Plant Based Stir Fry
  • 1 Star
  • 2 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 5 Stars
    Loading ... Loading ...

D.I.Y. Plant-Based Stir-fry

Recipe Contributed by Chef Mareya Ibrahim

Stir-fries are one of the easiest meals to create when you’re short on time. If you’re transitioning to eating more plant-based meals, stir-fries are a great place to start, since the main focus is on flavors and vegetables—not necessarily meat.
(Serves 4)

Base Ingredients:

Protein (1 cup):
(Choose one of the options below, or use whatever you have on hand)

  • Organic tofu, cubed
  • Organic tempeh, cubed or sliced
  • Beans (cooked, or use canned beans from a BPA-free can, drained and rinsed)
  • Organic edamame, shelled
  • Nuts

Vegetables (about 2 cups, raw):
(Choose one of the options below, or use whatever you have on hand)

  • Hard vegetables
  • Onions (any color), sliced or diced
  • Carrots, sliced or diced
  • Celery, sliced or diced
  • Broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
  • Tender vegetables and greens
  • Mushrooms (white, brown, shitake, or oyster), sliced
  • Cabbage (any variety), sliced or shredded
  • Green beans, chopped
  • Bell peppers (any color), sliced
  • Green onion, sliced
  • Water chestnuts, sliced
  • Kale, Swiss chard or collard greens, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Baby spinach
  • Bok choy (baby, or large) chopped into bite-size pieces
  • Sui choy, shredded
  • Snow peas or snap peas

Whole Grain (2 cups, cooked):
(Choose one of the options below, or use whatever you have on hand)

  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Amaranth
  • Whole wheat couscous (swap quinoa for a gluten-free equivalent)

Other essential ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive, sesame, or coconut oil (for sautéing)

Sauce (1/4 to 1/2 cup) and seasoning, to taste:
Use the Thrive Forward Flavor Profiles download in the Discover New Go-to Meals lesson in this chapter to choose a blend of spices, oil and acid inspired by world cuisine.

A basic example of an Asian-inspired sauce could include:

  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi (fresh grated, paste, or powder)
  •  1/2 tsp Thai chili flakes


  1. Mix sauce ingredients thoroughly and set aside (tip: put them in a glass jar with a lid and shake well).
  2. If using onion, sauté at medium-high heat for 4 minutes in a large skillet or wok, until translucent. Add in garlic and ginger and sauté for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add vegetables (except green leafy vegetables) and lightly sauté until tender, but firm.
  4. Add in sauce, protein and green leafy vegetables, and sauté for 2 minutes—until protein is warmed through and leafy greens are just wilted.
  5. Serve over grain.

The flavor combinations you can create are endless. I asked renowned chef Mareya Ibrahim to share a Caribbean-inspired version of this base stir-fry.

Broiled Tofu Stir-fry with Fresh Pineapple Relish

Contributed by Chef Mareya Ibrahim
(Serves 3)


Protein (1 cup):

  • 1 lb broiled firm organic tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes (buy pre-broiled, or follow directions below)
  • Vegetables (about 2 cups, raw)
  • 1 cup purple or green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded

Whole Grain (2 cups, cooked):

  • Organic brown rice

Other essential ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • Fresh pineapple relish (counts as sauce and seasoning)
  • 1/4 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, cored and chopped, or use pineapple canned in juice, not syrup (fresh tomato or mango can be used instead)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp fresh jalapeno, diced
  • 1 fresh lime, juiced,  plus 1 tsp lime zest


Broiled Tofu Stirfry:

  1. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil and sauté cabbage and carrots.
  2. Warm pre-broiled tofu in broiler until well-heated.
  3. Add to veggies and sauté until well incorporated.

Fresh Pineapple Relish:

  1. Dice fresh pineapple into small pieces.
  2. Chop red onion into small pieces. Rinse onion over hot water if you prefer a milder onion taste.
  3. Chop cilantro
  4.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until ingredients are well mixed together.
  5. Top stir-fry with 1 to 2 tablespoons of pineapple relish and serve with (or over) brown rice.

To make broiled tofu from scratch:

Pre-broiled tofu is pretty readily available, but if you can’t find it, you can do your own with these simple directions.


  • 1 lb firm, organic tofu
  • Olive or grapeseed oil cooking spray
  • Low-sodium tamari (optional)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut tofu into (1-inch) cubes and arrange them in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet.
  3. Spray tofu with olive oil or grapeseed cooking spray and bake for about 35 minutes; turn oven to broil for the last 5 minutes to give them a nice golden brown color.
  4. You can also brush them with a little low-sodium tamari for added flavor.


Mareya Ibrahim is The Fit Foody—an award-winning entrepreneur, chef, author and inventor and the creator of, the premier lifestyle destination for fit food. Her book The Clean Eating Handbook is touted as the go-to guide for achieving a balanced approach to eating clean. She is a featured chef on ABC’s Emmy-nominated show Recipe Rehab and is a clean food expert for, and San Diego Channel 6 News. Her backpage column, The Fit Foody, appears in Edible Orange County Magazine. Sign up for her free newsletter at