Whatever Works Stir-Fry; and a Lesson in Oil-Free Cooking

Recipe Author: 
Kathy Pollard

Creating a simple stir-fry is a basic skill for convenient, simple plant-based cooking.  Use this recipe to get your daily greens in, use up whatever you have in the fridge that needs eating, and use this recipe as a lesson in stir-frying without oil as well!

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 pressed or chopped garlic cloves, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Vegetables – what do you have in the fridge today?  Use 3 – 6 kinds.
  • Tofu/Tempeh
  • Soy Sauce (optional)


  • Vegetable broth
  • Splash of Mirin
  • Splash of Brown Rice Vinegar
  • Pepper
  • 1 or two T sesame seeds
  • Seasonings such as oregano, parsley, ginger, chili powder, all-purpose seasoning

Add onion to a wok or large sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of water or liquid under “Options.”  Sauté on medium heat until soft - around 3 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add in tofu or tempeh now, if desired. Then add whatever fresh vegetables you have in the fridge, in order of hardness, and sauté, adding a splash of liquid as you cook.  Add tablespoons of soy sauce at the end for added flavor.
For example, add carrots first and cook for 5 minutes, making sure there is enough liquid to keep from burning.  (Keep the heat down as well).  Here’s a good time to add the tofu or tempeh. Now watch the moisture level as it cooks, as tofu absorbs water. Add more liquid if needed. Then add green or red pepper, kale, celery, or broccoli and cook for 3 minutes.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Now is a good time to add seasonings if desired.  Then add green beans, scallions, asparagus or snow peas, or whatever you think would work.  You get the idea!  Add soy sauce and sesame seeds, if desired.  Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

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