For our family, Thursday is payday, and I do grocery shopping on Fridays. So meals on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, tend to be using up fruit and vegetables from the fridge that may be starting to wilt a bit more, and not be as fresh.
Stir fries are a great way to use up not-as-fresh vegetables, while still providing a filling and nutritious meal that is tasty.
A lot of people avoid using brown rice, as there is a misconception that it is hard to cook, but using a microwave rice cooker means it is ready in 20 minutes, perfectly cooked. Using brown rice instead of white rice provides more nutrients for the same price, and is actually more economical as Brown Rice fills you up better than white.
Normally I would make my own stir fry sauce of honey, soy, minced garlic, minced ginger, and a little oil, however tonight I bought a Maggi Stir Fry Infusion/Finishing Sauce pack from the supermarket for $3.59 and used that instead. What I like is that the packet is completely scissor-free! It is perforated down the centre and separates completely. It even has tear tabs that actually tear across, and allow you to get all of each section from the packet.
I cook my rice first, using a Sistema Rice Cooker (amazing little thing that it is). It is so super easy to use! And here is how:
1 C brown rice
2.5 C boiling water
Rinse the brown rice 3 times in cold water to remove any excess starch or loose husk. Drain well.
Add the boiling water
replace the vented lid, then the vented lid (make sure that the vents on the top lid are in the middle of the divisions of the middle lid).
Cook for 20 minutes on HIGH. Check the rice using the included rice paddle. If there is still water in the bottom, cook for a further few minutes (up to 5).
2 T oil
2 large-ish sized chicken breasts (or chicken thigh meat)
3 C vegetables (I used sliced onion, 2 t minced garlic & 1 t minced ginger (these would usually be in the stirfry sauce), 2 peeled and chopped carrots, broccoli cut into florets, a can of chopped baby corn, and a dozen mushrooms which have been wiped, stems trimmed, and cut into quarters)
packet of crispy noodles (optional)
50 gm roasted salted cashews (optional)
1 packet of Maggi Stirfry Honey Soy Chicken sauce (or home made stir fry sauce made from 3 T honey, 3 T soy sauce, 2 t minced garlic, 1 t minced ginger, 1 T oil)
Slice the chicken breast, and add either the infusion paste from the Maggi packet or the marinade. Let marinate for 5 minutes for the infusion paste, or up to 30 minutes for the homemade marinade, while you prepare the vegetables.
Peel and halve the onion, then slice lengthwise into medium-sized slices. Peel and chop the carrots, cut the broccoli into florets, open and drain the baby corn, wipe/trim/quarter the mushroom.
Heat the oil in a large frypan until hot, then add the onion, garlic, and ginger.
Fry until the onion is just starting to go transparent, then add the marinated chicken.
Stir fry until almost cooked, stirring all the time.
Add the carrots,
then the broccoli and mushrooms,
and finally the baby corn pieces,
making sure that you are stirring all the time, and cooking each addition partly through before adding the next.
Finally, add the finishing sauce (if using) and mix well gently.
Then add the crispy noodles, and cashews (if using)
and serve with the cooked brown rice
This was met with empty plates and grins of approval from all of us. Win!