A flavorful veggie-centric weeknight meal made in under 20 minutes…this slightly spicy Simple Veggie Stir Fry will make your weeknight cooking SO much easier!
In case you didn’t know, March is National Nutrition Month®! As a dietetic intern, that means promoting this year’s theme in the hospital (more on that on Wednesday and Friday), but as a blogger who is also a dietetic intern, it means I should yap your ear off about everything having to do with nutrition, because this is the month! Unfortunately, because I’m still a dietetic intern, I’ve had less than the amount of free time I wish I had to work on ze blog (sorry grad school comes first!), so I haven’t prepared alllll too much for it. Buttttt I couldn’t start off my first legit post of March without mentioning – It’s NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH!
The 2016 National Nutrition Month theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) describes it something like this:
“This year’s theme encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives.”
Have you explored the Meaning of Food?
While I whole-heartedly believe food is SO much more than a way to get energy (I mean, I wouldn’t have a food blog if I didn’t!), sometimes quick and easy, must-eat-NOW, takes over during hectic weeknights.
This is also why I’m starting a new monthly series, “Weeknight Cooking,” because I get that it’s hard to get a nutritious, satisfying dinner on the table when you get home late from work.
One of the biggest challenges I hear from friends my age (but is certainly NOT limited to my age group!), is that it’s too hard to cook for one (or two) or plan out a healthy, veggie-centric meal for during the week when they get out of work after 7pm.
I couldn’t exactly relate as a grad student and always said “yeah sure, you’re just being lazy,” but now that I’m working in the hospital full time as a dietetic intern I TOTALLY get it! Between finding time to socialize with friends, fitting in a couple of workouts a week, and sleeping, it’s hard to want to stand on the Trader Joe’s line for an hour on a Sunday afternoon (not to mention the weather is warming, so I obvs want to be outside as much as possible). ((Ok, ok, so maybe food shopping is an activity I enjoy, but when your supermarket resembles a corn maize due to the never-ending snaking lines…it’s not alllll that fun!))
But when I physically, emotionally and mentally experience the benefits of cooking versus going out to eat or ordering in, I always lose the “should I go food shopping” battle. And the latest research proves my point: cooking the same exact meal you would order at a restaurant saves you over 200 calories, extra fat and sodium. And probably some hidden sugars.
Not to mention the dent constantly eating out can have on your wallet.
So when I started my dietetic internship, figuring out how I was going to healthfully fuel my busy schedule was obviously at the top of my list (because if I couldn’t be my own patient, we’d have some serrrrious problems!).
Enter: my seriously simple veggie stir fry.
This Simple Veggie Stir Fry is…
- Gluten free
- Nut & sesame free
- Made in under 20 minutes!
- Adaptable to whatever produce you have in your fridge
- Even easier with frozen veggies
- 100% boyfriend approved (and asked for on a weekly basis!)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup onions, sliced (I used a combination of yellow and red)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or sesame oil
- 1 cup mixed mushrooms, sliced (I used a combination of white button and shitake)
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small eggplant, cut into thin strips
- 1 large carrot, shaved with vegetable peeler
- 1 medium zucchini, shaved with vegetable peeler
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 2 tablespoons scallions (green onions), sliced
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger or 1/8-inch piece ginger shaved
- ¼ teaspoon (or more) red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons low sodium tamari (if gluten free) or low sodium soy sauce
- Optional: 2 tablespoons cilantro and sesame seeds, for garnish
- In a large nonstick pan or wok, sauté garlic and onions in oil over medium-high heat.
- Once onions begin to soften, after about 2 minutes, add mushrooms. Make sure the mushrooms have enough room to gently brown. Once mushrooms begin to soften, add bell pepper and eggplant, then carrot and zucchini. Continuously toss vegetables together for another minute.
- Add edamame, scallions and spices to the pan, then turn the heat to low.
- Add tamari or soy sauce and make sure vegetables are entirely coated. Taste, and add more tamari to taste.
- Serve immediately over brown rice or quinoa and garish with sesame seeds, additional scallions and/or chopped cilantro. Drizzle with hot chili sauce, if desired.
Happy weeknight cooking!