I love stir fries especially when I want to use up what’s lurking in the bottom of the fridge. I think there are 6 elements in a good stir fry:
1. Aromatics: ginger, tamari sauce plus Chinese 5 spice powder or Szechuan pepper
2. Onions or spring onions
3. Vegetables: greens plus something else brightly coloured
4. Extra virgin coconut oil and/or chicken stock for the actual stir frying and cooking
5. Protein: e.g. chicken fillets, beef sirloin, tempeh, fermented tofu, prawns
6. Extra liquid: I like a glug of white wine/dry sherry and/or a chicken/veg stock/water
One of the keys is to have all ingredients totally prepped before you start to stir fry, that way the actual cooking can take as little as 10 minutes. Get your accompaniment (rice/cauliflower rice/noodles) ready and waiting in a warm place before you start stir frying.
Once you are used to making stir fries you’ll start adding your own twists, using additional veggies and making this your own.
1 heaped teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil
1 large onion (about 200g is nice)
2 large red peppers/2 medium carrots (or 1 pepper 1 carrot)
1 thumb of ginger (enough to make a heaped dsp or a bit more)
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 heaped tsp Chinese 5 spice powder – if you make your own it’s amazing https://www.annacollins.ie/chinese-five-spice-powder/
2 large handfuls greens: e.g. green cabbage/kale, pak choi, or 2 cups small broccoli florets
Tamari sauce – about 2 tbs
Optional – about 2 tbs white wine or dry sherry
50-100ml vegetable or chicken stock or boiling water (Kallo stock cubes or Vecon vegetable bouillon powder are good)
Protein: 250g chicken fillet/beef sirloin or 300g tempeh or fermented tofu
Optional: 1 slightly rounded tsp arrowroot powder/cornflour to thicken the sauce
2-3 cups cauliflower rice https://www.annacollins.ie/cauliflower-rice OR 100g basmati rice (dry weight)
1.Peel and cut onion in half lengthways then cut into wedges (like segments of an orange)
2.Slice red peppers 1cm thick/peel carrots and cut into thin matchsticks or slices.
3. Peel and chop the ginger finely. Set aside the onion, carrot/peppers and ginger – they will be added to the pan together.
4.Measure out 5 spice powder and set aside.
5.Shred greens/slice pak choi into 3cm lengths/break broccoli into small florets, chop garlic finely and set aside.
6. Prep your protein: trim chicken/beef of skin/fat, slice thinly across the grain (less than 1cm thick). If you are using tempeh/fermented tofu cut it in small bite sized cubes.
7. Measure out the tamari sauce with the sherry/wine if using and set aside.
8. Boil the kettle. If you have chicken stock/veg stock cube make up about 50-100ml, otherwise plain hot water will do.
9.Heat your frying pan or wok on a medium heat, add the coconut oil and when it’s melted add the onion, red peppers/carrots and ginger and the 5-spice powder. Stir fry till the onions are starting to get translucent and the carrots/peppers have softened a little. If it starts to “catch” add a splash of stock or water to the pan and stir will it’s all unstuck.
10.Add the garlic, shredded/sliced greens/broccoli florets, meat or tempeh the tamari sauce, sherry/wine, give it a stir to coat and cover the pan with a large place or a lid. You want everything to steam until the greens are softened enough to eat but not so cooked that they lose their fresh colour.
11.After a few minutes, stir and check that the meat is getting in contact with the heat and cooking through.
12. When the meat/tofu/tempeh is cooked through check the liquid levels.
13. If you like your sauce thickened, combine 1 tsp cornflour/arrowroot with a few tablespoons of cooled stock or water, mix to amalgamate. Pour on to the pan, stirring well until it’s all cooked (a couple of minutes), adding a splash or water of stock if you think its too thick. Once its thickened and no longer has a chalky taste, its cooked.
Cauliflower rice or rice
Why this is good for you:
Having a big diversity of vegetables, herbs and spices in your weekly eating fosters diversity of friendly bugs in your large intestine. This is important for ALL aspects of your health. Good bugs are critical for mood, getting autoimmune conditions into remission, regulating your weight your blood pressure and even blood sugar. Yes, even diabetes responds to a change in gut bacteria. In short, if want to get well, or continue to enjoy fantastic health, you need plenty of types of good bugs living happily in you.
Garlic and spices selectively reduce numbers of “bad” gut micro organisms and encourage growth of helpful ones. Avoiding polyunsaturated vegetables oils and switching to extra virgin coconut oil (or extra virgin olive oil) for cooking means reducing the toxic trans fats that sabotage the function of every cell in your body.
Quality protein needs to make up 1/4 of your every meal. You need enough protein to be resilient to stress, to power detoxification of normal (and environmental) toxins, and to support your immune system. GMO-free Tempeh or fermented tofu are the highest protein vegan food sources. By soya milk, soya “cheese”, and unfermented tofu are high in substances called lectins, which can cause damage and inflammation in our gut. Damage in your gut fuels ALL chronic health issues from acne and anxiey.
Green veg are a rich source of magnesium, Nature’s Tranquiliser – important for over 400 metabolic processes in YOU. Happy eating!