Stir-Frying Vegetables Like a Rock Star
Are you feeling pressed for time? Is it difficult to find a meal option with ingredients and extra vegetables that the whole family can agree on?
Stir-frying vegetables is a great cooking method for balanced nutrition and feeding the whole family. It’s flexible and can allow you to work within your preferences (no matter how specified throughout the group of people you’re cooking for) – pairing your favorite combination of protein, veggies, toppings and sauce in the stir-fry and serving over your choice of whole grain. Mix and match for variety, and don’t be afraid to throw in a few ingredients that you just happen to have on hand.
Benefits of Stir-Frying Vegetables
Stir-frying vegetables is a wonderful way to increase vegetable intake. Different colors of vegetables offer different nutrients. If you are looking for a convenient way to easily increase the veggies included in your wok, the vegetable stir fry recipe possibilities are endless. Boost a little creativity in the kitchen – throw in celery, asparagus, bean sprouts, zucchini, cauliflower, onions, tomatoes or peppers. Or use any leftover vegetables that you have in the fridge. By incorporating leftovers, you can help reduce food waste; per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), over one-third of available food is uneaten each year, through loss or waste.
Sauces and flavoring have a big impact on stir-fry meals and can help make or break the taste. Herb pastes can be a fun way to amp up the flavor without increasing sodium content. You can find many varieties of herb pastes in the refrigerated section of the produce department, including ginger, basil and garlic pastes. They offer more antioxidant properties than what you may find in dried varieties, and have a longer fridge life (and a lot less prep involved) than fresh. The recipe below calls for a lemongrass paste. What’s even better about this? Buy it for the first time you make it, and keep it on hand in the fridge to add in the next time you need a quick, one-pan, go-to dinner option.
Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe Idea
See below for a Beef and Asparagus Stir-Fry recipe that will set you up to “stir-fry like a rock star” in under 30 minutes. Or use this as inspiration and make up your own new favorite. With a simple equation of protein + veggie mix + sauce/flavor add-in and served on top of a whole grain, it’s likely this will be your next big hit.
All you need:
12 oz. Hy-Vee True boneless beef sirloin steaks
1 (1-lbs.) container Hy-Vee Short Cuts garlic asparagus
2 tbsp Hy-Vee cornstarch
1 tbsp Hy-Vee brown sugar, packed
1 (1-lbs.) container Hy-Vee Short Cuts riced cauliflower
¼ cup water
1 tsp orange zest
1 cup Hy-Vee Short Cuts chopped tricolor peppers
All you do:
- Cut beef into thin strips and asparagus into 2-inch pieces; set aside.
- Combine cornstarch, soy sauce, brown sugar and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Stir in beef broth; set aside.
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add riced cauliflower and season with salt. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Stir in water. Cover and cook over low heat 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; stir in orange zest. Transfer to a serving bowl; cover and keep warm. Wipe out skillet.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat in same skillet. Add half of the beef; stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer beef to a bowl; repeat with remaining beef and 1 teaspoon oil.
- Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus. Stir-fry 3 minutes. Add peppers and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes more or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Push vegetables to edge of skillet. Stir in broth mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook 1 minute more. Stir in beef and heat mixture through. Serve over cauliflower. If desired, transfer leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Dietitian Tip: We used coconut aminos in place of soy sauce for another gluten-free substitution!
Are you a stir-fry lover and looking for more recipes like this? Try out Healthy Habits, our Hy-Vee Dietitian Meal Planning Program. Click here to learn more about how our Hy-Vee dietitian team can help you with your goals, meal planning, and feeling more confident in the kitchen!
*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.