After a weekend of rather decadent eating I felt like something light, fresh and healthy for dinner. A stir-fry was just the thing.
Stir-fries are generally considered a quick and easy meal BUT the prep work of cleaning, maybe peeling, and cutting all the vegetables up can be time consuming. Limiting the selection to about 3 vegetables obviously saves time. One way to speed up the actual meal is to prepare the vegetables ahead of time – morning or the night before – and store in the fridge. Another way is to choose meat and vegetables which require less prep. Lean meat such as steak, pork tenderloin and boneless chicken can be quickly cut into bite size pieces. Some stores offer meat already prepared to go into a stir-fry – with or without a marinade. Veggies like snow peas and baby carrots can be used with no prep time – or you can buy them ready to go, eg. sliced mushrooms, and others like broccoli crowns and red peppers can be quickly cut with no peeling required. To chop a sweet pepper quickly, simply slice the sides off leaving the seeds and core in the middle to be easily disposed of.
I prefer to cut onions lengthwise (from root to stem) for a stir-fry creating wedges. To peel an onion quickly – cut off the root end then cut in half. The peel comes off each half very easily.
Some vegetables like broccoli and carrots take longer to cook. I prefer to blanch or steam these separately until barely tender crisp – the microwave makes quick work of this – then stir them in with the meat. Especially broccoli can be too hard or get “chewy” in a wok.
If you have older children, get them involved. If everyone prepares one item you will be done in no time.
The stir-fry in the picture was made with boneless chicken breast, onions, broccoli, red peppers, and zucchini.