The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection: 9 Essential Recipes You Need To Create 90 Amazing Complete Meals

Chapter 8: Stir Fry

Master Chicken Stir Fry

Crispy Tofu Stir Fry

All-Veggie Stir Fry

Beef Stir Fry with Onions

Pork Stir Fry

Shrimp Stir Fry

Indian Salmon Stir Fry

Chickpea Stir Fry

Tempeh and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry

Sausage Stir Fry

The Principles of Stir Fry

Stir fry usually comes to mind as the perfect one-pot meal; however, many people think preparing a stir fry is a license to just throw everything that’s in the refrigerator crisper bin into the pot! Really good stir fry follows a structure, to ensure your finished dish doesn’t end up a watery mess. Before I give you the Master Stir Fry, let’s take a look at equipment, choice of oil, level of heat, and more.

1. I recommend a wok. It can be a traditional round-bottomed wok or a flat-bottomed wok that’s traditionally called a wok pan. Just make sure your wok of choice is deep. The sloping sides of a real wok are ideal to get vegetables nice and crisp. The issue with just a large pan without sloping sides is that the vegetables cook in only one layer, which produces excess water from all the steaming going on. Woks are inexpensive, and trust me, the results are worth it.

2. Choose an oil that can withstand high heat. I like peanut oil the most, but if you have an allergy to peanuts, I would recommend a plain vegetable oil. The oil doesn’t necessarily have to contain a lot of flavor, as the ingredients will provide plenty of flavor on their own.

3. Make sure your heat is kept high. For the most part, the heat is kept high so the cooking time is quick. You’ll produce less water when the ingredients are tossed about quickly on high heat.

4. Slice, dice, and chop your stir fry ingredients first, then bring everything over to the stove and begin cooking. The preparation may take a bit more time, but once you get the hang of the Master Recipe, you’ll be able to get dinner on the table in no time!

The Master Chicken Stir Fry

This first recipe is really a master recipe for the remaining stir fry recipes. The format is the same: a protein is stir fried first in a hot wok to develop a crust. Then aromatic herbs and spices, usually fresh, are stir fried quickly to perfume the entire pan. A few vegetables are added; do not add a mountain of vegetables. If you do, they will cook at different rates and will produce a watery stir fry. My rule is no more than four vegetables and no more than two colors. Then, the cooked protein is added back in, followed by a finishing sauce. In each of the stir fry recipes in this chapter, I’ll add a few different ingredients just to add variety to the dish. But once you get the hang of the framework, you’ll learn to cook these without even looking at the recipe!

The sauce is a super-basic one. Use it for at least the first three recipes, or all ten recipes, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. However, for the beef, pork, and shrimp stir fry dishes, the sauce is even more simplified, as these proteins are hearty enough on their own and need few enhancements.

Think of a stir fry in four components: a protein, seasoning herbs and spices, vegetables, and a sauce.

Indian Stir Fry

Indian flavors are bold and flavorful, and when you tire of the traditional Asian soy-based stir fry, you can turn to these for a change of pace. These versions rely more on ground spices and herbs and skip some of the steps found in the Master Recipe. I’d recommend learning the Master Recipe first before trying these versions.

Master Chicken Stir Fry

Master Chicken Stir Fry

Serves: 5 | Serving size: 1 cup | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 12 minutes

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch × 1-inch strips 

1 tablespoon lite soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot

Master Sauce

3/4 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth 

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/2 tablespoon lite soy sauce

1 teaspoon chili purée with garlic 

1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot

Vegetables

1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil, divided use

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon peeled, grated ginger

1 medium red pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

1 cup broccoli florets

1/4 cup low-sodium, fat-free broth

1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chicken with the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cornstarch. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.

2. In another bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.

3. Heat half the vegetable oil in a large wok over high heat. When hot, turn the heat to medium high and add the chicken. Stir fry for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. (You do not need to continuously stir the chicken as you want the chicken to develop a crust and sear.) Remove the chicken from the wok to a plate and set aside.

4. Add the remaining oil to the wok. Add in the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the red pepper, celery, and broccoli and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the broth, cover, and steam 3 minutes.

5. Add the chicken and stir fry for 1 minute. Add in the sauce and cook for 1 minute, coating the chicken and vegetables with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Carbohydrate; 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 3 Protein, lean

Calories 180; Calories from Fat 45; Total Fat 5.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.1 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 55 mg; Sodium 390 mg; Potassium 400 mg; Total Carbohydrate 10 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 4 g; Protein 21 g; Phosphorus 185 mg

Sides

Brown Rice

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup brown rice

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions and serve alongside stir fry and orange slices.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 1/2 Starch

Calories 110; Calories from Fat 10; Total Fat 1.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.2 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 40 mg; Total Carbohydrate 22 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 0 g; Protein 3 g; Phosphorus 80 mg

Orange

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1 orange

1 small orange

1. Slice orange and serve alongside stir fry and brown rice.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Fruit

Calories 45; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 170 mg; Total Carbohydrate 11 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 9 g; Protein 1 g; Phosphorus 15 mg

Crispy Tofu Stir Fry

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 cup | Prep time: 10 minutes | Freeze time: 24 hours | Cook time: 15 minutes

Unlike animal proteins, tofu is better when you rid it of its “mushy” characteristics. Please be aware that the first step in this recipe calls for freezing the tofu overnight. This process makes the tofu even firmer and more receptive to the flavors you will add to it.

14 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut in 3/4-inch slices, then cut into 2-inch triangles 

2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, divided use

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon peeled, grated ginger

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound asparagus, peeled and cut diagonally into 2-inch lengths

3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps cleaned, thinly sliced

Master Sauce

3/4 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth 

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/2 tablespoon lite soy sauce

1 teaspoon chili purée with garlic 

1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot

1. Freeze the tofu triangles, uncovered, on a cookie sheet overnight. In the morning, set the frozen tofu in the refrigerator to thaw. Before cooking, dry the tofu with paper towels to remove any excess surface moisture.

2. When ready to stir fry, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large wok. Add the tofu, in batches, and season with salt and pepper. Turn the tofu every 3 minutes for a total cooking time of 10 minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan.

3. Heat the remaining oil in the wok. Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the asparagus and mushrooms and stir fry for 3–4 minutes until asparagus is tender, but still bright green.

4. Combine all the Master Sauce ingredients in a bowl.

5. Add back the tofu and add the sauce and cook 1 minute, coating the tofu and vegetables with the sauce.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Carbohydrate; 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Protein, lean; 1 Fat

Calories 140; Calories from Fat 80; Total Fat 9.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.8 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 380 mg; Potassium 230 mg; Total Carbohydrate 9 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 8 g; Phosphorus 125 mg

Sides

Brown Rice

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup brown rice

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions and serve alongside stir fry and orange slices.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 1/2 Starch

Calories 110; Calories from Fat 10; Total Fat 1.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.2 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 40 mg; Total Carbohydrate 22 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 0 g; Protein 3 g; Phosphorus 80 mg

Orange

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1 orange

1 small orange

1. Slice orange and serve alongside stir fry and brown rice.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Fruit

Calories 45; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 170 mg; Total Carbohydrate 11 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 9 g; Protein 1 g; Phosphorus 15 mg

All Veggie Stir Fry

Serves: 5 | Serving size: 1 cup | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes

I paired this with the Master Chicken Sear; however, any of the Master Proteins will also work. Go ahead and choose your favorite! Resist the temptation to use all the leftovers from your refrigerator crisper drawer. Keep it simple. Use no more than two colors of vegetables and no more than 3–4 vegetables total.

Master Sauce

3/4 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth 

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1/2 tablespoon lite soy sauce

1 teaspoon chili purée with garlic 

1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced on a diagonal 1/4-inch thick 

2 teaspoons vegetable or peanut oil 

3 garlic cloves, minced 

1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger

2 large celery stalks, sliced on a diagonal 1/4-inch thick

2 cups trimmed snow peas

1. Prepare the Master Sauce in a bowl and set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook 1 minute. Turn off the heat and let the carrots stand in the water for 2–3 minutes. Drain the carrots and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a large wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the celery and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the snow peas and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add in the carrots and stir fry for 1 minute.

4. Add the Master Sauce to the pan and cook for 1 minute until sauce is thickened.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Carbohydrate; 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable

Calories 70; Calories from Fat 20; Total Fat 2.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.4 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 250 mg; Potassium 260 mg; Total Carbohydrate 11 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 5 g; Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 45 mg

Sides

Master Chicken Sear

Serves: 4 | Serving size: 1/2 breast or thigh

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons olive or canola oil

1. Season chicken breasts or chicken thighs with salt and black pepper.

2. In a 12–14-inch heavy skillet, preferably cast iron or stainless (NOT nonstick) heat oil over medium-high heat.

3. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side for the breasts, or 2–3 minutes for the thighs.

4. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent with foil.

5. Return the chicken and accumulated juices to the skillet and simmer gently until cooked through, about 4–5 minutes.

TO TEST: Chicken should feel firm to the touch. Using closed tongs, press on the center of the chicken. It should feel firm. Alternatively, you may make a very small incision in the center of the meat and check to be sure the meat is cooked through with no traces of pink.

Exchanges / Choices: 3 Protein, lean;

1 Fat

Calories 180; Calories from Fat 90; Total Fat 10.0 g; Saturated Fat 2.0 g;

Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 85 mg; Sodium 120 mg; Potassium 200 mg;

Total Carbohydrate 0 g; Dietary Fiber 0 g; Sugars 0 g; Protein 21 g;

Phosphorus 170 mg

Peaches

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup sliced peaches

1. Serve peaches alongside stir fry and chicken.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Fruit

Calories 30; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 150 mg; Total Carbohydrate 7 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 6 g; Protein 1 g; Phosphorus 15 mg

Beef Stir Fry with Onions

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 cup | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes

1 pound flank steak, partially frozen, thinly sliced across the grain into 1/4-inch slices

2 tablespoons lite soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch

1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil, divided use

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon peeled, fresh grated ginger

2 scallions, finely minced

1 large yellow onion, halved, peeled and sliced in 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets 

1/3 cup low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon hoisin or oyster sauce

1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the beef, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and arrowroot and mix well. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and stir fry for 2 minutes. Remove the beef from the wok and set aside.

3. Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions. Stir fry for 20 seconds. Add in the onions and stir fry for 5–6 minutes until onions are soft. Add in the broccoli, cover, and steam for 2 minutes.

4. Add the broth and hoisin to the pan and cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes until some of the liquid evaporates. Add back the beef and cook 1 minute.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 2 Protein, lean; 1 Fat

Calories 160; Calories from Fat 50; Total Fat 6.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.9 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 40 mg; Sodium 300 mg; Potassium 350 mg; Total Carbohydrate 8 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 17 g; Phosphorus 150 mg

Sides

Garden Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serves: 8 | Serving size: 1 cup

Prep time: 7 minutes | Cook time: 4 minutes

3/4 cup walnuts 

2 tablespoons sugar

Dressing

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey or sugar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad 

5 cups mixed greens

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

2 large carrots, peeled and grated

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1. In a small sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat, toss the walnuts with the sugar for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sugar melts and caramelizes. Watch that the nuts do not burn. Remove the nuts from the pan and let cool.

2. In a large bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk well.

3. Add the salad ingredients to the dressing and quickly toss together. Serve on individual plates, top with the nuts.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Carbohydrate;

1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 2 1/2 Fat

Calories 160; Calories from Fat 120; Total Fat 13.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.4 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 105 mg; Potassium 250 mg; Total Carbohydrate 11 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 7 g; Protein 3 g; Phosphorus 65 mg

Brown Rice

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup brown rice

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions and serve alongside stir fry and salad.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 1/2 Starch

Calories 110; Calories from Fat 10; Total Fat 1.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.2 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 40 mg; Total Carbohydrate 22 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 0 g; Protein 3 g; Phosphorus 80 mg

Pork Stir Fry

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 cup | Prep time: 10 minutes + freezing time | Cook time: 7 minutes

Pork and citrus juices have a natural affinity for each other and the tangy flavor really complements the slightly salty flavor of the soy sauce. I’m going to skip marinating the pork; this stir fry, while rich and flavorful, is also lighter than the chicken and beef versions, which makes it perfect for serving during the warmer months.

1 tablespoon peanut oil, divided use

1 pound lean boneless pork tenderloin, partially frozen, sliced into thin strips

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 cups fresh snow peas, trimmed

1/4 cup low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth

Juice of 1/2 large lime

2 tablespoons lite soy sauce

1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Add the pork and stir fry for about 3–4 minutes until browned. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the garlic, ginger, and scallions. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the snow peas and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the broth and cover for 1 minute.

3. Add back the pork and stir fry 30 seconds. Add in the lime juice and soy sauce and serve.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 3 Protein, lean

Calories 180; Calories from Fat 50; Total Fat 6.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.6 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 60 mg; Sodium 360 mg; Potassium 480 mg; Total Carbohydrate 5 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 2 g; Protein 24 g; Phosphorus 230 mg

Sides

Brown Rice

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup brown rice

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions and serve alongside stir fry and carrots.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 1/2 Starch

Calories 110; Calories from Fat 10; Total Fat 1.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.2 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 40 mg; Total Carbohydrate 22 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 0 g; Protein 3 g; Phosphorus 80 mg

Carrots

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup carrots

1. Steam carrots and serve alongside brown rice and stir fry.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable

Calories 25; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 45 mg; Potassium 180 mg; Total Carbohydrate 6 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 1 g; Phosphorus 25 mg

Shrimp Stir Fry

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 cup | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes

Shrimp stir fry begs for a little heat, so I’m going to add chili paste with garlic in this one. The Master Marinade (page 184) works well for the shrimp as they need a little moisture, so they don’t become hard really fast on high heat. I’ll use the same seasoning vegetables, although I’ll cut down on the amount of ginger used, so as not to overwhelm the flavor.

Shrimp

1 pound extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons lite soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot 

1 tablespoon peanut oil, divided use

Vegetables

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons peeled and finely grated ginger

2 scallions, sliced

1 1/2 pounds bok choy, leaves and stems chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1 teaspoon lite soy sauce

1. Add the shrimp to a large bowl with the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cornstarch and mix well. Let the shrimp marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons of the peanut oil in a large wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and stir fry for 2–3 minutes or until shrimp is almost cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.

3. Add the remaining peanut oil to the pan. Add in the garlic, ginger, and scallions and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add in the bok choy and stir fry for 2 minutes until the cabbage wilts.

4. Add back the shrimp and drizzle with the chili paste, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Serve immediately.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Protein, lean; 1/2 Fat

Calories 100; Calories from Fat 30; Total Fat 3.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.5 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 80 mg; Sodium 330 mg; Potassium 400 mg; Total Carbohydrate 5 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 2 g; Protein 12 g; Phosphorus 150 mg

Sides

Whole-Wheat Couscous

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup whole-wheat couscous

1. Cook couscous according to package directions. Serve alongside stir fry and broccoli.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Starch

Calories 90; Calories from Fat 5; Total Fat 0.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 45 mg; Total Carbohydrate 19 g; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Sugars 0 g; Protein 3 g; Phosphorus 20 mg

Broccoli with Red Pepper

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/4 cup broccoli

1/4 cup chopped red pepper

1. Steam broccoli and red pepper together for three minutes or until tender.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable

Calories 30; Calories from Fat 5; Total Fat 0.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.1 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 30 mg; Potassium 250 mg; Total Carbohydrate 6 g; Dietary Fiber 3 g; Sugars 1 g; Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 55 mg

Indian Salmon Stir Fry

Indian Salmon Stir Fry

Serves: 5 | Serving size: 1 cup | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes

In this stir fry, I give you alternative flavors instead of the traditional Asian ones. Asian flavors are bold and flavorful, but turn to this recipe for a change of pace.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided use

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 

1 pound skinless salmon filet, cut into 1-inch cubes 

1 large onion, halved, peeled, and sliced into 1/2-inch slices

2 garlic cloves, minced 

1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger

1–2 finely minced hot green chili peppers (optional)

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin, mustard seeds, and turmeric and stir fry for 1 minute until seeds begin to pop. Add the salmon and stir fry quickly but gently for about 3–4 minutes. Remove the salmon from the pan and set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil to the pan. Lower the heat to medium. Add the onion and stir fry for about 6–7 minutes until onions are soft. Add in the garlic, ginger, and chili pepper and stir fry for 1 minute. Add in the cherry tomatoes and stir fry for 1–2 minutes until cherry tomatoes just begin to soften. Add back the salmon and stir fry very gently for 1 minute.

Exchanges / Choices: 2 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 2 Protein, lean; 1 1/2 Fat

Calories 200; Calories from Fat 90; Total Fat 10.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.7 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 50 mg; Sodium 65 mg; Potassium 540 mg; Total Carbohydrate 8 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 19 g; Phosphorus 270 mg

Sides

Brown Rice

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup brown rice

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions and serve alongside stir fry and spinach.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 1/2 Starch

Calories 110; Calories from Fat 10; Total Fat 1.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.2 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 40 mg; Total Carbohydrate 22 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 0 g; Protein 3 g; Phosphorus 80 mg

Spinach

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup spinach

1. Steam spinach and serve alongside stir fry and brown rice.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable

Calories 20; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 65 mg; Potassium 420 mg; Total Carbohydrate 3 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 0 g; Protein 3 g; Phosphorus 50 mg

Chickpea Stir Fry

Serves: 5 | Serving size: 1 cup | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 12 minutes

My favorite Indian spice is garam masala, which is a blend of five spices: peppercorns, cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, and cumin. Think of it as your all-purpose seasoning for Indian dishes. Chickpeas are the primary bean used in Indian cooking, but this can be made with lentils, another Indian favorite.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium onion, halved, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices 

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 cups baby spinach

2 tablespoons water

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Heat the oil in a large wok or heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and stir fry for 6–7 minutes until onions are soft. Add in the garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add in the cumin, turmeric, cardamom, garam masala, salt, and pepper. Stir fry for 30 seconds.

2. Add the chickpeas and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add in the spinach and water, cover the pan and let steam for 1–2 minutes until spinach is just wilted. Add the lemon juice, stir gently, and serve.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 1/2 Starch; 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Protein, lean; 1/2 Fat

Calories 210; Calories from Fat 45; Total Fat 5.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.5 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 300 mg; Potassium 460 mg; Total Carbohydrate 32 g; Dietary Fiber 9 g; Sugars 7 g; Protein 10 g; Phosphorus 190 mg

Side

Blueberries

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup blueberries

1. Serve blueberries alongside stir fry.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Fruit

Calories 25; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 35 mg; Total Carbohydrate 7 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Sugars 5 g; Protein 0 g; Phosphorus 5 mg

Tempeh and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 cup | Prep time: 15 minutes | Marinate time: 1 hour | Cook time: 13 minutes

Tempeh is a fermented soy product that’s meatier than tofu. Tempeh holds its shape very well and tastes more like meat than tofu does. Tempeh is sold in the refrigerated case in your market. Keep it no longer than one week for best freshness. I’ve marinated the tempeh first to give it much more flavor.

10 ounces tempeh, cut into 1-inch pieces 

2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons garlic-flavored olive oil, divided use

1/4–1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced 

2 cups trimmed fresh sugar snap or snow peas 

2 tablespoons low-sodium vegetable broth

1. In a medium bowl, combine the tempeh, balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons of the garlic-flavored oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Let the mixture stand for 1 hour at room temperature.

2. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and stir fry for 3–4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the tempeh from the pan and set aside. Add the onion and minced garlic and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the red pepper and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and vegetable broth and cover. Steam for 3 minutes just until the peas turn bright green. Add back the tempeh and gently stir.

Exchanges / Choices: 1/2 Carbohydrate; 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Protein, lean; 1 Fat

Calories 160; Calories from Fat 80; Total Fat 9.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.5 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 105 mg; Potassium 320 mg; Total Carbohydrate 11 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 12 g; Protein 10 g; Phosphorus 155 mg

Sides

Brown Rice

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 cup brown rice

1. Cook brown rice according to package directions and serve alongside stir fry and orange slices.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 1/2 Starch

Calories 110; Calories from Fat 10; Total Fat 1.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.2 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 40 mg; Total Carbohydrate 22 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 0 g; Protein 3 g; Phosphorus 80 mg

Orange

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1 orange

1 small orange

1. Slice orange and serve alongside stir fry and brown rice.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Fruit

Calories 45; Calories from Fat 0; Total Fat 0.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.0 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 0 mg; Potassium 170 mg; Total Carbohydrate 11 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 9 g; Protein 1 g; Phosphorus 15 mg

Sausage Stir Fry

Serves: 6 | Serving size: 1 cup | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 14 minutes

In this stir fry, I use lean turkey sausage as the main protein and combine it with multicolored peppers. This stir fry is reminiscent of the classic sausage and peppers but with a whole lot less fat and calories. Try to buy a zesty turkey sausage for great flavor. I also spiced this up a bit with the addition of red pepper flakes.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided use

10 ounces turkey sausage (preferably Italian flavored), cut into 1/2-inch slices

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced 

1 small yellow pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced 

1 small green pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced 

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced canned tomatoes, drained 

Pinch allspice

1. Heat half the oil in a large wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and stir fry for 4 minutes until sausage is browned. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the garlic and onions and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add in the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and all the peppers. Stir fry for 4 minutes until peppers soften. Add in the tomatoes and allspice, lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Add back the sausage and stir gently.

Exchanges / Choices: 2 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Protein, lean; 1 Fat

Calories 130; Calories from Fat 60; Total Fat 7.0 g; Saturated Fat 1.3 g; Trans Fat 0.2 g; Cholesterol 35 mg; Sodium 290 mg; Potassium 320 mg; Total Carbohydrate 9 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 9 g; Phosphorus 110 mg

Sides

Whole-Wheat Noodles

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1/2 cup

1/2 whole-wheat noodles

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Serve alongside stir fry and salad.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 1/2 Starch

Calories 100; Calories from Fat 5; Total Fat 0.5 g; Saturated Fat 0.1 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 5 mg; Potassium 35 mg; Total Carbohydrate 21 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 1 g; Protein 4 g; Phosphorus 70 mg

Fresh Spinach Salad

Serves: 1 | Serving size: 1 1/2 cups

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

5 cherry tomatoes, halved 

1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced 

1 teaspoon olive oil 

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Combine spinach, tomatoes, and onion slices in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and top with lemon juice.

Exchanges / Choices: 1 Nonstarchy Vegetable; 1 Fat

Calories 70; Calories from Fat 45; Total Fat 5.0 g; Saturated Fat 0.7 g; Trans Fat 0.0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 25 mg; Potassium 360 mg; Total Carbohydrate 7 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 2 g; Phosphorus 40 mg