I love a good stir fry! But they sure can be involved to make from scratch. And take out from the local Chinese restaurant isn’t winning any awards for its healthful qualities, no matter how delicious.
Enter: my simple stir fry! From start to finish, this takes about 25 minutes to get on the table, and the whole family loves it. Plus, it’s healthy! That checks all my boxes!
Start with a big bag of frozen stir fry vegetables. I get mine from Costco, but most other grocery stores have frozen stir fry vegetable mixes too. I always keep one on hand. Now I don’t have to spend any time cleaning and chopping vegetables! And I don’t have to buy 6 different kinds of vegetables. These bags are much more cost effective!
I used tofu as my protein, and the recipe reflects a great way to prepare it. I like to use that because it’s already cooked and ready to go. Sometimes I just cut it up and throw it in the stir fry plain for an even faster meal. But you can use any protein you have that’s already cooked. It’s a great way to use leftover chicken, beef, or even beans like chickpeas or black beans.
I’ll let you in on another of my time-saving strategies – I buy minced garlic in a jar. That’s right. I find it cumbersome and a bit frustrating to chop garlic, and I dislike how sticky it becomes. Minced garlic is a fantastic time saver if you use a lot of garlic like me!
Another tip: Buy a fresh ginger root, clean it well, pop it in a zipper bag and toss in the freezer. If the skin on it is shriveled, you may want to remove it (use a spoon and scrape it off), but if it’s in good condition, you don’t need to bother. Then, when you need some fresh ginger, just use a microplane and grate it into your dish, still frozen. It grates much easier while frozen, and it will stay good for months in your freezer!
Note that even with low sodium soy sauce, the total sodium content of this meal is a little over what I’d normally recommend. To manage this, there are a few options you might want to consider: Be extra mindful of sodium intake the rest of the day, use less soy sauce that the recipe calls for, or cut your low sodium soy sauce with half water.
Do you have any time-saving tricks? I’d love to know!
Simple Stir Fry
Fast and healthy – the name of the game on weeknights!
Sesame Soy Baked Tofu (can be made up to a few days ahead)
- 1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 tsp Rice Vinegar
- 2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper, or to taste
- 1 block (14 oz) Extra Firm Tofu, drained, pressed, and sliced
- 1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp Grated Ginger
- 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 10-12 cups Frozen Stir Fry Vegetable Mix
- 1/4 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Sesame-Soy Baked Tofu (disregard if using another protein option)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make the Baked Tofu by adding the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
Arrange tofu slices in a 9×12 baking dish, and pour sauce over the slices. Flip slices once to coat.
Bake for 25 minutes, until edges of tofu begin to brown.
Remove from oven, and allow to cool enough to handle. Cut into cubes of desired size.
While tofu is baking, make the stir fry
Heat sesame oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
Add the grated ginger and garlic, and cook for a minute, stirring.
Add the vegetables and stir the pan. Put the lid on and allow to cook for a few minutes, until the vegetables begin to thaw.
Add soy sauce, stir, and replace lid. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are hot throughout.
Add tofu, or other desired protein, and stir to combine.
Serve hot with brown rice or another whole grain you like.