The Stir Fry Matrix and Yummy Pumpkin Bars

After having the so so veggie burgers the past two nights, our dinner last night was awesome. I made a homemade stir fry, and it really hit the spot for me! The thing I love most about stir fry is you really can use any protein you want (or no protein, if you don’t want), any veggies you want, and any sauce really that you want. It’s so interchangeable, you can kind of just use whatever is in your fridge! I had some shrimp in the freezer that we had picked up at Sam’s, so I started there. Veggie-wise I had a red bell pepper, a package of sugar snap peas, and some carrots in my fridge. Bingo. And a few weeks ago I picked up a bottle of Annie Chun’s Korean Sweet and Spicy sauce. And my stir fry matrix was complete. I’m going to tell you how I put it all together, but really, think of everything as substitutable. So where I used one pound of shrimp, you could use one pound of chicken, beef, pork, tofu etc. Where I used bell pepper, sugar snap peas and carrots, you could use onions, broccoli and mushrooms. Where I used the sweet and spicy sauce, you could use hoisin sauce or soy sauce. Get it? Anything goes, really, in stir fry land. (Well, maybe not anything, but almost everything!)

I used:
1 lb shrimp
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 package sugar snap peas (snow peas are good here too)
1 Tbsp peanut oil, plus 1/2 Tbsp
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp Annie Chun’s Korean Sweet and Spicy sauce (found in organic section at Kroger, I know Whole Foods carries Annie Chun’s too)
1 Tbsp sliced green onion, for garnish

Directions:
1. In a wok, over high heat, add 1 Tbsp peanut oil. When it gets hot, add the shrimp and cook it until it changes color, moving constantly with a wooden spoon to ensure even cooking. Remove the shrimp and set aside.
2. Use a paper towel to wipe out the wok. Add the other 1/2 Tbsp oil and, when hot, add your garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds or so.
3. Add your vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes. Again, it’s important to keep things moving with your spoon. A perfectly stir-fried vegetable is fork tender with a little crunch.
4. Return the shrimp to the wok. Stir in your sauce, and cook for another minute. Garnish, and eat.

So here are some ideas for your own stir fry. Pick and choose as you like.

Protein:
Chicken
Beef
Pork
Shrimp
Tofu
Eggs

Vegetables:
Sliced onion
Sliced bell peppers
Sliced carrots
Diced zucchini
Chopped broccoli
Sugar snap or snow peas
Sliced mushrooms

Sauce:
Sweet and spicy sauce
Chili garlic sauce
Sweet and sour sauce
Soy sauce
Hoisin sauce

Garnish:
Sliced green onions
Cilantro
Chopped peanuts
Roasted cashews

See, it’s easy and FUN! Stir fry is always a standby at our house. Typically my girls even eat it, but tonight the Annie Chun’s sauce was kind of spicy, so I didn’t feed it to them because I was afraid it would burn their mouths. Don’t let that deter you from buying the Annie Chun’s sauce though, it was amazing! It’s actually not that hot either, but my oldest daughter is really sensitive to spicy foods of any kind.

And another note about stir fry: it’s really the only thing that I use peanut oil for, and I make it so frequently that that’s why I keep peanut oil on hand. Peanut oil is the best oil I have found for taking the high temperatures used when making stir fry. If all you’ve got is canola oil or vegetable oil that’s fine too, but I really wouldn’t crank the heat all the way up, maybe just medium high. Olive oil is NOT good for cooking with high heat!

So here is a pic of my yummy stir fry:

20111013-204722.jpg

Stir fry is so easy and pretty much foolproof.

So I’ve reeeally had a sweet tooth the past few days, and I finally got around to satisfying it! I’ve kind of had pumpkin on the brain, so I went with a Peanut Butter Pumpkin Oatmeal Bar, and I do NOT regret it, not for one second. These bars have been a huge hit at my house! My girls love them, and for some reason it just makes me feel so much better if they are eating a homemade dessert, as opposed to one that I just bought at a store or something. I know what’s in it, and that just makes me feel at peace. Anywho, they love these bars, and my husband raved about them as well. Actually, he said they really complimented the Octoberfest beer he was enjoying with his bar, as the beer had some notes of pumpkin. That’s so funny to me! No beer tastes like pumpkin! He’s had me try some of his different beers before and told me they taste like chocolate. No way, absolutely not. I know what beer tastes like and I know what chocolate tastes like, and it’s definitely not the same! I hope I haven’t offended any beer drinkers out there, but I just do not get it. But I digress…

Back to the bars. Here’s the recipe, which I came across on Love Veggies and Yoga.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars

Ingredients:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup pumpkin purée
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Spread batter into a 8×8 inch pan that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting.

And here’s a pic of the little gems:

20111014-064505.jpg

If you’re into pumpkin right now the way I am, definitely give these a try! The only thing is now I’ve got half a can of pumpkin purée left in my fridge that I’ve got to figure out what to do with. Maybe use it in a dessert smoothie? Hmmm…

So, do any of you like to make stir fry and, if so, what’s your favorite way to make it? Any sauces or ingredients that you really love to throw in there?

Have a good weekend everyone!

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October 14, 2011. Uncategorized.

6 Comments

  1. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga replied:

    Glad you like them! Thanks for mentioning them and with the other half of the puree, make this
    http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/10/caramel-maple-pumpkin-pie-smoothie.html

    or I have a pumpkin spice latte on my site, too, under beverages

    Oh and you didn’t have to type out the whole recipe. You could just do a linkback and save yourself the time and keystrokes 🙂

    • Healthy Mommy Blogs replied:

      Thanks Averie! I’m very new to the blogging world, so I need all the help I can get with shortcuts and what not lol! I’ll definitely try the shortcut next time! I share your love of pumpkin (my face cleanser even smells like pumpkin!), and my family is really digging these bars! My problem is limiting myself to only one (maybe 2!) Thanks again for posting, your blog is one of the ones I really follow and admire!

  2. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga replied:

    yeah totally not necessary to re-type recipes, just link back. Here are some tips about blogging since you said you’re new…i did a 5 part series
    http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2011/05/blogging-101.html

    thanks for being a sweetheart and the nice words about the bars and your family loving them too 🙂

  3. Hailey replied:

    Woah… Those bars look amazing!!!! I will have to try those :)))) thanks! I have a yummy bar recipe my mom makes.. I’ll have to share.

  4. Hailey replied:

    Oatmeal Crisps
     
    1/2 cup butter or other shortening
    1 tablespoon Agave Nectar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 3/4 cups uncooked oatmeal
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/3 cup shredded coconut
     
    Melt butter, add Karo, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Mix oatmeal, baking powder, salt, and coconut and add to the butter mixture. Pat thin (about 1/4 inch) into a buttered shallow pan.  Bake at 325  15 or 20 minutes. It says to watch them. Cut into narrow fingers!
    I feel like she has put dark choc in them before too. It’s been a while since I’ve had them but they were delish.

    • Healthy Mommy Blogs replied:

      Hailey those look amazing, I’m for sure going to have to try them. I’m such a coconut girl, so they are right up my alley! Thanks for sharing your recipe, and I’ll let you know when I try them out!

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