Basic Vegetable Stir Fry, How to Cook Vegetables

Quick easy way to combine vegetables with different cooking times

Stir Fried Vegetables

How to Cook Vegetables: Stir fry is our favorite way to cook veggies. It makes them a feast for the eyes & taste buds.

Stir frying veggies seals in the color, flavor, vitamins and minerals, often leached out in steaming or boiling.

Stir fry is an easy way to combine vegetables with different cooking times, add spices, nuts and seeds or beans, or sauce veggies at the end of cooking.

Total prep & cook time: 30 min

2 Servings

Nutrition Data Per Serving, 236 g: 97 cal, 17g carb, 3g fat, 74mg sodium, 5g fiber, 4g protein, low Cholesterol, good source Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Vit A, C, K, B6, Potassium and Manganese. Estimated glycemic load 6

For this vegetable recipe, you'll need a wide, shallow, heavy bottomed pan, with a lid, and a wooden or bamboo spatula.


  • 1 tsp coconut oil, sunflower or other high heat cooking oil
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 cup chopped fresh beans - we used a mixture of yellow and green beans
  • 1 cup chopped summer squash
  • 1/2 tsp masala spice mix
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 2 Tbsp water
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  • Peel the carrot, slice in half lengthwise, then in thin slices
  • Wash and trim the celery, and slice thinly on the diagonal
  • Wash, trim and cut the beans into 1 inch pieces
  • Wash, trim and cut the summer squash into bite sized pieces
  • Wash the kale and strip the leaves off the stems with your fingers. Chop in 1 - 2 inch pieces
  • Heat the oil on medium-high in your pan
  • Add the carrot, celery and beans to the pan and stir fry until half cooked - about 5 minutes
  • Add the summer squash and stir fry for 2 minutes
  • Add the masala spice mix and stir fry for 1 minute
  • Add the kale on top of the veggies in the pan, add the 2 Tbsp of water, and cover the pan without stirring
  • Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 2 - 5 minutes
  • Remove the lid, and stir the kale into the other veggies
  • Serve immediately
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  1. Add minced onion, garlic or fresh ginger to taste and stir fry for 2 minutes before adding the hard veggies
  2. Add 2 Tbsp cashews, blanched almonds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds with the hard veggies
  3. Add 1/2 pkg extra firm tofu or panir before adding the kale
  4. Add 1/2 cup cooked chick peas or frozen peas before adding the kale
  5. Sweet and Sour Sauce
  6. Coconut Sauce: Add 2/3 cup coconut milk, 1/2 tsp curry powder or turmeric, and 1 Tbsp Braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce in place of water.
  7. Chick Pea Sauce: Blend 1/4 cup chickpeas with 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp curry powder or turmeric, 1 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos or soy sauce. Add to veggies in place of water

Stir Fry Vegetable Cooking Tips:

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For the stir fry pictured, we used carrot, celery, mixed fresh beans, summer squash and kale, with no salt added, as there is plenty of sodium in the veggies.

Use cooking oil meant for high temperatures. If you're sautéing on medium heat, olive oil will be fine. Use just enough oil to lightly coat the veggies. Add water as needed to keep the veggies from sticking.

Steaming for a few minutes after stir frying or sautéing will bring your vegetables to the desired degree of 'doneness' in 2 - 5 minutes. If you're a crunchy veggie fan, skip that step.

When combining veggies with different cooking times, stir-fry the 'hard' or long-cooking veggies together first, then add the 'medium', and last add the 'soft' veggies which take only a couple of minutes to cook.

'Hard' Veggies: Onion, garlic, carrots, beets, parsnips, celery, potatoes, yam, winter squash, celeriac, Jerusalem artichoke

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'Medium' Veggies: Summer squash, zucchini, patty-pan squash, mushrooms, head cabbage, eggplant

'Soft' Veggies: Kale, collard greens, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, chard, spinach, mustard greens, parsley, basil, frozen veggies

Serve vegetable stir fry with rice or quinoa and simple mung dhal soup for a satisfying meal. With the addition of beans, nuts, tofu or panir, and a sauce, vegetable stir fry makes a delicious main dish recipe to serve over any grain or noodles.

Recipe Comments:

Question: At what level would you add eggplant? Thanks - Susan C.

Answer: Eggplant is a 'medium' veggie, like summer squash, but it's full of water, so needs special preparation so you won't have a soggy stirfry. Cut the eggplant into 1 inch slices, salt both sides, then let it sit until the salt draws out the moisture. Then squeeze it between paper towels. Then you can add it to the stir fry. - Savvy Veg

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