What's your biggest challenge to eating healthfully? Lately, I hear from a lot of my clients that time is the big one. Many say they are happy to eat healthy food – if only it would just appear all by itself. Can you relate?
If you can budget in 30 minutes for cooking dinner, there are a lot of delicious whole food dinners you can make. A really good stir-fry is a frequent fast meal in our house. It’s a great way to get a rainbow of colorful, antioxidant-rich veggies in a one-pot dinner. Here’s a colorful stir-fry I’ve been enjoying lately.
I like to make this with wild-caught shrimp, but a vegetarian version with tofu is equally delicious. See my ingredient notes below, and also my tips for making this even faster.
Mango Ginger Stir-Fry
Serves 3-4. Time: 25-30 minutes
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 2 scallions, sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and diced small
- 1 head broccoli, chopped into florets, and the broccoli stem, peeled and chopped small
- 2 cups savoy cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced (or use green cabbage)
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined** (or 1 lb. organic tofu, sliced in 1 inch cubes)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
- 1 Tablespoon fish sauce (optional)**
- 2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- Sea salt, black pepper
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder (optional, see note)
How to prepare in 5 easy steps:
1. Chop your veggies. Heat 1 T. coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add scallion, ginger, and garlic and sauté for a minute or two, stirring.
2. Add broccoli stems, broccoli florets, and savoy cabbage and stir-fry until just tender and vibrant in color. Remove veggies from skillet and set aside.
3. Heat 1 more tablespoon coconut oil in the skillet. Then add shrimp or tofu and cook until done, flipping to cook both sides. Shrimp will turn pink and opaque. Tofu will be golden.
4. Add in mango and red pepper, stir and cook for 30-60 seconds, just until hot.
5. Add coconut aminos or tamari, sesame oil, and fish sauce if using. Then add cooked veggies back in the skillet. Stir well to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper, and optionally some red pepper flakes if you like a kick. Serve hot.
Variation for thicker sauce: If you like a thicker sauce like you get in Chinese restaurants, simply stir 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder with a 2 tablespoons broth or water in a small bowl until dissolved. Add it to the dish at the very end and stir for a couple minutes until the sauce thickens. Magic.
**NOTES about ingredients:
Shrimp: I buy the frozen, peeled and deveined, wild caught shrimp at Whole Foods. This makes it easy, fast, and no-fuss. Just defrost what you want to use and cook. It comes in a 2-pound bag and I usually make three separate meals out of it.
Tofu: For tofu, I like the Twin Oaks brand, which is organic and non-GMO and tastes great.
Fish Sauce: I like Red Boat fish sauce, which contains only naturally fermented anchovies and salt. It’s commonly used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking and adds a nice umami flavor to stir-fries. Watch out for other brands which contain sugar and other additives.
Soy sauce options: Regular soy sauce contains gluten, which I avoid. Tamari is a wheat-free soy sauce, good for those who are gluten-free. Coconut aminos is made from fermented coconut and is like a soy sauce, but it is soy-free and wheat-free. You can also use Bragg's liquid aminos, a gluten-free soy sauce.
Veggies: Other seasonal vegetables like snow peas, sugar snap peas, bok choy, or thinly sliced carrots would also be good! Just be sure not to overcook your veggies.
Speed Demon: If you are really strapped for time, you can make this dish even faster by using pre-chopped veggies from the store.