Guide to Better Stir-Fry: 5 Ways To Step Up Your Cooking Skills

When it comes to adding more veggies to your diet, stir-fry seems to be the entry level recipe into the plant based kingdom of eating habits. To take this easy meal to the next level, I created a quick guide to better stir-fry.

guide to better stir-fry

It’s easy to make, doesn’t take much cooking skill, and with a teeny-weeny bit of effort can be extremely versatile. Oh did I add that it’s  ridiculously cheap to make. It’s the number one recipe for all those lonely vegetables in your fridge that you  otherwise have no idea how to combine.  

After a while though, making the same old stir-fry recipe time after time can be boring and bland. Just like a relationship the passion between your taste buds and your stir-fry will eventually fizzle, so it’s time to spice things up a bit. This short and sweet guide to better stir-fry will help put the sizzle back into one of the most popular week day meals. Get your aprons out and let’s do this!

Balanced Babe Guide To Better Stir-Fry

guide to better stir-fry

1. Play With Proteins: To create a complete meal in one pan, you should be focusing on proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs which can be primarily in the form of veggies. Personally, I like to create primarily plant based stir-fry, but I know we aren’t all vegetarians or vegans here.  If you do eat animal proteins, opt for lean meats, poultry, or seafood. Shrimp, chicken, and turkey can be a great protein addition to your stir-fry. 

2. Get Nutty: If you want to stick with a plant based stir-fry recipe, add some nuts to your dish for protein and crunch. Cashews are my favorite, but peanuts are also a popular nut to add to stir-fry recipes. This Thai peanut sauce stir-fry recipe will be sure to satisfy any nutty craving you may have.

3.  Swap The Rice (Or Go Carb Free): A lot of us love adding white rice to our stir-fry recipes to soak up any sauces, but sometimes going carb free or using swaps like quinoa can turn your dinner into a healthier option. This honey ginger variation uses farro instead of rice, or you can opt for quinoa version instead. 

Related: Cauliflower stir-fry rice

4: Create Different Flavor Profiles: Stop making the same old recipe over and over again with high sodium soy sauce. The number one way to switch up your stir-fry recipes is to create different sauces and flavor profiles. Add fruit to the mix by creating a pineapple alternative, go for some tang by creating a sweet and sour option, or create a sesame forward stir-fry instead. 

5: Think Outside Of The Box – Play With Different Cuisines: If you are a stir-fry pro and have been making yourself this meal time and time again, it’s time to get extra creative. Perhaps you’re craving Mexican? Opt for a Mexican flavored stir-fry instead by focusing on flavors like chili powder.  Or add flavors like cumin and garam masala to add an Indian flare to your dish. This recipe does just that.

So with that said, I hope you get inspired with this guide to better stir-fry. Time to step up your game and cooking skills to create week night dinners that you actually enjoy! My own stir-fry recipe is plant-based and focuses on using veggies and coconut aminos instead of sodium. This is always an easy way to whip up your leftover vegetables from the week in a pinch!

guide to better stir-fry

Obviously it’s always healthier to cook with fresh ingredients, but sometimes your work day is extra long and chopping vegetables all evening doesn’t sound exciting. In a pinch, you can find frozen stir-fry vegetables at grocery stores like Mariano’s and Trader Joes. Just make sure you read the labels to ensure it’s truly straight up veggies with no added ingredients. 

I also used tempeh as my protein of choice. I chose tempeh instead of tofu since tempeh is a fermented soy product which makes it a healthier option to soy. I’m hoping to write an article on this in the future, but for now I’m just adding it to this recipe. You can substitute tempeh for a different protein as well. 


Gluten-Free & Low Sodium Vegetable Stir Fry

guide to better stir-fry


  • Bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • Half a block of tempeh, diced
  • 1 inch of grated ginger
  • coconut aminos (you can use as little as you’d like or as much as you’d like)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic or 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1/2 white onion chopped


  1. In a wok or skillet, heat up the coconut oil and add the chopped onion, garlic and ginger
  2. Once the onion is translucent, add the frozen stir-fry vegetables and cook on medium / high heat until thawed
  3. Add the tempeh and coconut aminos and cook for about 7-10 minutes
  4. Serve and enjoy!

I hope this guide to better stir-fry gives you inspiration to cook with more plant based ingredients and to enjoy the art of cooking as well. If you have any other tips or tricks for creating stir-fry, please share them with me in the comments! Happy cooking!

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