A lot of evenings I find myself home alone as the Boss is off on his crazy work adventures that take him around the word. Sure this gets a little lonely, but what’s even worse is dinner time! What does a person cook for themselves? What does a person cook for “Dinner for one”? Often times we find the simplest thing to do is to pick up take-out or fast food. Surely I am guilty of my “Take out Tuesday’s” after my late night Accounting Class, or floppin’ over the steering wheel to grab a “nutritious” Chipotle Veggie burrito after I’ve had my a$$ handed to me in a workout. But a lot of nights I really like to cook something up that is both healthy AND multipurpose. For this I always fall back on Stir Fry!
I start off by marinating my meat of choice (honestly it usually comes down to what is left over from a BBQ in the freezer. This could be anything including Chicken, Pork, Beef, or you can simply have an all veggie meal. Be sure to cut thin strips and to cut ACROSS the grain. Sit the meat down in a small bowl of low sodium soy sauce, salt and pepper, and if you are a garlic person go ahead and add a dash of garlic (freshly minced is best, but powdered works too!)
Let all of that meat sit in it’s soy bath until you are finished prepping your veggies of choice.
Here I have sugar snap peas, onions, whole mushrooms (canned), large carrot, sliced water chestnuts, sliced bamboo shoots, celery, and large yellow onion. Other than the sugar snap peas, I had everything else just sitting in the fridge and cupboards. Ideally I would have liked to have bean sprouts, but there were none available at my local store, and sugar snap peas offer a really nice substitute.
Once you have everything chopped up and ready for action, call in the meat and get that going first.
Do not just throw all of the meat into the pan at the same time. You want to sear the meat on both sides so that it browns a little and in doing so seals in a lot of the moisture from the meat. You can control the pieces of meat and temperature much easier this way, whereas if you just poured the entire bowl of meat and soy marinade into the pan you dramatically change the temp or the pan so no searing happens and the meat in turn kinda starts to just boil in the pan.
Once you have satisfactorily cooked your first round of meat, pop it out and put it in a dinner bowl. Continue to do this until you have gone through all of you meat. If there is any browned on food or marinade on the pan, don’t worry about cleaning it out, just pop your onions in the pan and they will give off just enough moisture to un-stick the cooked on flavors and add to the flavor development and depth.
Brown up you onions alone first, and then add the veggies that you have selected by order of hardiness. I like to save the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts until the end and add other ingredients like the carrots and peas first. This should all happen relatively fast anyways so do not fret too much about the order.
Mmmm once you have that all cooked and mixed up, I add the meat back on top. I do not re-mix the meat with the veggies at this point. I like the flavors of the meat running down over the rest of the veggies as well as the flavors of the veggies steaming up into the meat. From here I take a little bit of soy sauce, water, and corn starch and mix it up before adding it to the stri fry to allow for a bit of a thicker sauce to develop. At this time I also add a few table spoons of my favorite teriyaki sauce or oyster sauce to the mix. Pop a large pan cover over the works and let it simmer for a few minutes.
At this point you should be checking on your rice, and hopefully taking the top off it so you can fluff the rice and set aside.
Once you can see that the sauce on the bottom of the pan has started to boil and thicken you can remove the cover, give another stir and get ready to serve.
Put the leftovers in a bowl and enjoy lunch tomorrow!
Thanks for stopping by!
1/2 lbs meat of choice (here I used flank steak)
Sugar Snap peas
Low sodium Soy Sauce
*** The beauty with stir fry is that if really doesn’t matter what I have listed above, you can choose how much or how little of each ingredient you want and you can always season to taste.
Go ahead, be daring, make stir fry tonight!!