Tag Archives: Stir fry

13 March 2018: Mall-Style Vegetable Stir Fry

2018-Mar-13_Fournightsaweek_1837When we were both working full-time, Adrien and I would plan a stir-fry meal which used one of those bottled Asian-style sauces as a starting point. Now that was certainly quick and tasty, but I’m not exactly sure how many ingredients in the bottled product would be considered “healthy”. So, when I spotted this recipe in the New York Times Food section, I was intrigued: could a stir-fry sauce be created to satisfy the need for a pick-up home-cooked meal and still be without some of those preservatives and flavor enhancers that end up in prepared foods. I think my answer is a resounding YES! But you don’t have to take my word for it. Try this one for yourself.

Mall-Style Vegetable Stir-Fry

Adapted from Jenne Claiborne By Kim Severson as found in the New York Times Cooking

Ingredients – For the Sauce

  • 1 tsp neutral oil (suggestion was to use grapeseed; I used coconut oil)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 TBSP rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 6 Medjool or other dried dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 TBSP arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Ingredients – For the Stir Fry

  • 1 TBSP grapeseed or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (or 2 shallots, thinly sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped or julienned
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets and pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (a 15 oz. can drained and rinsed will do it)
  • Freshly cooked rice
  • 1 TBSP sesame seeds (I used toasted)
  • 1-2 fresh limes quartered
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro


  1. Make the sauce: in a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring just until garlic starts to turn golden (about 1 minute). Stir in soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and dates. Let simmer 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk arrowroot or cornstarch with 1/3 cup water until smooth. Slowly stir the mixture into the simmering sauce. When the sauce begins to thicken (quick!), remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. When the sauce is cool enough to handle, transfer sauce to a blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Make the stir fry: In a wok or skillet with a lid, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add onions. Stir-fry for about 1 minute until softened. Add red pepper and carrots, cover and cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in broccoli, chickpeas, and sauce, and cook, covered stirring occasionally, until vegetables are cooked to your liking (about 10 minutes).
  5. Serve over the cook rice, garnish with sesame seeds, fresh cilantro and lime wedges.

23 March 2017 Spinach, Tofu & Sesame Stir-Fry

2017-Mar-23_FourNightsA-Week_0522Recipe created by Martha Rose Shulman.

The New York Times Food and Cooking sections are a great resource for home cooks whether adventurous or not.  As a subscriber, I receive a couple of weekly newsletters from the Times and this one caught my eye for its simplicity.

This recipe, Spinach, Tofu and Sesame Stir-Fry, comes from Martha Rose Shulman, one of the Times regular contributors, popped up recently and turned out to be quite quick (15 minutes!) to prepare. (And a bonus for subscribers, the recipes can be stored online in a personal recipe box).

Ms. Shulman makes a couple of serving suggestions – one of which is to use the stir-fry as a pita filling. Next time, I’ll try that!


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (I substituted coconut oil)
  • ½ pound tofu, cut in small dice (firm!)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  •  Soy sauce to taste
  • 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach, rinsed (use fresh, readily available)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet or wok, and add the tofu. Stir-fry until the tofu is lightly colored, three to five minutes, and add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about one minute, and add soy sauce to taste. Add the spinach and stir-fry until the spinach wilts, about one minute. Stir in the sesame seeds, and add more soy sauce to taste. Remove from the heat.
  2. Using tongs, transfer the spinach and tofu mixture to a serving bowl, leaving the liquid behind in the pan or wok. Drizzle with the sesame oil, and add more soy sauce as desired. Serve with rice or other grains, or noodles.  You may also use it as a filling for whole wheat pita bread.

25 Jul 2011 Rice Noodle Bowl with Broccoli & Bell Peppers

Adapted from: Gadia, M. “Table for One“. Vegetarian Times (Vol. 36, No. 7). July/August 2010. P. 31.

Rice noodle bowl

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

My Comment: This recipe was originally part of an article about cooking for one; sometimes I think cooking for just two is equally challenging.  It was easy to double – being a teacher I know my times tables :-)! It seems like it would be quite easy to vary the vegetables according to what is in season. This one looks like a keeper to me.


1-1/2 oz. dried rice noodles broken into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar (or other healthy sweetner like agave)
1 tsp chile sauce (or to taste)
2 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic minced (if the chile sauce already includes garlic, skip this)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup broccoli
1 TBSP chopped roasted peanuts (optional)


1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add broken noodles. Remove from heat and let stand 5 to 7 minutes or until noodles are rehydrated. Drain and discard water.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar or sweetener, chile sauce and 1/4 cup water in small bowl. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and stir fry 1 minute. Add bell pepper and broccoli and cook 1 minute more. Add soy sauce mixture , bring to a boil and cook 1 minute more or until bell pepper and broccoli are tender. Stir in noodles. Serve sprinkled with roasted peanuts, if using.

Servings = 1. Nutrition information: 311 calories, 10 G fat, 55 G carbs, 3 G fiber.

07 May 2011 Sugar Snap and Snow Pea Stir-fry

Adapted from d’Andrea, Aurealia. 28 day eat green challenge: Veg boot camp. Vegetarian Times, Issue 385, Vol. 37, No. 5. (June 2011). p 77.

My Comment: Sometimes I’m not sure of what I’m doing in meal planning — so when I hear of an already mapped out meal plan, my ears really perk up.  Vegetarian Times has started just such a program and, should you be interested in finding out more you can find information on the vegetariantimes.com website.

This recipe was published in the June 2011 launch of the 28-day challenge.  It caught my eye because the protein is coming from cashews – yummy! This made plenty of stir-fry; I served rice with Adrien’s portion — but ate mine au naturel.

Sugar Snap and Snow Pea Stir Fry

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson Photography.


1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
1 TBSP toasted sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp chile-garlic sauce (go ahead and add what you like – I used a tablespoon)
1 TBSP vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 medium red onion, halved, cut into wedges and pulled apart (about 1-1/2 cup)
1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 cup raw unsalted cashews
1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
8 oz. sugar snap peas
8 oz. snow pea pods
8 green onions cut into 1 inch pieces


1. Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, chile-garlic sauce and 1/2 cup water in small bowl and set aside.

2. Heat vegetable oil in wok over high heat (remember to heat wok first, then add the oil). Add onion, bell pepper, cashews and ginger, and stir fry for 2-3 minutes or until onion and cashews begin to brown.

3. Add snap peas and stir fry another minute.

4. Add snow peas and green onions and stir fry 2 to 3 minutes more.

5. Add soy sauce mixture and cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until sauce has thickened and vegetables are coated with sauce.

Serves 4.  Nutrition: 324 calories, 10 G protein, 20 G fat, 30 G. carb, 6 G fiber.

11 Mar 2011 Weeknight Stirfry from Whole Foods

Adapted from Whole foods market. The whole deal. (March/April 2011). Austin, TX: Whole Foods Market, IP, LP. p 20.

My Comment: Could it be…. Seitan? Why yes it is.  The 5 basic recipes in this month’s Whole Deal from Whole

Italian Skillet Dinner

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

Foods Market caught my eye because once the basic method is mastered, it’s just a matter of changing up the seasonings to create all sorts of quick meals. While Whole Foods used ground beef as the base, I am using Seitan, a wheat protein. Feel free to substitute your favorite vegetarian protein product — soy crumbles would also work well.


Protein:        1 package of Seitan (wheat soy protein)
Seasonings: 1 TBSP Italian seasoning (or make up your own!) AND 8 thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
Veggies:        1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen, already seasoned with Italian seasoning)AND 1 bunch thinly sliced lacinto kale (remove the tough stems and wash thoroughly) AND 2 tsp chopped garlic


1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Spray the pan with olive oil spray – you may need to add some olive oil when using Seitan or other meat substitutes as the protein will stick to the pan.

2. Add the seasonings to the pan along with the protein you are using. Brown until cooked through (about 10 minutes). The mixture should be fairly dry.

3. Stir in veggies and cook until just tender and heated through. I needed to cover the kale to get it to cook down.

4. Serve by itself or over some cooked pasta.

Serves 4. Weight Watcher points = 3.

13 Jan 2011 Stir-fried Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu & Bok Choy

Adapted from Ashton, A. “A cook’s guide to mushrooms“. Vegetarian Times. February, 2010: Issue 374, Vol. 36 #3. p. 60.

My comment: Stir fries are a great, quick meal.  While this one uses a chile sauce (Sriracha), my family likes things very hot — so using a technique borrowed from Szechwan cooking (stir frying whole dried red chile peppers in the oil as it heats) makes the heat-factor just about right.  Be sure to prep all of the ingredient ahead of time – and also remember to heat the wok before adding oil.

Stirfry 13 Jan 11

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson


1 tsp cornstarch
2 TBSP low sodium soy sauce (prefer Tamari soy)
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp Thai chile sauce (Sriracha)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Sesame oil
3 Tbsp canola oil (divided)
1 14-oz. package of extra firm tofu, drained and cut into to cubes
1 lb bok choy, cut into 1 1/2 in pieces (I used baby bok choy)
2 cups sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms


If you are making rice, start the rice about 20 minutes before the stir fry.

1. Whisk together cornstarch and 1 tsp of water in small prep bowl. Whisk in the soy sauce, ginger, chile sauce, garlic and sesame oil. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in wok over medium high heat. Stir fry tofu for 7 minutes or until golden brown; remove tofu from wok.

3. Add a second Tbsp of oil to the wok and stir fry bok choy for about 4 minutes. Remove from wok.

4. Add final Tbsp of oil to the wok. Stir fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes or until tender. Return tofu and bok choy to the wok for reheating. Now stir in the soy sauce mixture and continue to stir fry for about a minute or until everything is hot.

Serve over rice or on its own. Makes 4 servings.

Weight Watchers Points = 7 points

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