Megan Callahan, MS, RD, LD
Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian

January 16, 2021

Feeling pressed for time this new year, or pressed to find a meal option with ingredients that the whole family can agree on?

Stir-frying is a great cooking method for balanced nutrition and feeding the whole family. It’s flexible and can allow you to work within your preferences (no matter how specified throughout the group of people you’re cooking for) – pairing your favorite combination of protein, veggies, toppings and sauce in the stir-fry and serving over your choice of whole grain. Mix and match for variety, and don’t be afraid to throw in a few ingredients that you just happen to have on hand.

Stir-frying is also one way to increase vegetable intake. Different colors of vegetables offer different nutrients. If you’re looking for a convenient way to easily increase the veggies included in your wok, Hy-Vee Short Cuts can be a great option. They’re cut, washed and prepped – all ready to go into whatever mixture you’re pairing together on the stovetop. They can also help reduce food waste; if you purchase the amount you need for a recipe, then you don’t have to worry about leftovers going bad.

Saucing and flavoring have a big impact on stir-fry meals and can help make or break the taste. Herb pastes can be a fun way to amp up the flavor without increasing sodium content. You can find many varieties of herb pastes in the refrigerated section of the produce department, including ginger, basil and garlic pastes. They offer more antioxidant properties than you’d find in dried varieties, and have a longer fridge life (and a lot less prep involved) than fresh. The recipe below calls for a lemongrass paste. What’s even better about this? Buy it for the first time you make it, and keep it on hand in the fridge to add in the next time you need a quick, one-pan, go-to dinner option.

See below for a Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry recipe that will set you up to “stir-fry like a rockstar.” Or, use this as inspiration and make up your own new favorite. With a simple equation of protein + veggie mix + sauce/flavor add-in and served on top of a whole grain, it’s likely this will be your next big hit.

Shrimp and Asparagus Stir-Fry
Serves 4

All You Need:
1 lb. Hy-Vee peeled, deveined and tails removed large shrimp
5 tsp Hy-Vee canola oil, divided
12 oz. Hy-Vee Short Cuts oven-and-grill-ready lemon and garlic asparagus
3 tbsp ponzu sauce
1 tsp refrigerated lemongrass paste
1 (8-oz) container cherry tomatoes
2 cups quinoa, cooked (optional, as base for serving)
1 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional, for topping)
¼ cup roasted cashews (optional, for topping)

All you do:

  1. Gather ingredients and cut cherry tomatoes into bite-size pieces.
  2. Pat dry shrimp with paper towel.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high in a large wok. (Increase oil as needed when adding foods.)
  4. Stir-fry shrimp for 1 to 3 minutes; slide to the outside of the wok to slow cooking but keep it warm.
  5. Add the Short Cuts lemon and garlic asparagus and lemongrass paste to wok and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes. Then add cherry tomatoes.
  6. Push vegetables to edge of wok and add ponzu sauce and lemongrass paste to the center. Toss with the shrimp and vegetables, and cook about 1 minute or until heated through.
  7. Serve by itself or over a bed of quinoa.

Recipe source: January 2021 Hy-Vee Seasons magazine. The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.