With summer drawing to a close and the craziness of fall and back-to-school upon us, stir fries have returned as a staple on my weekly meal plan. Fast, flavorful and healthier than take-out, what’s not to love? I also find them to be a great way to incorporate different veggies into my diet. As much as I enjoy eggplant, it often gets overlooked in my kitchen. But in this recipe, it’s one of the shining stars.
Filled with carrots, red bell peppers, eggplant and plenty of cashews for some crunch and protein, this meal is fresh and filling. It also features a simple bright and citrusy sauce made with orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce and honey. The combination of flavors is sweet yet still savory and balances out the eggplant nicely.
Once the sauce is whisked together and the veggies are all chopped, this dish comes together in a pinch. The eggplant, carrots and peppers are all sauteed together in a large skillet for just a few minutes. Once tender, the cashews, green onions and sauce are added in and cooked for another minute or so, just until the sauce thickens up. And then dinner is served!
You can spoon the stir fry over rice as suggested in the recipe, but this would also be wonderful served with other whole grains, like quinoa or even farro, to switch things up.
A quick and easy weeknight stir fry filled with eggplant, bell peppers and a bright citrusy sauce!
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 medium red bell peppers, sliced
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 to 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- Cooked rice, for serving
- Sesame seeds and/or chopped fresh basil, for garnish
- In a small bowl or large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes and olive oil until well combined. Add in the cornstarch and whisk again to combine. Set aside.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. When hot, add in the carrots, peppers and eggplant. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cashews, green onions and sauce to the skillet and stir to combine. Cook for another 1 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened. Taste and season with salt if needed.
- Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds and/or fresh basil, if desired.