You know that feeling you get right before going on vacation? That “oh my gaaahhh I can’t believe I’m gonna be there in 48 hours / it’s gonna be the freaking best / holy crap I gotta pack!” excitement?
Actually, I’m not talking about that feeling.
I mean the one where you need to eat dinner, but there’s not much left in the house. And going out is a no-no, because you know you’ll be spending lots of money, eating all your meals out, soon enough. And buying anything new that you know you won’t finish and will possibly spoil would also be a bad move.
That’s what I was dealing with prior to leaving for our vacation. The fridge was beyond bare, except for half of an avocado begging to be used up. There were some frozen salmon burgers and I could have used the avocado as a topping, but with no fresh veggies around, I had no potential side dish.
On to the chest freezer. A-ha! A wholesale club sized bag of Asian-style mixed veggies. I had insisted we needed that for some reason, even though I’m not crazy about most frozen vegetables. But they’re perfect for nights like this! Stir-fry frenzy struck, and I pulled out a salmon filet to thaw. (Yes, there were salmon filets and salmon burgers – I suppose we do have quite the variety!) Avocado can go in stir fry too, right?
And then, later in the day, my excitement began to waiver. Stir-fried frozen vegetables just sounded so blahh, even with avocado. (What was wrong with me today?) I’ll be honest: I’m a shopper and a planner, so when I haven’t planned a meal ahead of time, the thought of making something half-decent without buying anything brings on a mini anxiety attack.
As soon as I got home I checked the cabinets. Something nutty, maybe? How about something sweet? Check, check. Stir-fry excitement was back on.
This stir-fry turned out much better than decent. Any old stir fry should have a good mix of flavors, but using a variety of textures really brings it up a notch. Cool, creamy avocado, crunchy cashews, and chewy dried pineapple in every bite make a truly savorable stir fry. The sauce ingredients were minimal (remember, I didn’t have much to work with!) but that was fine because it allowed us to really taste all of the other ingredients.
The lesson here? Dig deep in that freezer and those cupboards – there’s probably a treasure or two in there.
Salmon Stir-fry with Pineapple, Cashews and Avocado
1 6oz boneless, skinless salmon filet
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
3 cups frozen Asian-style mixed vegetables, slightly thawed (or fresh, but the goal tonight was to not buy anything new!)
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons ponzu sauce
20gm Trader Joe’s Thai Lime & Chili Cashews, chopped (or regular cashews)
1oz dried pineapple, preferably Megafruit
1/2 of an avocado, diced
4oz pasta*, cooked and drained
Heat a large nonstick wok over medium-high heat. Cut the salmon into bite-size pieces, season with salt and pepper, and add to the hot wok. Sear on all sides. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, for another minute.
Raise heat to medium-high and add the frozen vegetables. Cook, stirring, for 5-10 minutes or until vegetables are heated through. Add the chili garlic sauce, ponzu sauce, cashews and pineapple, and stir to combine.
Finally add the hot, cooked pasta to the wok and toss evenly. Divide among two plates and top with the diced avocado.
*I use Carba-Nada, a delicious and healthy alternative to regular pasta with 12 grams of protein and just 140 calories per serving.
(Calculated without pasta, so you can factor in whatever kind you use)
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 25.8 g
Cholesterol: 47.0 mg
Sodium: 952.7 mg
Total Carbs: 30.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.4 g
Protein: 23.6 g