Friday, October 4, 2013

Clean Eating Quick and Easy Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

Serves 4

Hi. This isn't going to be all fancy and nicely formatted. I'm putting it on here quickly simply because I threw it together tonight, I loved it, Matt loved it, my kids ate it with minimal complaint, and I don't want to forget how to make it. I love many things about Japan but one of the things I love most is the plethora of fresh food. It is a big part of the culture. Many people here don't do one big grocery shop a week or every two weeks like in the states. Instead they buy things fresh every day or every other day. I always want to just run into my local Japanese grocery store and grab some things to throw together a quick stir fry. But I am incapable of cooking anything without a recipe. Well tonight I went for it!!!!

The kids and I had been at my friend Christine's house all day (hi, Christine!!) and we were planning to eat dinner there. (She made spaghetti squash with chicken, parmesan, and avocado! That will be a post for another day.) Matt suddenly texted to let me know he would be coming home after all. So we hopped into the car and I ran into the store on the way home. I had nothing remotely in mind for dinner so I thought tonight would be the night to just go for it!

White meat chicken is dirt cheap here  since they prefer dark meat so I grabbed some chicken tenderloins. Then I perused the discount produce bin. They put stuff in there significantly marked down that is still perfectly good but has to be used today. I grabbed a bunch of asparagus (for 50 cents!!!), a bunch of some kind of leafy green veggie, and a little package of 4 of what I think are some kind of onion but they were about the size of shallots. Then I grabbed a package of fresh soba noodles (I know you're jealous!) and a bag of what I think was thinly sliced carrots mixed with bean sprouts. Here is what I did with it all:


  • 1 lb of lean protein (I used chicken breast)
  • 4 servings of a precooked complex carbohydrate (you could use brown rice or whole wheat angel hair pasta. I used the soba noodles)
  • variety of veggies (I used the asparagus, onions, carrots, leafy greens, and bean sprouts)
For the sauce-
  • 1/4 cup water/broth (I used water)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (less if you don't want it as salty)
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (can omit or sub a different nut butter or I bet tahini would be delicious)
  • 1/8 cup honey (or mirin if you live in Japan!)
  • Tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
ONE: Cut the protein up into bite sized pieces and brown it in a skillet/wok in a little bit of oil (I used olive oil) over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

TWO: While the protein is cooking, whisk the sauce ingredients together. (I did this in a one cup measuring cup so I could measure as I went and then not make two things dirty :)

THREE: Once the protein is cooked, remove from pan, and add a little bit more oil. Throw your slower cooking veggies in first (like asparagus, carrots, or broccoli) and stir fry about 3 minutes. Then add your faster cooking veggies (like onions and bean sprouts) and cook until tender crisp. If using leafy greens, throw them in during the last minute of stir frying.

FOUR: Once veggies are done, add your protein back into the pan along with your complex carbohydrate (in my case the soba noodles) and dump in the sauce. Stir it all and let it cook a little bit until the sauce starts bubbling. Let the sauce bubble for a minute or so until it is heated through and the sauce is your desired thickness (more bubbling equals thicker sauce).

This isn't specifically a freezer recipe but I fully intend to mix up several batches of the stir fry sauce and freeze them using the medium/large portions method. That way I can pop them in the fridge in the morning to defrost during the day and save myself the measuring when dinner time comes around :)

Nutrition Info:
This is just for the sauce since the actual stir fry ingredients will vary. You could use this sauce for 4 portions or certainly stretch it to cover 6 portions.

4 Servings - 143 Calories (72 Calories from Fat), 8g Total Fat, 1.5g Saturated Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 535mg Sodium, 13g Total Carbs, 1g Dietary Fiber, 10g Sugar, 6g Protein, 0% DV VitA, 3% DV VitC, 1% DV Calcium, 4% DV Iron

6 Servings -95 Calories (48 Calories from Fat), 5g Total Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 357mg Sodium, 9g Total Carbs, 1g Dietary Fiber, 7g Sugar, 4g Protein, 0% DV VitA, 2% DV VitC, 0% DV Calcium, 3% DV Iron