Monday, September 17, 2012

my go-to dinner


The school year has officially started, and I officially do not have time for big, elaborate dinners. Three nights a week I am eating dinner after 7:30 and barely finding the energy to make my next day's lunch. J's schedule isn't much better. But we're making time for pizza on Friday nights, and I'm hoping to spend my Sundays making bread and soup...life is still good.

During the week though, I like fast, single-serving meals, using ingredients we always have on hand. For this dish, I always use things that we have already cooked (like rice or tofu), or things that are frozen (corn, vegetables), or stuff that we just always have (onion). The rest of it is shelf stable. That way, there is no planning involved.

I like that this is always a little different, and I never get sick of it. It tastes so good! And it is super easy. I use low-sodium soy sauce and put in as many veggies as possible to keep it healthy.

Trust your gut when it comes to proportion...you know your tastes best!

Simple Stir Fry

Take your pick(s) in each of the following categories. (My favorites are bold.)

Oils
[coconut, olive]
Aromatics
[onion, garlic, ginger root]
Vegetables
[broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, brussels sprouts, green beans, bell peppers, sugar snap peas]
Starches
[rice, corn, green peas, barley]
Protein
[egg, edamame, tofu, tempeh, cashews, quinoa, textured vegetable protein]
Garnishes
[sesame seeds, green onions]

Seasonings (all essential)
[soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic powder, powdered ginger, sriracha sauce]


1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium and add the aromatic vegetables. Sauté until they begin to turn translucent. Add in the vegetables, with the ones that need to cook the longest going in first. Pour in a little soy sauce and rice vinegar.
2. Sprinkle with garlic powder and ginger and mix in. If you're having an egg, crack it over the vegetables and scramble it in. Cook until vegetables are heated through and fork tender (and egg is cooked).
3. Stir in your starches and protein and leave heat on until entire dish is heated through. Stir in sriracha sauce and transfer to a dish. Top with garnishes of choice.


P.S. I'd love to hear your quick dinner ideas in the comments!!

12 comments:

  1. This is pretty common to my winter weeknight meals too. Particularly the frozen veggies aspect. I try to only use fresh produce in the summer, which are obviously delicious and awesome, but there is something stressful about needing to use them before they spoil and the timing therein. So I also like wonderfully convenient frozen veggies.

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  2. These are always the tastiest, most nourishing foods. I always find that when I've been away from home too long or eating too many meals out, I want to come home to this type of food. My favorite quick meal is soba noodles with miso-tahini dressing and whatever randoms are in the fridge: tofu. tempeh. veggies. grains.

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  3. this sounds so good - and healthy and full of protein. my favorite is just to put some string beans in the oven with garlic and olive oil - roast for about 20 to 30 minutes while i take care of other chores - then make my cinnamon salmon. 2 minutes in a pan, then 10 minutes in the oven in the same pan, while the strong beans cool down. quick, easy, healthy.

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  4. Love this and you've inspired me to buy cauliflower! I'm big on whole wheat angel hair pasta with veggies from the fridge -- usually spinach, tomatoes, baby bella mushrooms, and red onion. I never get sick of it.

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  5. Oh dear me, that looks delicious. I don't make nearly enough stir fries, given how easy and delicious they are. I've been on a major taco kick lately, which is a similar concept- just cook a bunch of veggies and protein, and put it in a corn tortilla. Easy and yum yum yum.

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    Replies
    1. Yess! J's brother and gf made us tacos when they visited, and I thought to myself, "Why don't we do this more often??"

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  6. What a great idea. I think we all have our easy go-to meals we never get sick of. I like how you can change the vegetables here baed on the seasons. I've never made TVP...what does it taste like?

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    1. Hmm...honestly, not like much. The texture is like ground beef, so if you season it up, it's a great filler for tacos, salad, pasta, etc. It's very processed, so I don't like to eat too much of it, but it is just SO easy to make, I can't resist having it around...all you have to do it pour boiling water on it!

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  7. That is so incredibly healthy! My go to easy dinner the last few nights has been cooked cherry tomatoes, garlic and arugula with baked chicken breast. It's so incredibly simple and tastes great

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  8. Yum! Love all your recipes. Love yous.

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  9. I always forget about making stir fries! I was struggling with what to make this week (also just not into something complicated right now), this is great. My go to easy meal is "turkey pasta", in fact just made it for my husband's lunch this week. Sautee garlic, cook ground turkey breast, can of crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil on spaghetti. Done.

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Thanks for making me smile. =)