Thursday, April 2, 2015

Freezer Clean Out Stir Fry, Paleo Style

This morning I got dressed and ran around doing a few errands before meeting some friends for lunch. Usually when I leave I take something out of the freezer and stick it in a small insulated bag so it will be nearly thawed by the time I get home. Today I forgot to do that.

I had a few other things to do after lunch and wound up getting home a little later than I intended. When I finally came home I did the late afternoon unthinkable, I picked up a book.  Yikes!  Forgot about thawing or planning.

Tonight at about 6 I finally thought about dinner.  Honestly, I did not think about it as much as I heard TheHub ask what was for dinner when he called before he left work. Then I did think and all I thought was "Hmmm, I have no earthly idea what I am going to cook for dinner."  I thought it might be a good idea to run check  the freezer and fridge for whatever I could cook in a hurry.

Since I have been trying to eat from the freezer to clear it out before summer, I have used all of my packages of 2 or 3 chicken breasts, chops and steaks. I only had the multi pound packages left. They were solidly frozen it would have taken a while to get them to thaw, even using the microwave.
But I did find 1 pack with a single boneless chicken breast and a pack with 1 large pork chop so out they came. I put them in the microwave to thaw for just 3 minutes.

Having 2 proteins for dinner just screamed to be cooked as a stir fry. While they were still icy and easier to slice thin, I cut the chicken crossways in 1/4 inch thick slices.  I cut the pork chop in 1/8 inch slices and then looked in the crisper and the laundry room refrigerator to see what I could put with them.

I had a half of a bag of kale left from Wednesday's lunch, onions and garlic, (I always have these on hand) fresh ginger (ditto), a new bag of carrots, and a container of mushrooms that had gotten pushed to the back of the shelf.  I also had about a cup of chicken broth that needed to be used immediately.

Before I did another thing I put on a pot of rice to cook.  Rice takes about 22 minutes no matter what, and I figured by the time I chopped and cooked, the stir fry and rice should be ready at about the same time.

                                                              Freezer Clean Out Stir Fry

1 tablespoon oil
1 chicken breast sliced thin
1 pork chop sliced very thin

1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 onion sliced
4 medium carrots cut in coins
1 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 small package of mushrooms, quartered
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 bag also
1 tablespoon coconut aminos or soy sauce*
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or 2 teaspoons corn starch**

In a large pan heat the oil until it is almost smoking.  Add the pork and chicken slices and stir like a mad man. The meat/chicken will be cooked through in about 2 or 3 minutes, so it really is important to keep stirring so it will not stick or burn.  Remove to a plate and add the remaining oil to the same hot skillet.  Immediately add the onions and carrots stirring until both are wilted but not brown. Add the ginger and cook it for an additional minute, then add the garlic.  As soon as the garlic wilts ( about 45 seconds) add the mushrooms and broth. Add the chicken and pork back to the pan and stir to combine well.  Place the kale on top of the veggie mix and put a lid on the pan. (I had to let  1/2 of the kale cook down and then I added the other half because it would not all fit uncooked.) When the kale is wilted and cooked through, stir in the coconut aminos or soy sauce.  Mix the arrowroot with the water to make a paste and stir it into the pan to thicken the broth. (Make sure you have enough liquid left in your pan before doing this. If you don't see about 1/2 inch of liquid at the bottom of the pan add a bit of water).  Stir well to make sure everything is coated.  Serve over a bed of rice, unless you are doing the paleo thing.  If you are doing paleo serve over cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash.

This was a really tasty last minute meal.  It is much like a traditional asian stir fry, but I am not sure kale would be a traditional ingredient.  You could easily make this using just about any vegetable you had rattling around your crisper.  It is an easy way to use up whatever has seen better days ( like the well hidden mushrooms)  I guess, I knew this was going to be a keeper when Son2 slipped a bite while taking the plates to the table. I liked it because in addition to tasting really good, it was a vegetable dense meal and I didn't have to eat a salad to get enough vegetables with my meal. And for those of us what are eating salad every single meal that is a win. (And yes, I am even eating salad at breakfast.)

What do you cook when you have nothing planned or prepared?

* Soy is not a paleo food so I use the coconut aminos
**Neither is corn starch but it is a much better thickening agent.


  1. When we have nothing prepared or planned, we have something like a quick spaghetti with jar sauce and spinach or a pizza from the freezer. Or like last night, we have take out. My husband was happy with that because he hasn't had Kung Pao chicken from his favorite restaurant in a long time.

    1. We are usually take out or eat out people also, but we decided we would not go out more than once every 2 weeks for a while. We also do the jarred sauce. I don't mind cooking every day, but I hate deciding what to make. Well, deciding and clean up. I hate housework.

  2. It looks amazing!!! Yummy. One day I'm just going to show up at your door with a fork in hand.
    I'm at the point where I need to start eating down our supply. We have been gettin such good sales around here so I can't seem to stop buying.

  3. You don't even have to bring your fork! I am trying to empty the freezer before the summer produce comes in. Now that I think about it, strawberries will be ready in a few weeks. And that is precisely why we don't need to eat out! Now if I will just quit grocery shopping!

  4. I'm having the same problem. If I could just stay out of the store, we would be rich. Well, not rich but have a few extra dollars at the end of the week. Plus Den is as bad as I am, he likes to try different things. Mind you, its great since I don't have to cook but we aren't saving much.