There are so many nights when I’m just too busy to spend huge amounts of time fiddling around, toiling in the kitchen to have dinner ready. But at the same time I still want something substantial, interesting, and packed full of nutrients. When I find myself in this fussy dilemma, a speedy stir fry hits the spot.
Stir fries can be dated back to the Han Dynasty in China between 206 B.C and A.D 220. Chronic fuel shortages meant that people needed to find alternative ways to cook, without using too much oil. Stir frying was the perfect method of cooking; quickly heating the ingredients in a pan with a little bit of oil. Today, stir-frying has become China’s most favoured cooking technique, and has infiltrated all through Asia, and jumped over to the west. It’s now a worldwide favourite.
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The reason why the art of stir frying has held so strong in a multitude of cultures is because it’s quick and easy. In today’s work crazed world, it’s no wonder we come home dreading the idea of sweating it out in the kitchen for our final meal of the day. An elaborate stir fry can be chopped up and swiftly stirred together in as little as fifteen minutes, and is a far superior alternative to other common quick fixes like dreadful frozen meals that are laden with disease promoting additives.
Another reason why I love stir fries is because they’re full of colourful vegetables, herbs and spices. This Vegetable Tamari Stir Fry will create the most visually beautiful combination of ingredients that will drop the jaws of all your guests, and is a sure fire way to cram in your veggie intake, which will help to alkalize the body; fuelling your cells with an array of vital nutrients, and free radical scavenging antioxidants.
Capsicum is a must have ingredient in a stir fry, as it adds a burst of sweet flavour and luscious colour to the dish. Capsicum is high in vitamin C, which helps your body to fight diseases and repair ligaments, wounds and bones. Its high antioxidant activity also helps to decrease damage to the body caused by environmental pollutants and toxins such as cigarette smoke and chemicals in cleaning products and makeup.
Snow peas are another token stir fry ingredient, and have been used in Chinese cuisine for many years because of their tenderness and crisp texture. They’re a great source of carbohydrates, protein, fibre, vitamins A and C, healthy fats, iron, potassium, magnesium, folic acid and antioxidants. Snow peas have the power to relieve and prevent inflammation, cancers, eye diseases, and digestive issues naturally.
Red onions are beautifully sweet and mild when stir fried, and provide a handful of health benefits including powerful phytochemicals, flavanoids, sulfur compounds and heart healthy allicin. The tannins and anthocyanins found in red onions account for them being one of the highest sources of quercetin; an antioxidant flavanoid with anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Great for warding off intestinal disorders, the common cold, treating psoriasis and inhibiting virus’s!
Many stir fry sauces contain highly questionable additives, copious amounts of sugar, and oxidizing vegetable oils. This sumptuous stir fry is made with a simple, but delicious sauce combining tahini and tamari. Tamari is a fermented soy sauce, sharing many of miso’s medicinal and nutritional properties while avoiding the problems associated with unfermented soy products. Scientists believe the brown pigment in tamari could have strong anti-cancer properties. It’s also said to aid the digestion of vegetables, and is high in several minerals. Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds and is a brilliant source of dairy free calcium, and adds a pleasant, creamy and nutty flavour to sauces, snacks and dressings. I absolutely love tahini, and have used it in plenty of my recipes including this creamy avocado and tahini spread and this exotic no bean hummus.
Channel back to the Han dynasty and enjoy this supercharged spin on an Asian classic. Your taste buds will be overwhelmed with the striking flavours of the sauce, and the freshness of a variety of gorgeous vegetables. To ensure the maximum health benefits, be sure to invest into some good quality, organic produce.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2-3 cm knob ginger, grated
- 1 red onion, sliced lengthwise into strips
- 1 yellow pepper, seeded, sliced lengthwise into strips
- 1 red pepper, seeded, sliced lengthwise into strips
- 100 g English spinach leaves, torn
- 100 g daikon, chopped
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1/4 small cabbage, roughly chopped
- 125 g green beans, sliced
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoons wheat free tamari
- 1 tablespoon shredded basil
Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, onion, yellow pepper and red pepper and stir around until fragrant, but do not burn.
Add the spinach, daikon, broccoli, cabbage and beans and turn the heat down to medium. Cook, stirring, for five minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the tahini and tamari to the pan and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Top with the basil and serve immediately.