Overhead kitchen view of Josie's Organics Stir Fry recipe in progress.

One Recipe, Five Ways: Perfect for Back To School

by Alisa Teglia | August 17th, 2016

The new Josie’s Organics Quick Celery-Fennel Stir Fry with Cashews recipe is one of my favorites. It’s got a little bit of everything for everyone to enjoy – some nutty, fresh crunch, a bit of delicious sweet…and tad of tart with a little heat. It also can be made in less than 15 minutes, including prep. On that alone, I’m sold. What I love most about the stir-fry is that it can be made as a weeknight dinner, a school or work lunch, a powered-up protein meal or a last-minute party.

Here are five ways to make the Celery-Fennel Stir Fry, using simple ingredients found at the grocery store. These should give you a kick start in the kitchen, especially now that school has started and you settle into a new routine.

Dinner All in One: Slice 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts very thin (pork tenderloin or shrimp work, too). Add 2-3 tablespoons of canola or peanut oil to a hot wok along with the chicken. Stir fry for 5-6 minutes until the chicken is still very tender and no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside while you cook the main recipe according to the original directions. Just before adding the honey vinegar mixture, stir the chicken back in. There you have it…dinner all in one.

Wrap it Up and Go: This recipe is perfect to make wraps to-go, especially if you have leftovers of the chicken version. Slather 1 tablespoon of cream cheese onto an 8” tortilla. Sprinkle a teaspoon or two of golden raisins for a little more sweetness, which kids tend to love. Spoon ½ cup of the stir-fry over the cream cheese and raisins. Season with salt and pepper, and wrap it all up. An easy, delicious lunch while you’re on the move.

Amp Up the Protein: It’s easy to pack on the protein with this recipe, because beans work so well with the texture and flavor of the dish. It’s also super simple to do, because you just take a can of your favorite beans and drain the water off. My favorite are garbanzos, but edamame, cannellinis, and limas are delicious, too. Throw in a cup or two right before the honey and vinegar, and you’ve powered up dinner with 15 to 30+ grams of more protein.

Go with Grain Bowls: While making the stir-fry, I often cook bulgur wheat alongside in a pot to put delicious grain bowls on the dinner table. Bulgur is something I always have on hand because it takes only 10 minutes to cook. Add one cup of bulgur to a half quart of boiling chicken or vegetable stock, and it will be ready when the stir-fry is. Set four soup bowls side by side and fill with equal parts stir-fry and grains. Throw in some extra celery and fresh mint leaves, and you’ve got a wholesome, filling dinner. Sometimes, I make a double batch; these grain bowls travel really well and are easy to pack for school or work the next day. If you love bulgur like I do, you should also try the Sweet Baby Broccoli and Bulgur Wheat Salad with Caramelized Shallots and Walnuts recipe—yum!

Dinner Party Real Fast: We all have moments when unexpected guests come over and we need to get something delicious on the table quickly. With just two bulbs of fennel and one bunch of celery, you can feed 10 or more people with a double recipe. While the stir-fry is on the stove, grill a family pack of 6-8 chicken breasts. In 30 minutes, you’ve got one big, beautiful meal. Lay it all out on a large platter with the chicken piled on top. I like to put out extra bowls of toasted cashews, cream cheese, celery and mint leaves, and tortillas so guests can finish their meal to their fancy. Serve with crisp, cold Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, and you’ve got a dinner party – FAST!