables

I love all kinds of vegetables!  Carrots, broccoli and cauliflower are great, but for this quick stir fry, we will focus on quicker cooking vegetables, listed in recipe.

 

#2  Pre- Roasted Protein and Bone Broth

This recipe uses diced pre-roasted chicken or beef, and plain bone broth that you have made from either the chicken carcass, or beef bones.  A whole chicken, or bone-in beef roast is part of my weekly 1 hour weekly food prep routine.  If you have done your 1 hour weekly food prep, here's a big thumbs up!  Way to go!  If not, don't worry, you can use water, and all vegetables.   Pre-roasted meat makes meal prep so much faster and the bone broth it produces is infinitely more satisfying, nutritious and healing than any broth you can buy.  It's cheaper and tastes better too! 

 

#3  Pre-cooked whole grain

Brown rice, quinoa, and millet, are all great options.  If you have done your 1 hour weekly prep you've got this covered.  You can quickly re-heat your grains in a pan with 2 Tbsp. water added per cup of grain.  Crank the heat up to high to get it hot, then turn it down to low to continue heating.  This just takes a few minutes, stirring occasionally, but not too much, or it will get mushy.  

 Five Minute Stir Fry

This serves 4 people

 

4 cups of a combination of vegetables/meats:  all divided into appropriate cooking times, see below.  I put out two plates, and as I measure out ingredients, I either put it on the 5 minute cooking plate, or 30 second cooking plate.      

 

  • 5 Minute Cooking Vegetables:  Thin asparagus, bell pepper, summer squash, mushrooms, onion, eggplant, okra, sugar snap peas, jalapeno, hot chilies, garlic and ginger, frozen vegetables that have been rinsed and patted dry. 

 

  • 30 Second Cooking Vegetables:  All leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, bok choy, cabbage, chard, spinach, watercress, mustard greens, lettuce, and herbs, as well as tomatoes, snow/Chinese peas and bean sprouts.  If you do want to add carrots, add some carrot ribbons, or shredded carrots at this time.  You can also use diced left-over baked potato, or sweet potato.  They dice up nicely when they are cold.

 

  • 1 cup other 30 Second Cooking Items:  Pre-Roasted Meat, Nuts, Cooked Legumes, cooked Pineapple, if desired.  I usually do 1 cup meat, but you could do 1 cup additional vegetables, or legumes for a vegetarian option.  If you add nuts, keep it to about 1/3 cup.  If you are adding meat and nuts, subtract the amount of nuts you will be adding from the 4 cups of vegetables.  You can really use any combination of vegetables/protein/nuts that you like for a total of 5 cups of "stuff." Just divide what you are using into appropriate cooking times listed above. 

 

Sauce:  see recipes below

 

Whole grain:  such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, sorghum, or 100% whole grain brown rice noodles. 

 

  1. Mix together sauce ingredients.  See recipes below.  

  2. Heat an extra large cast iron skillet, or two standard cast iron skillets to high for about one minute.  You will know it's hot enough when you flick water in the pan and it immediately sizzles and evaporates.

  3. Set timer for 5 minutes and immediately add 5 minute cooking vegetables to pan. Spread vegetables around so they are in a single layer covering the bottom of the pan. Vegetables should not be crowded, or they will just steam and get soggy.  It's better to use a too big pan, or two pans than one that is too small. 

  4. Even though we call it a stir fry, for the best results, one should attempt to flip the vegetables instead of stirring, every 30 seconds - 2 minutes.  This depends on how hot your stove cooks.  If it doesn't cook very hot, flip every 1-2 minutes.  If it cooks very hot, flip every 30 seconds. When vegetables get a little sear mark where they are touching the pan, it's time to flip.  

  5. Mix sauce again, right before adding to stir fry.

  6. With 2 minutes left to go, pour sauce slowly around the edge of the pan.  It should bubble up immediately as you are adding it.  The pan is hottest around the edges and that's the best place to pour in the sauce.  If you pour the whole sauce mixture in the center at once, it will drop the temperature too fast.  This will necessitate cooking longer, increasing the likelihood of soggy vegetables.  

  7.  With 30 seconds left to go, add any of the following that you are using:  30 second cooking vegetables, pre-roasted meat, nuts, cooked legumes, cooked pineapple.

  8. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

  9. Serve over brown rice, millet, quinoa, or 100% whole grain brown rice noodles.  

Basic Stir Fry Sauce

This is a quick and simple sauce recipe.  

Please consider some of the flavor add-ins listed below to add a little extra pizzaz.

 

  • 3/4 cup plain, unsalted bone broth; plain, unsalted vegetable broth; or water (Cool broth, or water will combine more easily with flour.) 

  • 1 1/4 tsp. Zen Seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp. flour of your choice

  • 2-3 Tbsp. organic, good quality soy sauce, or alternative.  Use what you feel comfortable with.  Here are some options:  Bragg's Liquid Aminos, Nama Shoyu  Soy Sauce, coconut aminos, fish sauce, tamari etc.  Depending on what you choose to use, you may need to adjust it slightly as some options are more salty than others.  

  • 3/4 tsp. raw, organic apple cider vinegar

  • 3/4 tsp. pure, organic maple syrup

Mix together Zen Seasoning and flour.  Add broth, or water and mix well.  Add soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, any desired add-ins and mix well.  Mix again right before adding to stir fry.  

 

Lemon Stir Fry Sauce

  • 3/4 cup plain, unsalted bone broth; plain, unsalted vegetable broth; or water (Cool broth, or water will combine more easily with flour.) 

  • 2 1/2 tsp. Zen Seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp. flour of your choice

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. organic, good quality soy sauce, or alternative.  Use what you feel comfortable with.  Here are some options:  Bragg's Liquid Aminos, Nama Shoyu Soy Sauce, coconut aminos, fish sauce, tamari etc.  Depending on what you choose to use, you may need to adjust it slightly, as some options are more salty than others.  

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. pure, organic maple syrup

  • 1 1/2 tsp. organic, sesame oil

  • Flavor add-ins, optional

Mix together Zen Seasoning and flour.  Add broth, or water and mix well.  Add soy sauce, lemon juice, maple syrup, sesame oil, any desired add-ins and mix well.  Mix again right before adding to stir fry.    

 

Thai Fusion Stir Fry Sauce

  • 3/4 cup plain, unsalted bone broth, plain, unsalted vegetable broth, or water (Cool broth, or water will combine more easily with flour.) 

  • 2 1/2 tsp. Zen seasoning  

  • 1 Tbsp. flour of your choice

  • 2 Tbsp. organic, good quality soy sauce, or alternative.  Use what you feel comfortable with.  Here are some options:  Bragg's Liquid Aminos, Nama Shoyu Soy Sauce, coconut aminos, fish sauce, tamari etc.  Depending on what you choose to use, you may need to adjust it slightly, as some options are more salty than others.  

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice 

  • 3 Tbsp. pure, organic maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup organic peanut butter, or another nut butter

  • 1 tsp. organic sesame oil

  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. red chili flakes, optional

Mix together Zen Seasoning and flour.  Add broth, or water and mix well.  Add soy sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, peanut butter, sesame oil, any desired add-ins and mix well. Mix again right before adding to stir fry.    

 

Flavor Add-Ins

  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

  • 1/8-1/2 tsp. Red Chili Flakes, to taste 

  • Cayenne pepper, to taste

  • Chinese 5 spice, to taste  

  • Chili Paste, to taste  

  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger, or 1 inch minced

  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. powdered ginger

  • Herbs

  • Hot peppers, or chilies

  • Increase apple cider vinegar and maple syrup for a more sweet/sour flavor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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