This is from Team NF Member Rebel Chef Noel.
It’s March! The shine of the new year has worn off and the motivation inherent with New Year’s resolutions has dwindled away. If you’ve taken advice from Steve, some of those resolutions have become habits by now, and you’ve moved on to tackle bigger and better dragons.
Whether or not you partake in the new years hype, we all start new habits or respawn from time to time. When we do this, the motivation and energy that comes with starting something new doesn’t last forever.
If you’ve recently vowed to cook more of your own food or start a healthy eating habit, the excitement can wear off, and eating the same thing over and over again can start to feel boring.
So if you’re feeling too tired or too lazy to cook a healthy meal, the noble stir fry is here to rescue you.
Until recently, I always through stir fry meant an Asian dish, but I was listening to a Nom Nom Paleo podcast recently, and she was talking about her garbage stir fries – basically anything she has in the fridge or pantry as an easy weeknight meal. Awesome idea, right?
Stir fries are great because they’re an easy dish to make (level 1), and they don’t have to include the same ingredients over and over again. Every time you make one, you can choose different veggies and protein, and different sauces and spices to make a completely different meal.
So here’s a Mediterranean themed stir fry to get your gears turning.
Greek Stir Fry
Serves: 4 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
Feel free to omit or include any ingredients based on your taste preferences!
- 1/4 cup (59mL) olives – any will do here. my personal favorite are castelvetrano olives. They’re usually bright green, a mild flavor, and they’re a little less briney than other olive varieties. However, they’re harder than heck to find pitted, so just choose your fave here.
- 1/2 bunch kale or other leafy green – spinach will also do just fine here
- 1 lb (.45 Kg) chicken – get whatever’s on sale. For me, that was boneless, skinless chicken breast.
- 1/2 onion, sliced – I like red onions when making greek food, but whatever you want is fine.
- 1- 6.5 oz (192mL) jar artichoke heart – drained
- 1/4 cup (59mL) sun dried tomatoes
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 2 Tbsp (30mL) olive oil – separated into 2 portions
- 2 tsp (10mL) oregano
- pepper – to taste
*Note: The reason we’re not using any salt in this recipe is because the ingredients (olives, artichoke hearts, and sun dried tomatoes) are already pretty salty, so most likely your food won’t need it. If you’re used to adding salt, make sure you finish cooking and taste before you take a salt shaker to your food.
To serve (optional):
- Tzatziki sauce – from this recipe or one that uses yogurt if your stomach handles dairy well. Some stores carry pre-made Tzatziki. Just be sure to check labels before you buy!
- Feta cheese – if you can handle dairy
- Cherry tomatoes & cucumber slices – for a side salad or topping
Equipment (see our recommendations here.)
- Cutting board
- Frying pan
- Measuring cups & spoons
1. Cut chicken into bite sized chunks. Set aside. No big deal here. You’ve got this down by now.
2. Wash your cutting board and knife. Don’t want to cross contaminate that raw chicken bacteria with your other ingredients!
3. Cut your olives in half and slice and separate your artichoke hearts. Measure out your sun dried tomatoes.
4. Wash and tear your kale. All you’re going to do is tear the frilly leaves off of the stems like we did in this video.
5. Slice your onions. For stir-frys, it doesn’t really matter how you slice them. Do what your heart tells you.
6. Heat up your pan with 1 Tbsp (15mL) olive oil in it. When the oil is shiny and moves around quickly as you tilt the pan, you know it’s ready.
7. Once the oil and pan are hot, toss the chicken in and cook through, stirring occasionally. This will take about 15 minutes.
8. While the chicken is cooking, add your oregano, pepper, and garlic. Mix.
9. Once the chicken is cooked, toss it on a clean plate. We’ll come back to it later.
10. Put your pan back on the heat and add your second Tbsp (15mL) of olive oil. Let it heat up.
11. Then toss in your onion and mix it around. Get it coated really well in the oil.
12. Let the onions cook for about 3-5 minutes, then toss in your kale (or whichever leafy green you chose).
13. Mix your greens around and get them coated in oil too. Your greens may be HUGE at first and overflow the pan, but don’t worry. As it cooks, it’ll wilt and shrink. Kale also starts to look bright green and shiny.
14. Now throw in your artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, olives and whatever the heck else you want; add your chicken back in now too. Mix it around and squeeze your lemon over the top.
15. Let everything heat through for about 5 minutes, and you’re done!
You can serve this along with some Paleo Tzatziki sauce from this recipe, or if your store carries the pre-made stuff and you can handle dairy, you can use that instead. Top with a little feta cheese (again, if you’re cool with dairy).
The awesome thing about tossing veggies and protein in a pan and mixing it together is that it’s super easy and you can get a ton of variety by experimenting with different flavors. Generally, a stir fry only takes about 30 minutes to prepare, and, depending on how much you eat, you’re usually able to make enough food for a couple of meals at a time.
Need more calories? Serve with rice or potatoes!
Want a different flavor profile? Check out our article on spices to change things up and experiment with different vegetables. You can even add fruits like pineapples or grapes to some stir fries. Sky’s the limit!
What kind of stir fry can you make that you hadn’t thought about before?
What are your favorite flavor combinations?
Let us know in the comments!
Photos: Barney Moss: Expedition