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Stock up on day-old red and green peppers on sale or celery, onions, or other veggies. Chop them up and freeze them to use later. You can do the same thing with any vegetable you've bought that seem to be "on the turn" to avoid throwing them away. To use later, defrost or throw into a stir-fry for a quick meal.
By Lynda from Kearny, NJ
I stir fry quite often with fresh veggies. In order to get everything cooked properly, I need to add the different ingredients separately: first onions; then harder veggies that need to be softened, like carrots; then soft ones like broccoli or chard, that only need to cook briefly. This always results in several prep bowls getting dirty just to hold the chopped ingredients until it is their turn.
Now I use the bowls I'm planning on serving the stir fry in instead of specific prep bowls. I just give them a rinse and a wipe after I add each ingredient. This saves me a ton of dishes. You wouldn't want to do this with meat or anything else that would not be cleaned quickly and easily.
Another tip that I have learned the hard way. Start the rice FIRST! I have a rice cooker so I always start a batch cooking before I chop any veggies. After the veggies are done, I use the cutting board to cut up meat, if I am using any. That way, it can go right in the dishwasher.
I usually have the stir fry ready to serve when the rice cooker is done. Despite chopping all the veggies (which you could certainly minimize with frozen), this is my fastest and most reliable weeknight dinner.
By Jess (TF Editor) from Hillsboro, OR
I have never been able to get my husband to eat stir fries with rice, so in desperation I started using hash browns instead. I cook the hash browns in one pan, and in another I cook finely cut up onion and sliced mushrooms, add leftover cooked chicken or uncooked cut in smallish pieces, or thin strips of steak that have been marinated in 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1/2 cup orange juice for an hour.
I've also used sausages, seasoned with a little poultry seasoning, a favorite of our son. When almost cooked I add leftover vegetables, or whatever I have on hand: carrots, snow peas, corn. When everything is cooked, combine together, and season with salt. This heats up fine as a leftover.
By glenda eileen lockhart from Nova Scotia
When adding frozen veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, etc. to a stir fry, thaw the veggies first. I know the directions say not to thaw, but whenever I followed those directions, my veggies would be overcooked. My way seems to work much better.
By Harlean from Hot Springs, Arkansas