Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How to make healthy stir fry from leftover take out!

Typical night with the boyfriend
"You hungry?" he asks.
"Duh, always"
"Should we cook something?"
"I'm not really in the mood to cook"
"Okay, I'll make some tuna and black beans," his go to meal.
"Well what about me? I'm not eating that," because it truly is disgusting.
"Should we just call Triple 8?" their favorite Chinese place.

We seriously have this conversation at least once a week. Our usual, chicken with mixed vegetables, vegetable lo mein, and fried dumplings (the best thing in the world).
And then after the food is gone, it's always the same thing, immediately change into elastic wasted pants, feel guilty that we just ate so much, and then feel guiltier that we spent $28 on chinese food for the 2nd time that week.
Making stir fry at home is easy and you can make it healthy too. But sometimes it just isn't as satisfying as my beloved takeout from 888. So I came up with an easy way how to make my chicken with mixed vegetable takeout last for more than just one meal and healthier!

What you will need:

  • Your leftover takeout 
    • Depending on how much you want to make, you can use left overs or use the whole thing.
  • 1 frozen bag of your favorite stir fry vegetables
  • 1 frozen bag of broccoli (or snow peas)
  • Cooking oil that handles high heat (canola, peanut, but not olive oil!)
  • 1 large white onion 
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 chicken breasts chopped up (previously baked in an oven) 
  • Sriracha (optional but so good)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
I try to make a large batch of baked chicken every week. It's basically frozen chicken breasts with salt and pepper and garlic baked in the oven for an hour.

I used an electric skillet because it's large and creates high heat. Ideally, I would use a wok but I don't have one. I want one though because woks are cool. 
I started by adding my chopped up onion and frozen bag of stir fry vegetables to my skillet on medium heat.

I didn't add oil or any sprays, just salt and pepper.

I wait for the onions to start to turn translucent and the vegetables to brighten. I like adding frozen vegetables straight to the skillet and not steaming them first because I don't want them to be too tender.
After mixing the vegetables around in the skillet for 5 minutes, I add my chicken.

The chicken is already fully cooked so we don't have to worry about cross contamination and what not. Stir the chicken into the mixture for a minute and then add in the oil. I used about 1-2 teaspoons and poured it over the top. Again, use an oil that has a high smoke point, otherwise you will be choking and coughing up your stir fry.
I also added a bag of frozen broccoli because I wanted to add more green!!

Now that we added the oil we start with the stir fry process! Turn the skillet onto medium high heat. The chicken and vegetables are starting to fry in the oil, so we need to start stirring! You want to keep it constantly moving so it doesn't burn or get too smokey.

You could stop there if you wanted a healthy chicken and vegetable stir fry. But I want the same tasty goodness from 888.

So now we add in our takeout!

I kept all of our takeout from the night before and added it to the skillet. So now we have more chicken and more vegetables added as well as the sauce it's cooked in which makes it taste so authentic and oriental.

So now our sauce is distributed throughout the stir fry and the sodium content per serving is much less than the original takeout. AND you have enough meals to last you for the rest of the week! (or for lunch and dinner for the boyfriend).

Oh, and of course! Don't forget to add your Sriracha for extra spiciness!

I hope you found this recipe insightful and try it out yourself. You can always customize it to the way you want it.

If you're in the Ames area then check out 888 Restaurant because it is SOOOOO good!!!! We still call them frequently for their pot stickers :)

As always,
Thanks for reading :)



  1. Hi Jenna, I really like your recipe because I already cook and taste it. My mother also like it too because your recipe was good in health. Do you also have a healthy stir fried chicken? Is it possible to make it?

  2. Hi Mark, thanks for the comment! I will look into a healthy stir fried chicken! Thanks for the suggestion!