Oh hey Thursday, what’s up? How are all those wonderful plans to totally have enough time to cook dinner going? Yeah me too. It seems to be about this time of week that everything starts to unravel: healthy eating plans, leaving work on time plans and getting enough sleep plans.
Fortunately we have a secret weapon: 15-minute ginger stir fry. Okay, it’s 55-minute ginger stir fry if you live with a photographer and have a food blog, but we’re assuming that most of you don’t spend 20 minutes taking photos while your food gets cold. If you do, I feel your pain. This is worth it (and you can totally sneak some food while your photographer isn’t looking).
Pro tip: if you make stir-fry for Meatless Monday and chop extra veggies, you basically have insta-dinner on another night when you don’t have time to actually prep everything and just want to throw it all in the pan. You’re welcome.
If you’re not quite feeling adventurous enough for tofu you can use chicken instead. We eat tofu pretty regularly and it feels normal (hey, we are normal, dammit!) to just throw together a vegetarian stir fry. If you’re unsure about this whole vegetarian thing, try using both chicken and tofu together so you still get the meat taste but get to try something new as well.
Related: Simple Vegetarian Fried Rice
Simple Tips for a Great Stir Fry:
Prep everything before you start cooking: once the pan heats up, it really doesn’t take long for everything to cook. You’ll feel a lot less frantic if you have everything ready to go.
Cut everything about the same size: larger pieces will take longer to cook while smaller pieces will burn, so try to stay reasonably consistent when preparing veggies.
Use medium-high heat (and the right oil): higher heat will cook the vegetables and tofu quickly, searing the outside and keeping the colours bright. Make sure you use an oil that won’t smoke at high temperatures – coconut oil is a great choice. And keep stirring things around so they don’t burn!
Add vegetables in the right order: tougher vegetables like carrots, beets and sweet potatoes will take longer to cook, so add them first. Softer vegetables like peppers should be added shortly after, and leafy greens like kale and bok choy should go in near the end.
Related: Clean Fridge Roasted Veggies
Add sauce last: the high heat that sears vegetables will also burn up the sauce really quickly, unless you use a lot of oil. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sauce right before you serve.
- 1 package medium firm or firm tofu
- 2 carrots
- ½ zucchini
- ½ sweet potato
- 1 pepper (or half each of two colours)
- 3-4 heads baby bok choy
- 6-8 leaves kale
- ½ inch fresh ginger
- 1-2 Tablespoons oil
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce (or to taste)
- ⅓ package rice noodles (medium)
- Fill a medium pot half full with water, cover and let it boil while you prepare everything else.
- Drain and cut the tofu into cubes. Chop the carrots, zucchini and sweet potato into about ½ inch pieces. Core and slice the pepper, and roughly chop the bok choy and kale (remove the tough stems from the kale). Grate or finely chop the ginger. Set everything aside.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan or wok to medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil (make sure it can withstand high heat) along with the tofu, carrots and sweet potatoes. Stir every minute or so until they start to brown (about 3-4 minutes).
- Once the water boils, add the rice noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes (or follow the directions on the package). Don't let the rice noodles sit in the water once they're cooked or they will get too soggy and break.
- Add the zucchini and ginger to the frying pan, and keep stirring every minute or so. Wait a few minutes, then add the bok choy and kale. If anything starts sticking, add a little more oil.
- When the kale and bok choy look wilted but still bright, remove the pan from the heat and add the soy sauce and rice noodles.
- Mix together well then use a spaghetti spoon to serve onto plates. Top with sesame seeds.