There are a lot of reasons why you should love stir-fry but since you don’t have enough time, here are the reasons why they are well loved. First, they’re very healthy since they contain more vegetables with minimal amounts of saturated fat. Second, they’re quick to make and they can be ready in 30 minutes which is about the same time your order is processed in a take-out joint. Third, there is little room of messing up your stir-fry regardless of whether you’re familiar with the difference between a wok and a skillet or not. As a matter of fact, you can make your own stir-fry that is healthy and delicious on your table by following these basic principles: select, sizzle, and season.

Select: You should pick the veggies first. Go for vegetables that are firm and colourful especially those with bright hues since they are guaranteed to contain phytochemicals. Shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, cauliflower, bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli are all great choices even those that are frozen. Choose two types of vegetables and cut them into 1 inch pieces so they will be cooked evenly. Look for a source of protein. Each person only needs 3 ounce of protein. Legumes or tofu are recommended for vegetarians since each person only needs ½ cup of it to get their RDA of protein. Toasted nuts are also recommended as each person only needs 2 tablespoons or an ounce of it.

Sizzle: Use canola, toasted sesame, or peanut oil to sizzle the ingredients for about 2 to 3 minutes since they are able to sustain intense heat and are low in saturated fat. The best way to retain the crispness of your ingredients is to use a large skillet that is non-stick or go for a hot wok. You shouldn’t cook more than a pound of your ingredients and see to it that you keep them moving, hence stir-fry.

Season: Add flavour to your stir-fry by using condiments, pungent sauces, and ingredients that are full of flavour like chilli paste, oyster sauce, fresh ginger, soy sauce, or garlic. These boosters can help put your stir-fry together the same way vinaigrette works. However, be careful of salt. Opt for condiments that have low sodium or prepare thin sauces like oyster and hoisin with juice, water, or broth.

Stir-Fry Recipes to Try

  1. Garlic Shrimp with Spinach and Shiitake

The super food spinach, that contains zeaxanthin and lutein, can help prevent cataracts as well as macular degeneration. Other nutrients that are found in spinach that provide plenty of benefits are B vitamins (particularly folate) that help in promoting a healthy heart and vitamin K which is needed not only for your bones’ health but also for blood clotting. An added bonus is the shrimp which is a good source of vitamin D which is essential providing protection against cancer and helps your bones stay healthy.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar or 2 tablespoons of sherry
  • 2 ½ teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • ½ lb of fresh shiitake mushroom caps that are sliced ¼” thick
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 9 ounces of baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoon of soy sauce with reduced sodium
  • 1 teaspoon of packed brown sugar
  • 1 lb of med shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

Method:

  • Whisk together sherry, sugar, and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet (non-stick) or wok over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry them for 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and shrimp and stir-fry for about a minute. Add the soy mixture and spinach and keep stir-frying until all the spinach leaves have wilted for 1 minute.
  • NUTRITION: (per serving) 27 g protein, 4 g fiber, 1 g sat fat, 540 mg sodium, 203 cal, 13 g carb, 5 g fat, 127 mg chol

 

  1. Edamame with Asparagus, Egg, and Scallions

 

Adding whole soy foods like soy nuts, tofu, or even edamame (whole soy beans) to your daily diet is a good way to lower the amounts of saturated fat and increase your fiber intake which are two ways to help reduce your risk of getting diabetes. Based on a study done by Birmingham’s University of Alabama, soy protein can help stop the accumulation of fats in the belly for women who are in their postmenopausal stage since too much fat around the midsection can increase the risk of heart problems as well as other diseases. As added bonuses to this recipe, cilantro, garlic, and ginger are all good for the heart.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ½ teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed, cut them into 1” pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ½ tablespoon of reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ c frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • ¼ c fresh cilantro, chopped

Method:

  • Whisk together the egg, pepper, and egg whites in a small bowl. Set it aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet (non-stick) or wok. Stir-fry scallions, garlic, asparagus, edamame, and ginger for 6 minutes.
  • Add the soy sauce and egg mixture. Stir-fry for 30 seconds or until the egg is cooked. Toss in the cilantro.
  • NUTRITION: (per serving) 13 g protein, 6 g fiber, 1 g sat fat, 388 mg sodium, 159 cal, 11 g carb, 7 g fat, 53 mg chol

 

  1. Gingered Beef with Broccolini and Walnuts

 

Based on a study that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a walnut rich diet is far more effective compared to the Mediterranean Diet in terms of reducing LDL or “bad” cholesterol as well as lipoprotein which is a type of compound that can cause stroke due to clotting. The broccolini, which is a hybrid of Chinese kale and broccoli, gives more health benefits to this recipe as one serving can provide you with 130% daily value of vitamin C.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli paste with garlic
  • 2 ½ teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • ¾ lb lean flank steak, cut them into thin strips
  • 1/3 c walnut pieces, toasted and chopped coarsely
  • 2 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ c + 1 tablespoon of water, divided
  • 1 ½ lb Broccolini, trimmed, cut them to bite sized pieces
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed, cut into 1” pieces

Method:

  • Whisk together ginger, chilli paste, 2 tablespoons of water, oyster sauce, and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  • In a large skillet that is non-stick or wok, heat oil over high heat. Add Broccolini and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of water and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add scallions, oyster sauce mixture, and steak and stir-fry for about a minute or until the beef is cooked through or rosy. Stir in the walnuts and serve.
  • NUTRITION: (per serving) 27 g protein, 3 g fiber, 3 g sat fat, 300 mg sodium, 298 cal, 16 g carb, 14.5 g fat, 28 mg chol

 

  1. Sweet and Tangy Wild Salmon with Onion and Tomatoes

Salmon is known to contain omega-3 fatty acid DHA which is an essential part of neurons. Based on a study that was published in the Archives of Neurology, those with low DHA can lead to low IQ, learning disabilities, as well as poor memory while those with higher amounts of this particular DHA are 47% less likely to develop dementia. Go for the wild salmon instead of farmed ones since the farmed salmon don’t usually receive the needed marine diet to be able to produce omega-3 fatty acids. As an added health benefit, you’re getting more lycopene when you cook your tomatoes.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium red onion, halved then sliced thinly
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cored then chopped
  • 2 tablespoon of reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 c or 8 oz of mung bean sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 ½ teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon of chilli paste with garlic
  • 3 tablespoon of packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 lb wild salmon, skinless, boneless, and cut into bite size cubes
  • ¼ c fresh cilantro, chopped

Method:

  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok over high heat. Add chilli paste and onion. Stir-fry the onions until they’re brown or around 2 minutes. Stir in sugar, vinegar, tomatoes, and soy sauce. Cook the ingredients for 3 minutes while occasionally stirring.
  • Add salmon, ginger, and sprouts. Cook while stirring often but do it gently to avoid breaking the salmon. Do this for 3 minutes or until the salmon becomes pink in the middle. Sprinkle the dish with cilantro.
  • NUTRITION: (per serving) 26 g protein, 3 g fiber, 1.5 g sat fat, 336 mg sodium, 279 cal, 21 g carb, 10.5 g fat, 63 mg chol

 

  1. Sesame Tofu with Corn and Bok Choy

 

Bok choy’s glucosinolates appears to be this vegetable’s strongest weapon against cancer. Studies on bok choy show that when it is chewed or cut, the glucosinolates are transformed into compounds that are proven to inhibit or even prevent the formation of tumor. If bok choy isn’t available, you can opt for cauliflower, kale, broccoli, or cabbage as they have the same health benefits. As an added health benefit, the sesame seeds in this recipe can help reduce the swelling and pain due to rheumatoid arthritis because of the copper mineral which is a known anti-inflammatory.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (16 oz) firm tofu, drained, and cut into cubes (to drain tofu, simply place in between two plates that are lined with paper towel. Let the paper towel absorb excess liquid for about 30 minutes.
  • 1 ½ lb of baby bok choy, cut them into 1” pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • 4 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 can or 15 oz of baby corn, rinsed and then drained

Method:

  • In a medium sized bowl, add the sesame seeds and roll the tofu gently to coat them. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in medium sized non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook while turning occasionally for 10 minutes or until all sides turn golden brown.
  • In a large skillet or wok, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil. Add ginger, garlic, and bok choy and stir-fry them for about 4 minutes. Add the baby corn and stir-fry again for 2 minutes. Toss in the tofu and heat them through.
  • NUTRITION: (per serving) 17 g protein, 3 g fiber, 2 g sat fat, 368 mg sodium, 241 cal, 11 g carb, 14.5 g fat, 0 mg chol

 

 

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