Have you ever found you have just a few carrots, maybe a little spinach and just a handful of green beans in the refrigerator but there’s not enough of any one of them to feed two people much less three or four? Here’s an easy solution; The one pan option, or as some might call it stir-fry.
I love stir-fry. I don’t always use it to solve the little of this, little of that problem. Sometimes I choose it because I can cook everything in one pan, which a lot of the time is a huge motivating factor. Whichever reason, I’ve been keeping track of some of the ways I made quick, tasty, easy to clean up meals over the last month and here are the results.
A curried version using Crimini mushrooms, onion and garlic, zucchini, carrots and leftover chicken served over brown rice mixed with a little curry sauce.
An Asian version using Shitaki mushrooms, onion and garlic, snow peas, spinach, yellow summer squash served over brown rice flavored with a little oyster sauce.
This one I came up with after my experience with the fava beans. In this version I used Crimini mushrooms, onion and garlic, chard and feta cheese served over left over rice penne pasta.
A celebration of the first green beans of the season was the occasion for this simple stir-fry of Shitaki mushrooms, onion and garlic, green beans all flavored with bacon bits and served over brown rice.
I start by sautéing the mushrooms, then add the onion and garlic, sometimes I remove those ingredients to a serving bowl then brown the longer cooking veggies like the squash, green beans or chard stems, then I’ll add back in the mushroom/onion mixture put what ever greens I’m going to use on top, add a little liquid (water, broth, wine) to create steam and cover until the greens just wilt and the thicker veggies are just right. If I really don’t want to clean another pan I will sometimes put the rice or cooked pasta in with the thicker veggies and the liquid, cover and let it all steam for a little while then add the greens to wilt them right before serving.
This is one of those things that you’ll want to play around with. There is no wrong way. Just think of the colors and textures of what you have on hand and what might taste good with them as a flavoring. I used curry sauce, oyster sauce, feta cheese, and bacon in these versions but you might want to try soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, or even a BBQ sauce. Herbs are also a good addition. Nuts and seeds are good ways to add protein if your not adding cheese or leftover meats. And, don’t forget tofu. Tofu is really great in these stir-fry dishes. I usually don’t cook rice or pasta for this dish I usually have some leftovers that I use. If you do cook pasta especially for this, use some of the pasta water when you do the steaming.
I am using a wok style pan but a large fry pan can work too. Just make sure you have a lid that fits the pan you are going to use. For oil I use either olive oil or canola oil. The addition of a little sesame oil to an Asian style version is very nice.
Just use your imagination, the options are endless and now that we have a whole new selection of summer vegetables coming to market I’m sure I’ll be trying some new combinations. How about you? Let me know what you come up with. I love trying new ideas.