Monday, May 12, 2014

Lunches This Week (#11) - Kitchen Sink Stir-Fry

Saturday was all about gallivanting about town, so Sunday was a chillax day at the Chez. Spouse did a butt load of laundry (seriously, I am one.spoiled.lady), and I spent a good deal of it in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning. It was pretty awesome. 

I had gotten my veggie bin on Tuesday, and had customized it so there'd be tasty stuff for a stir-fry. My favorite kind of stir-fry is what I affectionately call, Kitchen Sink Stir-fry, because I basically throw in whatever veg I have in the house, plus chicken (or shrimp) and a tasty sauce. 

Lunch today, at my desk. 

I knew I had enough ingredients to make another of my spinach-kale-quinoa-wild rice casserole, so made enough wild rice and red quinoa for the casserole and as the base under the stir-fry.

For veggies, I had rainbow carrots, zucchini and yellow squash, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms, peapods and celery, garlic and shallots. I realize now I didn't include anything other than the broth and hot sauce I added, but in addition to those, used Worcestershire sauce (instead of soy), Sriracha, and a Ginger/Hot Chili sauce that I like (not as much as the Ginger People sauce....). 

This recipe is a wing-it-recipe, i.e. I pull out and prep a bunch of items and just wing it....but here's the basic gist. 

Kitchen Sink Stir-Fry
1. Put wok, or in my case, a wok shaped pan on the stove over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of coconut oil (or whatever oil you like to use), and let it get good and hot.
2. Add the sliced garlic cloves (3 for me), and diced shallot (used just 1/2 of a large bulb).
3. Cook until beginning to turn brown. 
4. Add 1 pound of diced chicken breast, tenders, etc. and brown with the shallots and garlic until cooked through. 
5. In a bowl set aside, plop in the chicken, shallots and garlic. 
6. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil and let it heat up again.
7. Add in the carrots and peapods and toss until all are covered with the oil. 
8. Add a lid to keep the steam in and let things cook for 5-8 minutes, until just beginning to get soft.
9. Add the zucchini, squash, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts, and stir to cover with oil. 
10. Add the lid again and give everything about 5 minutes to again cook until the squash, etc. is beginning to soften. 
11. Add a little splash of chicken broth and half of the flavored sauce you want to use (so in my case the ginger-chili sauce). Mix around, put lid back on and give it a few more minutes.
12. Add the celery, and the sauces (dash of Worcestershire and Sriracha, last half of ginger-chili sauce). 
13. Give it a few more minutes, then toss the chicken, garlic and shallots back in and toss it all together, until all is warm. 
14. Put rice, quinoa/wild rice, base in bowl, top with a generous cup of chicken and veggies, and YUM!!!!


  • I have a set of small bowls, that I like to use when prepping for stir-fry. They hold 1.5-2 cups each (depending on the veggie and how I've cut it). Only 3 of the 4 I own were clean, so the celery, zucchini/yellow squash, and mushrooms are in them, then I eye-balled the carrots and peapods for other, slightly larger bowls. Proportions turned out pretty well, as I didn't feel like any one serving had too much of something. 
  • Basically what I've discovered - and what I love about stir-frys - is there's no wrong thing to do, unless you burn the shit out of it. 
  • Newbie mistakes could be:1. Not having everything prepped before you start cooking (it goes quickly, once you've begun)2. Adding the veggies "out of order", i.e. not beginning with ones that need to cook longer, then working to those that don't need a ton of cooking time. 3. Too thin of a sauce - you just add corn starch mixed in water or broth, until it is the consistency you want.4. Too thick of a sauce - you just add more water or broth to thin it out. 5. Cooking too long because you are afraid the ingredients aren't cooked all the way through. Nothing you can really do, except taste more while you are making.....but it's not horrible, just a bit....mushy....6. Having way too many veggies - in which case, you just cook as much as you can in one pot, then make multiple batches. It's hard to judge sometimes.....I have made all of six, and even still, nothing was so gross that I tossed it. You just wing it until you get the rhythm down, figure out what veggies work for you, and figure out the order. If you make a sauce from scratch, that's more than likely when the sauce might be too thin or too thick.....But you wing it, and just enjoy the journey. 
  • I had one serving for lunch after I made it, then had enough for four lunches this week. Friday, I'm going to lunch with a friend and colleague, so that'll be my treat. 

Lunches for Monday through Thursday will be:
- 3/4 cup wild rice and red quinoa topped with a bit over a cup of the Kitchen Sink Stir-fry
- 1 cup of homemade whole milk yogurt with 1 cup of fruit. Monday and Tuesday will be frozen pear, Wednesday and Thursday will be fresh blueberries, because I am getting like 4 pints in my veggie/fruit bin this week!!! Man, I love me some blueberries. 

After I made the stir-fry, whipped up a new batch of the casserole with spinach, kale and mushrooms as the 16 oz. of veggies. Tried a small corner and it tastes awesome. All 8 pieces went into the freezer, for lunches after a busy weekend. 

Then, I cleaned the kitchen. And then, I sat down with my baby iPad to continue reading book 5 of The Outlander series, and this beer (yum), and called it an afternoon. 

Do you have a favorite "wing-it" recipe? 
How was your Sunday? 

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