This healthy vegetable stir-fry is a perfect basic recipe for when you need to clean up the veggie drawer in your fridge! Simply add what you already have on hand to the savory and sweet chinese-style sauce for a delicious simple meal. Perfect to get everyone to eat more veggies and a quick recipe for busy weekday meals.
Who else enjoy planning meals?
Sitting down to plan the lunches, dinners, snacks and everything in between for my family is one of my favorite moments of my week. For some people it feels like an anxious task, but for me, it's kind of meditating. Or something like that.
Ok. I have to admit.
Having to meal plan also gives my a free ticket to be sitting down all by myself. I might be randomly choosing chaotic mornings with our 2 and 4 y/o during one of my husband days off for slipping away in a quiet room. So I can "work" on our meals, you know. That's possible.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that even thought I'm calling myself a professional meal planner, we always end up with solo sad veggies in the corner of our fridge at the end of the week.
What was this cauliflower for again? You see what I mean.
That's why stir-fries are such a great recipe to keep in mind to rescue your unused veggies.
Not only are stir-fries super versatile, they are also budget friendly, very quick to make, perfect for meal-prep and to pack lunches and the sauce is tasty enough to help the little picky eaters get their veggie portions in.
What you will need to make this Healthy vegetable Stir-Fry
I love how simple the sauce is to make! To make it, you will need soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup (agave nectar works too), fresh garlic and fresh ginger. A small amount of sesame oil can be added if you have it, but totally optional.
Then, you will need to add something to help thicken the sauce as it cooks, either corn starch or arrowroot powder.
If you are like me and don't use ginger on a regular basis, then I recommend you get a large root of fresh ginger, then peel it with a small spoon by scraping on it, pack it in a small container and keep it in the freezer. Then, when you want to use fresh ginger, simply grate it with a zester straight into the sauce - no need to thaw it first.
Then, choose the veggies of your choice to combine with the sauce.
How to make this Healthy Vegetable Stir-Fry?
- Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Cook the veggies (8 cups) in a large pan until cooked through.
Try to add the veggies in a specific order instead of adding them all at the same time, so they all are cooked about the same and the softer ones don't overcook.
- When the veggies are cooked, add the sauce to the pan and let it thicken up for about 2-3 minutes. Yum!
This recipe is really fast if you prepare everything beforehand. Not only whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl first, but also clean and chop all the veggies so the cooking process can go smoothly.
What vegetables to choose when making this stir-fry
Most vegetables will work great for this recipe, but my favorite combo is onion + carrot + broccoli + red pepper. I start by cooking the carrots first to help soften them, then add the other ones until cooked through.
Other great choices of vegetables include:
- Green beans
- Green cabbage
- Canned baby corns
- Canned bamboo shoots or water chestnuts
Fresh or Frozen?
Frozen vegetables work great too! Just keep a bag of broccoli or mixed vegetables in your freezer and you can make this meal without having to leave the house. Simply add the veggies still frozen to the pan and cook as you would with fresh veggies.
How to boost the protein amount of this healthy vegetable stir-fry?
- Roasted tofu or tempeh (try combining them to this coconut crusted tofu!)
- Canned chickpeas
- Frozen edamame
- Nuts, like peanuts or cashews
How to serve this stir-fry?
Top this veggie Stir-fry over:
- Asian style noodles, like rice vermicelli, ramen or soba.
- Brown rice
- Other whole-grains like quinoa, farro or barley.
Other Asian recipe you might like
- Scallion and ginger oven baked tofu
- Sesame soy dressing
- Spicy garlic noodles
- Teriyaki Cauliflower
- Sticky tofu
I hope you will love this Vegetable stir-fry as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it was.
Healthy vegetable Stir-fry - Saucy and Easy
For the sauce:
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup soy sauce - choose low sodium if possible
- ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic (about one large clove) - crushed
- ½ tsp fresh ginger - grated
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil - optional
- 4 tbsp corn starch
For the stir-fry:
- 8 packed cups vegetables (broccoli, carrot, onion, red pepper, bok choy, snap peas, green cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, etc) - chopped
- cooked brown rice or cooked asian style noodles - for serving
- sesame seeds - for serving, optional
- In a medium bowl, whisk all the sauce ingredients together until there are no clumps anymore. Set aside.
- Clean and chop the veggies.
- Warm a wok or a large pan on medium-high heat. When warmed, add the vegetables and cook them by stirring frequently until tender, but still crisp. Use a small amount of oil or water to prevent them from sticking to the pan.
- When the veggies are cooked, add the sauce to the pan (whisk well the sauce in the bowl just before pouring in the pan to dissolve the corn starch as it tends to stick to the bottom). Warm the mixture on medium-high heat until you reached a gentle boil stirring constantly. The sauce should thicken after about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and serve warm over cooked brown rice or noodles. Top with sesame seeds or sriracha if desired. Enjoy!
- If your pan is too small for the amount of vegetables, then cook them in two batches. You should be able to return the first batch of cooked veggies to the pan after the second batch is cooked before adding the sauce since the veggies will lose some of their volume after being cooked.
- The leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.