Stir Fried Vegetables with Orange Sauce
THEME: #166 STIR FRY
Stir fries are one of the easiest meals to make. Stir fry literally means cooking tender vegetables or meat, blanched vegetables, or boiled vegetables and meat in a small quantity of oil over high heat. This results in the vegetables becoming a bit crunchy and most of the nutrients is preserved.
While some vegetables are easy to stir fry some need to be blanched for a while. What is blanching? Blanching is a cooking method where vegetables or fruits are added to boiling water, allowed to cook for a short time, removed from the hot water and immediately dipped in ice cold water. The way one cuts or chops the vegetables also makes a difference. Certain fish, prawns, shrimps can be stir fried if cut into small pieces or are small in size. However when one talks about stir fry, vegetables immediately comes to one’s mind.
The #166th theme for FoodieMonday/Bloghop group STIR FRY, was chosen by Sujata who blogs at Batter Up With Sujata. Her blog is a treasure trove of healthy diabetic friendly sweet dishes and healthy bakes.
I decided to make a healthy medley of stir fried vegetables and served it with orange sauce and quinoa. What makes a stir fry appealing is not only the crunchiness of the vegetables but also how well the sauce is prepared and how flavorful it is. The sauce should not taste of cornstarch(cornflour), it shouldn’t be too thick or thin. It should lightly coat the stir fry.
So lets dig into a healthy, gluten free, low in carb and yet a filling stir fry. And who said it has to be served with noodles or rice only? It can be served with couscous, quinoa or enjoyed on its own. Often I make a whole panful of mixed stir fried vegetables only for dinner.
STIR FRIED VEGETABLES WITH ORANGE SAUCE
For the stir fried vegetables:
½ cup fresh French beans cut into 2 inch long sticks
½ cup sliced zucchini
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup snow peas (sugar snap peas) cut into halves if too big
1 cup carrot slices
1 cup mushroom chunks or slices
½ red pepper, cut into big squares or sticks
1 medium onion peeled and cut into chunks or slices
½ cup boiled chickpeas
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp sesame seed oil
For the Orange Sauce:
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger paste
½ tsp dry chili flakes
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp cornstarch (cornflour)
¼ – ½ tsp salt
½ cup water
½ tsp coarse pepper powder
1 tsp sesame seed oil
roasted sesame seeds
Preparation of the Orange Sauce:
- Mix water and cornstarch well.
- Add orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar and honey. Mix well.
- Heat oil in a small pan.
- Add garlic and ginger. Stir fry for a few seconds.
- Add the cornstarch and orange mixture to the pan.
- Cook the sauce, stirring continuously till it begins to thicken.
- Take the pan off the heat.
- Add orange zest,chili flakes, salt and pepper powder. Mix well.
- Keep the sauce on the side till required.
Preparation of the Stir Fried Vegetables:
- Heat a small pan of water till it begins to boil.
- Keep a bowl of ice cold water ready.
- Add broccoli florets and let it blanch for one minute.
- Using a perforated spoon, remove the florets and immediately drop them in the cold water.
- Now add the French beans in the boiling water. Blanch for a minute.
- Using a perforated spoon remove the beans and drop them in the cold water.
- Finally add the snow peas to the boiling water. Blanch them for a minute and then remove them using a perforated spoon. Drop the snow peas in the cold water.
- Heat oil in a wide pan or a wok over high heat.
- Add the carrot slices and stir fry them for a minute.
- Add onion and sweet pepper. Stir fry for 30 seconds.
- Add the zucchini and mushrooms. Stir fry for about a minute,
- Drain out the water from the mixture of snow peas, broccoli and french beans.
- Add them to the pan.
- Add the boiled chickpeas and mix all the vegetables gently and stir fry for a minute.
- Add the sauce, mix well and serve immediately with roasted sesame seeds sprinkles on top.
- Serve it with some noodles, rice, quinoa or couscous.
- Don’t cut the zucchini and carrots into slices that are too thin or too thick.
- Can serve the sauce on the side if you wish, just warm it up before serving.
- Add vegetables of your choice like cauliflower, bamboo shoot, bean sprouts etc.
- Can stir fried tofu, paneer or small pieces of meat/fish.
- You can add roasted nuts like peanuts, cashew nuts or almonds.
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