St. Patrick’s Day Stir Fry

On St. Patrick’s Day I wear green, not because I am Irish, but because I love this holiday. It comes three days before Spring, my second favorite season (Fall is first) and it highlights the color green, which is perfect for the renewal of spring flowers and budding trees. It’s also a great day to celebrate with the Irish people and on this day, even I feel Irish!

I also Googled the importance of leafy greens, since they are part of my St. Pat’s Day recipe below, and here are excerpts from an excellent article by Laura Dolson in

The author writes about how her nutrition professor in college noted that our ancient ancestors consumed as much as six pounds of leaves per day. Filled with phytonutrients (See Glossary for full explanation: plant derived essential nutrients), green leafy veggies are one of the most concentrated sources of nutrients: iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as vitamins B, C, E, and especially K (one cup of most cooked greens=9 times the minimum requirement of fat soluble vitamin K). There are also many phytonutrients to protect our cells from damage, including those of the eye.

These greens (kale, chard, collards, watercress,etc.) are almost carb-free, although some do contain oxalate acid, which may bind some % of the calcium in these greens that the body cannot utilize. (Check out oxalates on the Internet for more info. There is some mixed evidence about the effects of oxalates and I haven’t done enough research to make any major suggestions….yet!)

For St. Patrick’s Day I made a stir fry using kale and cabbage, but feel free to use whichever greens you like. By the picture, I realize I needed to use more kale to show up better in the photo. A lot of the leaves are somewhat hidden. Also, I used cauliflower instead of broccoli, and broccoli would have been a better St. Pat’s choice, since it is a green veggie.

Utensils: Cutting board & knife, wok or saute pan or fry pan
Prep. Time: About 10 minutes with pre-cooked beans
Cooking Time: About 10 minutes
Categories: Vegan, no sugar added, GF


1/2-1 tbl. sesame or olive oil
1/4 cup sliced onion
1/4 inch sliver of ginger, minced
one carrot, scrubbed and sliced (I used a purple carrot)
2-3 cauliflowerettes, sliced thinly (or broccoli)
1/4-1/2 grated green cabbage
1-2 cups loosely packed kale leaves
3-4 slices of fennel bulb (optional)
one cup bean sprouts or beansprout (cellophane) noodles
1/2-1 cup cooked aduki beans or beans of your choice
soup stock or water
tamari (GF soy sauce) and cayenne pepper to taste

Directions (I like my veggies crunchy. Feel free to cook longer if you like them softer.)

1. Place the sliced onion, garlic, and ginger in pan with 1/2 Tbl. olive oil and salute for 2 – 3 minutes on med. high flame.
2. Add sliced carrot, cabbage, and kale and a little of the liquid and cook on medium flame for about 3-5 minutes.
3. Add fennel slices, if using, and cooked aduki beans and cook another 2-3 minutes, adding more liquid if needed.
4. Finally, add bean sprouts, shut off heat and stir in tamari and cayenne to taste. Eat immediately.
(If using the soaked bean thread noodles, you will have to cook them for a couple of minutes before shutting off the flame as you do with the beansprouts.)

Yield: Serves 2-4, depending on whether this is a main dish or side dish. Instead of beans, you can use another source of protein such as tofu or tempeh or a cooked meat source, if you eat meat.

I lined up the veggies in order of longer-to-cook to quick-cooking. Top row are: garlic, ginger, onions, and carrots, which need to be cooked first. Second row are: cauliflower (or broccoli), cabbage, and kale, which are cooked next. And in the last row are the bean sprouts and cooked beans, which are added at the end with the spices.

P.S. Last year at this time I reviewed a cookbook by Nava Atlas called Wild About Greens. Here is the link to the book review and sample recipe.

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