Make the most of your veges with stir fry

Cooking method en­sures wa­ter-sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins are re­tained

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

Stir-fry is a Chi­nese cooking style that in­volves quick, high-heat cooking of veg­eta­bles and/or pro­teins in a pan or wok. Stir-fries are the per­fect week night din­ner and a great way to get the most out of your fresh veg­eta­bles. Due to the na­ture of cooking them with­out wa­ter, they re­tain all the wa­ter-sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins that get lost when veg­eta­bles are boiled. Stir-fries are packed full of fi­bre, and the more colour­ful you make them, the more es­sen­tial vi­ta­mins and min­er­als you and your fam­ily will be con­sum­ing.

Stir-fries can ac­com­mo­date a huge va­ri­ety of meat and veg­eta­bles, mean­ing less wastage of your weekly shop. But note, this doesn’t mean you can dump the en­tire con­tents of your fridge into your wok! By over-crowd­ing your pan, your veg­eta­bles will steam and lose their crispi­ness and some of their nu­tri­tional value.

There are a few ba­sic rules of stir-fry. Firstly, cook your pro­tein separately from your veg­eta­bles on a high heat and only com­bine them at the end when both nearly fully cooked. Se­condly, re­mem­ber veg­eta­bles all cook at dif­fer­ent rates, so add them in at the speed they cook, slow­est to fastest. And thirdly, if adding liq­uid or stock for sauce, add it just at the end to en­sure nu­tri­ents aren’t lost.

On top of all the health benefits of cooking this dish, stir-fries are of course in­cred­i­bly easy once you get the hang of it and highly flex­i­ble in con­tent, which is key at the 6pm rush.

Have the con­fi­dence to in­ter­change the in­gre­di­ents here in the recipe for op­tions you or your chil­dren pre­fer and soon this de­li­cious meal will be­come a house­hold favourite. Make sure you al­ways have fresh gin­ger, gar­lic, sesame oil and soya sauce in your pantry, so you can make this quick and easy meal at any given no­tice.

Back to ba­sics – gin­ger and lemon chicken stir fry with cashews In­gre­di­ents

6 skin­less bone­less free-range chicken thighs sliced into bite size pieces 2 cloves gar­lic 2 thumb size pieces of gin­ger grated Juice 1 lemon 1 ta­ble­spoon sesame oil 4 ta­ble­spoons soya sauce 1 de­seeded sliced chilli (op­tional if your kids don’t like the heat) cup chicken stock tea­spoon corn­flour mixed with 1-tea­spoon wa­ter red pep­per sliced green pep­per sliced 2 car­rots shaven length­ways with peeler 1 cour­gette cut in half long ways then sliced 300-400g broc­coli cut into small flo­rets 8 mush­rooms chopped into quar­ters 100g cashews 2 cups un­cooked brown rice cooked

as per in­struc­tions on pack

Method

1. In a small bowl, mix to­gether sesame oil, three ta­ble­spoons soya sauce, one clove gar­lic, one thumb of gin­ger and lemon juice. Com­bine chicken in the mari­nade and leave for a cou­ple of hours if pos­si­ble, else just whilst prep­ping your veg­eta­bles. 2. Heat one ta­ble­spoon of oil in a wok or large pan to a high heat. In batches, fry the chicken for one minute each side un­til cooked and nice and browned on out­side. Tip back in all the chicken and left over mari­nade and cook for a fur­ther 2 mins stir­ring. Re­move from pan and set aside. 3. In the same wok add one ta­ble­spoon of oil and fry re­main­ing gar­lic and gin­ger for 1 min. Add in the broc­coli and mush­rooms and cook for 3-4 mins stir­ring con­stantly to en­sure even cooking. Add in your pep­pers, car­rot and cour­gette and ta­ble­spoon of soya sauce and cook for a fur­ther 3-4 mins. Add back in your chicken and juices/sauce and cashews. Com­bine, then add in your stock and corn­flour mix and cook for 1-2 mins. Serve im­me­di­ately ei­ther as is, or on rice, brown rice, noodles, or quinoa. Serve 5-6

Gin­ger and lemon chicken stir fry with cashews.

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