I have been really craving stir fries and chilli of late, and although the children can’t eat anything that is even close to my heat level, they do LOVE stir fries too, which is great because I then don’t have to make a different meal for myself and them if I am craving away! I think it’s worth noting as well that as I get nearer my due date I’m hoping this is a sign that I am returning to my old eating habits, I have never been a fan of burgers or big stodgy meals, but it is all I have wanted this pregnancy and it’s refreshing to get back to that healthier state in January!
I have put together 5 easy stir fry recipes that are a big hit in our hour. Some of them are with rice and some with noodles, but one thing is for sure none of them every have left overs – and if you do like it hot, then serve out the portion for the children and add in some chopped up birds eye chillies for your own meal. Perfecto!
Prawn and Noodle Laksa
This was a huge hit with both the boys and Daddy the other week, I have made exactly the same dish but with chicken before, so if you have an under two you can always use chicken instead of prawn, plus you can play around with the vegetables (though admittedly there aren’t many in this one) and add or remove what you and your kids like. Laksa is traditionally served with noodles, you could do it with rice but to be honest it isn’t as nice.
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 onion very finely chopped
- 1/2 red chilli finely diced and deseeded
- 1 clove of finely chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon curry paste (you can use tandoori or any other kind of curry paste you have in the cupboard but ideally plain curry paste is best)
- 400ml coconut milk
- 300ml chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sugar (preferably brown)
- zest and juice of 1/2 lime
- 100g broccoli florets
- 1 carrot finely sliced or grated
- 150g prawns (or if you are using chicken etc try one breast/fillet)
Heat the oil until it is smoking and fry the onions for roughly 5 mins, then add your chilli, garlic and ginger frying for another 30 secs or so. Add the curry paste, then blend in the coconut milk, stock, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime zest and juice and sugar. Add the broccoli and carrot raw, along with the defrosted prawns. Allow to simmer and reduce for 10-15 minutes.
Cook your noodles (or rice) as per the instructions on the packet, I find the boys really love this with egg noodles, although very thin rice noodles are another favourite in our house. This should serve 2 adults and 2 little ones easily, possibly more!
Chicken Chow Mein
This is something that my mum used to cook for us all the time and I have taken over doing it of late. The boys absolutely devour it in a way I have never know before! Packed with lots of veggies and in a very delicious sauce, this beats the pre made stuff every time and it takes no time at all. The key seems to be in chopping everything really small for the kids, though if you like your veg a bit bigger you may want to try it that way.
- 1 large chicken breast finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of sesame oil (we get this at the local supermarket and it is meal time gold! Perfect for stir fries and can create a wonderful favour on it’s own with a dash of soy sauce)
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 100g mushrooms, finely chopped
- 125g sugar snap peas or mange tout, finely chopped
- 1/2 small red pepper, finely chopped
- 75g baby sweetcorn, finely chopped
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 125g courgettes, grated
- 125g beansprouts
- packet egg noodles (size depends on your family, but I would say this serves 2 adults, 2 children so cook the whole pack)
For the marinade:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sake (though in the absence of this I use sherry, it’s easier to get hold of and just as tasty)
- 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar (again, I would use granulated if I had no brown sugar in my store cupboard!)
Mix together the marinade ingredients and add the chicken. Leave it for at least 10 mins, though if you can do this the night before it is even better.
Cook your noodles as per the instructions, for a twist you can try udon noodles with this it is delicious!
Heat the oil and stir fry the chicken, setting it aside once it is cooked, after that heat the sesame oil and fry your garlic for 30 seconds then add the vegetables and stir fry for roughly 4 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pan along with your noodles. Stir fry for a further 2 minutes and serve.
Teriyaki Beef Stir Fry
I am not a beef person, so this one isn’t my favourite, however Reuben has always loved beef so this seems to go down really well with him. Toby is a bit more like me and can be a bit hesitant, so he tends to eat more of the noodles and vegetables than the beef, but I’m not going to complain about that!
For the marinade:
- 4 tablespoons Soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons corn flour
- 300g sirloin steak
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 6 spring onions sliced
- 100g baby corn, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 75g sugar snap peas or mange tout, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
Wrap the beef in cling film and then bash it with a rolling pin to tenderise – the boys LOVE to do this, it’s one of their favourite parts of cooking with beef so enlist your handy helpers! Slice the beef really finely, that way it cooks within seconds and tastes wonderful. Marinade for at least 10 mins, preferably over night again if you can.
Heat the sesame oil and fry the vegetables for about four minutes, add in the beef (without the marinade, but keep hold of the marinade as it makes your sauce) and cook for 2-3 minutes until the beef is tender and sealed. Add in the marinade to make your sauce and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Voila!
I usually cheat and do this with straight to wok rice noodles, or sometimes I even do it with microwave rice if I want to be really speedy.
I hope you give these recipes a go, they are really tasty, packed with flavours that your child might not have come across before and are just really easy to heat up or mellow out!