Recipe: Stir-Fried Vegetables

A large nonstick skillet is useful for stir-frying vegetables. The goal is to end up with vegetables that are cooked until tender-crisp and flavorful. By combining only two or three vegetables, you’ll get more distinguished flavors. Plus, this makes it easier to time the cooking so they are all done at the right time.

Olive and canola oils are among the heart-healthiest choices for stir-frying. For a wonderful flavor, add a little sesame oil (available in the Chinese food section of larger supermarkets or health food stores). If you are watching your weight, be sure to add only a little oil.


Vegetables of your choice. Popular combinations include the following:

  • Carrots, broccoli, and mushrooms
  • Onions, zucchini, and tomatoes
  • Chinese cabbage and water chestnuts
  • Sugar snap peas Chinese pea pods, and green peas

Cooking oil of your choice: canola, olive, sesame

Optional: toasted sesame seeds; nuts; mandarin orange sections; pineapple chunks


  1. Wash the vegetables and drain well (to prevent oil from spattering when the vegetables are added to the hot skillet, wok, or pan). Cut into bite-sized pieces or 1/8-inch slices. 
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet, wok, or large frying pan over high heat until very hot, then add 1 to 3 teaspoons of canola, olive, or sesame oil—just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Stir-fry for a minute to flavor the oil.
  3. First add vegetables that take the longest to cook (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli); a few minutes later, add the remaining veggies (mushrooms, bean sprouts, cabbage, spinach). 
  4. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook small batches at a time. The goal is to cook the vegetables until they are tender but still crunchy, about 2 to 5 minutes.
  5. Optional: Garnish the vegetables with toasted sesame seeds, toasted nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts), mandarin orange sections, or pineapple chunks.

Nutrition Information

Note: Most vegetables contain negligible amounts of protein and fat but offer carbohydrate, fiber and abundant vitamins and minerals. Since you will choose your own vegetables in this recipe, nutrition information has not been provided.

Nutrient timing: Recovery

Special diets: Vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, vegan

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