Stir-fried vegetables might be the perfect weeknight meal. Think about it – it’s quick, it’s healthy, and (most importantly) it’s satisfyingly delicious. You can serve vegan stir fry recipes on top of quinoa for some extra protein in your life, or you can eat it with a nice helping of healthy brown rice. I’ve even made it with some fried tofu on top and it’s always tasty!
No matter how you choose to serve it, making the stir-fry satisfying comes down to one simple decision: choose your vegetables wisely. You could use any seasonal vegetable, this is true, but there are a few crucial centerpiece ingredients that make high-protein vegan stir fry recipes super satisfying. Want to know what they are? Read on!
Broccoli performs two important functions in vegan stir fry recipes. First of all, it takes up bulk. It gives you something substantial to chew on, and that’s an important way to help yourself feel full. If you’re done eating in two bites, you might not think you had a real dinner!
This green brassica vegetable also packs a nutritional punch. It brings vitamins C and K to the dish, along with fiber, folate, and anti-inflammatory benefits. It even brings a bit of protein—4 grams, which is a surprising amount for a vegetable. Broccoli is an important vegetable in the vegan diet, so don’t skip this ingredient.
Some people might tell you that mushrooms don’t have any nutritional benefits, but that’s just not true. Mushrooms bring along some fiber and protein, which will help you feel fuller for longer. This is really important, especially if you’re following a vegan diet without any animal proteins. These mushrooms also have anti-inflammatory properties, so eaten along with broccoli they can really help you reduce inflammation in the body.
Nutritional benefits aside, mushrooms are filled with umami flavors. These flavors create a really savory eating experience, which sends an “I’m full” message to your brain. They also have a meaty texture which makes the eating experience that much more enjoyable.
Cashews bring a lot more than just a sweet, nutty flavor to a stir-fry. They also bring a lot of texture, which is helpful in creating a sense of fullness when eating. It’s important to have a few different textures – crunchy, soft, chewy, and creamy – when creating a satisfying dish. The cashew will taste both crunchy and creamy, leaving you with a more pleasant eating experience.
Cashews are also super high in copper, magnesium, and iron. They’re a perfect paleo food, too, because they’re a good source of both protein and fat. While fat sometimes gets a bad rap, the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in cashews have actually been found to lower LDL (or, bad) cholesterol, which can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.
Now that you know all about our secret ingredients and why they work, are you ready to get your stir-fry on? We are too! We think you’ll love the flavor and texture of these vegan stir fry recipes, but be sure to drop us a line in the comments and let us know why.
Yields: 4 servings | Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Calories: 133 | Total Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 286mg | Carbohydrates: 12g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Protein: 6g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 3
- 2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped small
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth, optional water
- 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
- 1/4 cup cashews, optional water chestnuts
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar, optional
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- In a large skillet on high heat, add the broccoli, onion, garlic, mushrooms, red pepper, ginger, and water. Cook, stirring often until broccoli is soft and onions are translucent. Add broth and more as needed to prevent the vegetables from sticking.
- Stir in the carrot, cashews, vinegar, soy sauce, and coconut sugar. Stir well and simmer for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve alone or on top of quinoa or brown rice.