This Stir Fry Template is a starter recipe, a tool you can use for the rest of your life to make breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. It’s packed full of vegetables, has moderate protein, and you can tailor the fat content to your needs (Keto, weight loss, whatever). Plus, I am sure my Stir Fry Template will help make your cooking easier.
I have designed this template adaptable, so you can use any meat, any low starch vegetables, any healthy fat, and an endless array of spices and herbs to flavor it to your liking. With my unique “Steam Frying” method, you can be assured that your food remains high in micronutrients, the proteins are not denatured, and the fats are not oxidized by cooking.
Bonus: This template is designed to create a meal that feeds 4-5 people, so if you are cooking for fewer, or just yourself, it will easily feed you for several meals. Plus, it’s high in healthy fat, low in net carbohydrates, moderate in protein so you will stay satiated for hours.
For stir frying I recommend more of a “Steam Frying”. This technique involves very quickly browning the meat in a quality fat, one with a high smoke point (like avocado oil or ghee) to avoid any oxidation, then reducing the temperature and adding a little bit of liquid (broth or water) to preserve more of the micronutrients in the vegetables and avoid denaturing the proteins.
Keep your cook time quick. You can sear small cubes of meat in just 1-2 minutes per side, 3-4 minutes is definitely long enough. Vegetables can be cooked for up to 5 minutes before they lose any micronutrients; especially Vitamin C, B vitamins, and antioxidants will degrade quickly. See if you can enjoy your vegetables a bit more crunchy than you are used to and definitely do not let them get mushy.
Normal stir frying has a downside. It requires heating oil at high temperature, which may damage the food and result in harmful by-products. Overheating some cooking oils may cause oxidation and the formation of toxic compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which increase cancer risk. When the cooking oils and fats gets heated to high temperatures, they oxidize and release free radicals that can cause further oxidation, which can cause inflammation in the body.
As you may know, oxidation of fats happens even without cooking. Many oils can become rancid and oxidized just sitting at room temperature, especially nut oils (keep these in the fridge) and vegetable oils (avoid using these).
- 1 pound grass-fed beef, or lamb, heritage pork, pastured chicken, duck, elk - your choice of protein ground or cut in 1 inch cubes
- 8-10 cups low starch vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, kale, chard, cauliflower, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, brussel spouts, collard greens, etc. chopped
- 1/4 cup healthy oil or fat for cooking avocado oil, coconut oil, or ghee
- 2-3 Tbsp. water or broth
- 1 onion chopped
- 2-4 garlic cloves chopped or crushed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3 tsp spices, any of your choosing
- Heat half of the fat in a large skillet or ceramic pot on medium-high.
- Add the onion if using, and spices and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the meat and brown quickly for more 3-5 minutes.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of water or broth and the remaining oil or fats, which will allow the meat to cook slower, remain softer, and the temperature to lower.
- Add all of the vegetables except the more tender greens (like spinach, mustard green, lettuce) before the meat is finished cooking. Save the more tender greens until the very end. Stir well and cook for another 5-6 minutes depending on desired tenderness.
- Add the garlic after the vegetables have cooked for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the softer greens for just the last minute or two and turn the stove off.
- Serve immediately, stored in the fridge for 3 days, or freeze for later.
The flavorings for this stir fry template are endless. Start with about 1 Tablespoon of your favorites such as rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, and oregano.
Then try your own taco flavor (chili powder, cumin, and paprika), curry spice, Asian flair (toasted sesame oil and coconut aminos), or just sea salt and pepper. Try some Indian spice such as garam masala, turmeric, or any other specific spice blends.
Be careful of store-bought spice blends. They often contain fillers, sweeteners, or hidden MSG so read the labels carefully. I’ve seen added sugar, added flour, and added dehydrated cheese in spice blends.