If there is one meal you should include in your weekly repertoire, it’s stir-fry! Essentially, stir-fry is simply cooking some chopped protein and vegetables in a large pot, usually a wok, with oil at a high temperature. Don’t let the word “fry” lead you to believe that the food is deep fried, because its more like a sauté, than anything else. I have so many reasons why this special cuisine should be on your plate several times per week, luckily I was able to spare you my rambling and narrow it down to my top five reasons why stir-fry rocks!

alt

Stir-fry is QUICK and EASY!

This is a great place to start if you are a newbie to cooking. I was a newbie to cooking once, and being the overachiever that I am, I started with Julia Child-type meals and found myself crying over burnt chicken at 10pm at night. You don’t want to go down that dark and scary road. Start somewhere easy, quick and rewarding! Stir-fry is just the place to start! If you feel comfortable chopping, peeling and stirring- you can be a master stir-fryer after just one meal. Bonus: some stir-fry only take 10 minutes to make!

They are so versatile!

I hate monotony, especially when it comes to my food. It makes me sad. I love food! All foods! Why would I limit myself? Stir-Fry lets you be creative and add anything but the kitchen sink in your pan! Start with your favorite veggies, even if is just spinach and carrots. Every now and then, add a different ingredient to add variety. Check out this Sweet and Sour Stir-Fry I made using leftover meat.

Stir-fry is a great way to increase your veggie intake!

I know you are tired of hearing “eat your vegetables!” but there is a reason why we nag you so much. Fruits and vegetables are LOADED with vitamins and minerals. Our body functions primarily on vitamins and minerals- at the cellular level! They are so important. Mixing some vegetables in your stir-fry along with other tasty ingredients is a great way to get a serving or two of vegetables.

alt

This is probably my favorite thing about stir-fry: One pan!

Preferably a SmartyPan, so you can stay on track with your health and wellness goals. I loathe dishes. I am sure I am not alone on this one. So any meal I can cook with as little dishes as possible is a major bonus for me. When you make stir-fry, you cook everything in the same pan!

You can stretch your dollar!

They can easily feed a crowd! Or if it's just a dinner for one, save the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next few days. This is great to keep in mind when you are meal prepping for a particular week that you know you will be limited on time and won’t be able to cook any meals.

If you have never made a stir-fry before, start with these basic guidelines:

1. Choose your veggies: Remember, the sky's the limit, but start small and work your way up. I like to start with broccoli and carrots.

2. Choose your protein: Diced chicken, beef, tofu or shrimp will work just fine.

3. Choose your starch (optional): Rice, soba noodles, rice noodles, pad-thai noodles are all great examples of starches you can add to your stir-fry.

4. Choose your seasonings: I am a firm believer of “fresh is best”, but dried seasonings and herbs work great too. I particularly recommend garlic, ginger, cilantro and/or basil.

5. Choose your sauce: There are premade sauces you can already buy in supermarkets (keep it low in sodium), or you can make a healthier, less processed version of your own. Soy sauce with peanut oil and garlic do just the trick!

---This article is written by SmartyPans September FitFluencer, Michelle Hill !

alt