I have always maintained a balanced diet and always been conscious of eating lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Fruit and vegetables are taken for granted and shockingly each year almost half of all fruit and vegetables produced are wasted. Why does this all go to waste when it is packed with high contents of goodness, nutrients and vitamins?
I always try to consume a large amount of green vegetables to keep my body happy and healthy. They are high in dietary fiber (helps to grab pollutants and other unnecessary things within the body and dispose of them before they are absorbed), rich in folic acid (vital for growth and development), many vitamins such as A, C, E and K, potassium and magnesium, as well as containing a host of phytochemicals and a hefty source of antioxidants. Wow… that was a mouthful. Also, green foods are very low in sugars and because they’re packed with fiber and water, they actually help to regulate your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
So… the idea of this blog post was to briefly inform you all of the wonders of the green world and to inspire you to create meals packed with goodness and what easier way than making a vegan stir-fry? I absolutely love stir-fry, it is ridiculously simple and you consume a variety of veggies without realising it! Great for meal prepping, as you can make a huge wok full of stir-fry and save a portion for your lunch the next day (this is what I do when I am only cooking for myself).
I haven’t experimented with making many stir-fry sauces yet… apart from the yummy sauce used in this recipe. I would always recommend making your own sauce as you can control the sugar levels and you will not add any silly unnecessary extras, homemade is always the safer and healthier option. But if you are in a rush, there are many stir-fry sauces out there in the supermarkets, but just be sure to check the nutritional information, as the sugar levels can be quite scary.
The sauce I created is super simple and involves minimal ingredients… my main focus was to include Ginger as I am a huge fan and of its benefits… helps with digestion, nausea, great cold and flu relief, pain reduction, inflammation and reduces cholesterol, lowers the risk of blood clotting, and helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. My other main ingredient was soy sauce, which is not as bad as it is made out to be, if you choose the lower sodium options and believe it or not soy sauce does have some benefits. After researching the internet I came across this useful bit of information… ‘In 2005, the “Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering” published a review of several studies conducted on soy sauce and found that it was very high in shoyuflavones, a natural antioxidant. Natural antioxidants protect your body from damage from free radicals, which your body makes naturally as it digests food. Free radicals can speed up the aging process, as well as potentially increasing your risk of developing heart disease or cancer. The author of the review concluded that the antioxidants in soy sauce helped reduce the effects of inflammation, as well as improved overall gastric acid production, thus helping with digestion. Additionally, the antimicrobial properties of soy sauce were found to be effective in protecting the body from certain bacteria.’
I always live by the rule of everything in small doses, do not always fear away from ingredients because they have bad reputation of having high salt high sugar, etc. As long as you are not over indulging, then I am sure you will still remain perfectly healthy. Balance is key and having the occasional treat is good for you.
Enough of the facts, I will show you how I made this super speedy stir-fry.
- Stir-fry veggies (I purchase the cheap family sized bag that has all the stir-fry veggies prepared)
- Long stem broccoli
- Super-snaps (my obsession at the moment and packed with Vitamin C)
- Rice noodles
- Vegan chicken style pieces (I purchase these from Tesco as they are vegan, always check the packaging for chicken style pieces as sometimes they contain egg)
- Sesame seeds (for decoration)
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) toasted sesame oil for sautéing (or substitute for olive oil or coconut)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) low-sodium soy sauce (make sure it’s gluten-free if gluten-free)
- 1 Tbsp (6 g) fresh grated ginger
- 2 Tbsp (27 g) organic brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) agave or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
- 1 Tbsp (7 g) cornstarch
- Firstly, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients – keep to one side.
- Heat a large wok on medium heat, add sesame oil and swirl to coat. Cook the chicken style pieces until golden brown.
- Add all stir-fry veggies and toss around all the ingredients together. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring often. When the vegetables have some colour and have softened a little, add the sauce and stir. It should bubble and thicken.
- In another pan, add sesame oil and when the pan is heated add rice noodles.
- Cook the rice noodles for around 3-5 minutes and the other pan with veggies in will require this much cooking time. Ensure you stir both pans often. When veggies are cooked to your preferred doneness, remove from heat. I prefer to serve my noodles and veg separate, but you can combine them together in the pan if you desire.
- Serve the noodles and then place the stir fry veg and fake chicken on top, sprinkle with sesame seeds and you are ready to enjoy! Best when eaten fresh, though will keep in the refrigerator for a couple days.
I enjoy my veg being quite crunchy, so I do not cook them for too long, but if you prefer your veg softer cook for a longer time. You could also part boil your long stem broccoli and add to the stir fry pan.
The sauce I have created is quite sweet and mild; if you enjoy spice, just add fresh chopped chillies and maybe a little garlic. The sauce is very versatile, so if you want to adapt it to suit your taste buds then that is perfectly fine!
Ensure you do use a large wok for your stir-fry, as it can be rather annoying when your stir-fry veggies go flying everywhere.
You can decorate your dish with many things such as chopped nuts, chopped herbs and sesame seeds.