In the beginning, eating a mostly plant based diet seemed like more work because I had to totally change my go-to meals. I ate chicken, turkey or tuna in pretty much every meal I cooked for lunch or dinner and I had to figure out ways to stay full without a few hundred calories of meat in my meals. Over the last nearly year since I switched to cooking nearly 100% vegan (I tend to just eat vegetarian when out at restaurants although I do have several go to vegan restaurants that I eat at. However, we only eat out about four meals a week on average), I’ve tried countless new recipes. Some were amazingly delicious some just ok, and luckily none were downright bad. However, the recipes that I’ve kept in rotation are typically those that are delicious and don’t take a long time to cook or prep.
I’ve shared several of these recipes with you already, including lentil cashew spinach curry, apricot black bean quinoa salad, and my go-to tempeh burritos. The veggie quinoa enchiladas I posted about are delicious, but not very quick, so I don’t tend to make those very often. Recently I’ve come across a new favorite recipe which is awesome as is, but can also be modified to substitute any of the veggies. I love this stir-fry because the flavors are fresh, thanks to the huge quantity of vegetables and powerful, thanks to the ginger and garlic, and for once, it doesn’t contain curry which is a change for me when it comes to stir-frys.
15 Minute Brussel Sprout and Tempeh Stir Fry (adapted from inpursuitofmore.com)
Ingredients (my comments in italics):
- (20) brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed & halved
- (1#) plain tempeh, cubed (always buy organic when it comes to soy)
- (4) green onions, chopped & divided between greens & whites (I didn’t have green onions the second time I made this and I used red onion and it was fine)
- (3) garlic cloves
- (2) tbsp grated fresh ginger
- (2) medium carrots, peeled & sliced on the diagonal
- (1) medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
- (1) tbsp cornstarch
- (3) tbsp soy sauce
- (2) tbsp rice vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)
- (1/4) cup water
- 4 tbsp sesame oil, for the stir-frying (I didn’t use 4 full tablespoons – it seemed excessive. You could also use olive oil instead of sesame oil)
Directions (My comments in italics)
Start by combining the cornstarch, soy sauce, rice vinegar & water in a small bowl with a whisk. Mix and set aside.
As with any stir-fry or curry dish, the most important thing is be prepared with all of the ingredients before cooking. Prepare & cut the brussels and set aside in a separate bowl. Prepare the tempeh and set aside in a separate bowl. Finally, prepare the green onions (setting aside the greens separately in a bowl on their own) and the ginger & optional garlic. Prep the carrots & bell pepper and set them aside together.The second time I did this, I didn’t prep everything in advance because I found that it added a lto more time (at least 10 minutes) and I could just prep as I cooked.
When ready to cook, heat a large cast iron frying pan or a wok (I used a wok) on high and add 2 tbsp of sesame oil (you can start with 1 tbsp and add more if necessary). Once hot, add the brussels sprout halves and cook, tossing here and there to prevent burning, for 4 minutes. Set the brussels sprouts aside in a medium bowl. Give the pan a little wipe with a paper towel and return the pan to the stove.
Heating another tbsp of sesame oil (or less), this time add the cubed tempeh and cook in the oil (you may need to add a little more oil). Cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes until the cubes are golden, starting to brown, and a little (deliciously) crispy.
Set the tempeh aside with the brussels sprouts (you can use the same bowl). Wipe the pan again and return it to the stove.
Next, heat the remaining tbsp of sesame oil, and cook the ginger, green onions & garlic for one minute, until fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic. Next, add the green onion whites, carrots, & red pepper. Stir frequently and cook for 2 minutes until the colors are bright and they are just softened. The second time I cooked this dish, I left the carrots, peppers and onion on for a little longer because they were a bit undercooked for my liking the first time. This is up to your personal preference.
Keeping the heat on, add the cooked sprouts & the tempeh to the pan and mix all of the vegetables well together. To finish, give the bowl of prepared sauce a good stir with the whisk and pour the entire lot over the hot vegetables. Stir well as it thickens from the cornstarch. Cook, stirring constantly, for a final 2-3 minutes.
I served this on top of a heaping bed of brown rice but you could also eat it over quinoa if you don’t have time to make brown rice. It makes a large serving and if you serve it over brown rice it could easily provide 4 full meals. I usually make extra rice and we eat the leftovers for lunch!
Do you cook stir-fry? What is your favorite kind?