This recipe could not be any easier or more versatile: keep a bunch of vegetables available (frozen, fresh, etc.) and just toss in a little of this and a little of that; that’s it. You always get exactly what you’re in the mood for this way and having multiple veggies together gives an added element of luxury even though you’re only using a small handful of each so it really doesn’t cost much. For example, I’ll pick up a bag of frozen Brussels sprouts for about a dollar, but if I only have 3 brussel sprouts with each meal (because I’m also having a handful from the bag of frozen spinach, and two sundried tomatoes and 3 chopped olives, etc.), the actual cost for those brussel sprouts is mere pennies, though it certainly looks fancy.
The door of my freezer is packed with almost every kind of frozen vegetable that I’ve been able to find: kale, collard greens, broccoli rabe (the leaves of broccoli), broccoli florets, cauliflower rice, asparagus, crazy corn (three colors of corn), diced squash, diced beets, green beans, peas (which are also a good protein source), diced onion, diced eggplant, and so on.
The vegetable drawers (and some shelf space) in my fridge are overflowing with other kinds of veg that doesn’t freeze well or just are better fresh – particularly celery, sundried tomatoes (absolutely favorite), fresh tomatoes, various peppers, romaine (yes, I sautee romaine and it’s delicious warm) and mushrooms. I also keep a pack of those dried seaweed strips in my fridge and occassionally tear up a few of those to add as well.
Olives are another of my favorite treats and they occasionally make it into the stir fry. In fact, if you only use a few bland veggies (such as kale and cauliflower rice), then the olives or other more strongly flavored food can be the main flavor featured in the dish. That’s one of the best parts about this dish: it never gets boring because you can make it different every time if you’d like. Another way to make this interesting is to use different oils. Avocado oil is so fun to use and distinctly changes the flavor, and there are so many more oils to try as well. Coconut oil has a very strong flavor and makes it taste incredibly tropical.
To make dump stir fry, I spray a pan with olive oil or whichever oil you’d like to use, then grab a handful of whatever vegetables sound good from the freezer and toss them in the pan along with whatever chopped up fresh veggies (or olives) I’m in the mood for. If you’d like to add some protein, sprinkle hemp seeds on during the last minute of cooking.
Dump Stir Fry for me usually consists of one leafy food as the base – particularly collards (10% DV for calcium) or kale (also 10%). A package of sundried tomatoes lasts quite a long time because I chop each tomato up into smaller pieces and therefore only need one or two slices to sprinkle sundrieds throughout the veggie serving, which is one of my favorite flavors.
Speaking of flavors, I also usually add spices to the stir fry pan. My all time favorite is parsley, that one is almost a guarantee on my stir fry, but I also tend to add cayenne, curry, garlic powder or just some salt and pepper depending on my mood. That’s the great thing about Dump Stir Fry – it’s exactly what you want to eat because that’s literally the recipe: pick what you want, cook, enjoy. This makes it so easy for your body to tell you exactly what nutrients it needs too – that moment when you stop to think ‘what am I in the mood for?‘: you’re actually consulting with your body to determine what nutrients you need. Our cravings in large part are driven by our nutritional needs, not just the flavors we love.
Personally I like to segregate things in a pan when cooking because everything takes a different amount of time so I find it easier to be sure things are cooked just right, and then they can be mixed on my plate. For example, I very much like to pair peas with onions, and I always like to have a hand Handful of frozen leaves (kale, collard greens, etc.), and when I mix things all together as one medley are usually find my leaves are burned and larger items like cauliflower or broccoli are just this side of raw.
This dish pairs well with just about anything. I eat it with chickpea hash for breakfast, as a side for lunch or dinner, or if I really douse it with hemp or sesame seeds for added protein and nutrients, sometimes I’ll even just have it by itself. A little tahini can always be drizzled on top as well, though I tend to prefer mine plain.
A stir fry medleyis an absolute staple for me; I eat it almost daily. What a healthy and nutritious staple to have though! I hope you like this as much as I do and it brings you so much nutrition and comfort! It’s just such an easy go-to meal to have in your list of possibilities.
Leave a comment below if you make this and let me know what veggie combinations you use!