Swap Ready

Steak and Winter Vegetable Stir Fry

Most cooks view the end of summer as the end of abundant, fresh, inexpensive produce and reluctantly switch back to frozen mixes. But just because you can’t find the perfect vine ripened tomato doesn’t mean the end of fresh veggies! You just have to choose different veggies. Fall and winter have their own unique offerings. Eating seasonally brings a whole new level of variety and creativity to your dinner table, not to mention the fact that in season produce is always cheaper. (If you’re not sure what is in season take a hint from the sale fliers at your grocery store!) You can even take some of your favorite meals give them a seasonal twist. Stir fry is a favorite in our house, so I simply adapt my ingredients seasonally: sugar snap peas in the spring, peppers and squash in the summer, and cabbage and mushrooms in the fall/winter. Bok choy is a Chinese cabbage that has become a popular cool weather crop. It pairs well with spicy flavors and sesame. For that reason, I like to use sesame oil in my wok when I cook this dish, and add extra hot sauce when I serve it. If you like a saucy stir fry, you can add one of the optional liquids and thickener, but it is also delicious without the sauce.

Please share some of your favorite seasonal vegetables (and recipes) in the comments below!

Steak and Winter Vegetable Stir Fry


Kim @ onceamonthmeals.com, adapted from Cooking Light


  • 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 0.5 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound flank steak, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 4 cups chopped bok choy
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 0.5 cup sliced green onions
  • 0.25-0.5 cups water or beef broth, plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional; if you like your stir fry saucy)
  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked


In a large mixing bowl toss together ginger, garlic, soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, red pepper, and flank steak strips. Cover and refrigerate while you chop vegetables and get ready to stir fry (about 15-30 minutes). Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok and add cooking oil. Add vegetables and stir fry until crisp tender (5-7 minutes). Remove to a large bowl. Add more cooking oil to pan or wok and stir fry meat in small batches until browned (about 3 minute each). Remove cooked batches to bowl, cover, and keep warm. Return steak and vegetables to the pan and toss to combine. Season with extra soy sauce and Sriracha to taste. If you like your stir fry saucy, add 1/4-1/2 cup of water or beef broth and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Toss and simmer until juices are thickened. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Freezing Directions:

Combine ginger, garlic, soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, red pepper, and flank steak strips as directed above and place in freezer bag. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add carrots and bok choy to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Then remove and place immediately in cold water to stop cooking. Drain well. Place bok choy and carrots in a separate freezer bag and add mushrooms and green onions. Store bag of vegetables laying flat in the freezer. Freeze along with bag of marinated meat, and another separate bag with cooked brown rice. To serve: Thaw bags of meat and rice, but DO NOT thaw vegetable bag. Cook as directed above, except that vegetables will be frozen.

Servings: 4


**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

3 Responses to “Steak and Winter Vegetable Stir Fry”

  1. toni says:

    I love your recipes, they are family friendly and use ingredients that I usually have on hand. You also give a personal experience with your recipes and freezer directions. Thank You very much.

  2. Alicia says:

    So working on assembling this and curious why it is important to cook the veggies before you freeze them… does it have to do with them staying fresh while frozen or something? What happens if you skip that step? Thanks so much for what you do! It’s greatly appreciated!

    • kim says:

      You probably could skip this step without devastating consequences. But as I was studying how to cook the bok choy, they recommended blanching. Blanching helps frozen veggies keep their color and makes them easier to cook on serving day. They will cook more quickly, which is key to a good stir fry. Mushy over cooked veggies don’t make for a tasty or aesthetically pleasing dish.

Leave a Reply

After hitting submit your comment will await moderation.