Balsamic and Fig Vegetable Stir Fry

Balsamic and Fig Vegetable Stir Fry (via abeautifulmess.com)Balsamic and Fig Vegetable Stir Fry (via abeautifulmess.com) We LOVE to stir fry at our house. It's fast, it's healthy, and it's a great way to use up random vegetables or bits of vegetables you may have leftover in your refrigerator. This is a recipe I've made a few times for dinner already this past month. I will slightly vary the vegetables involved, so I've added some notes, but the basic components and major flavor contributors stay the same each time – so it's a great meal idea you can customize if you like. My parents recently brought me quite a few yellow squashes from their garden, so we've been eating those lately. 🙂

Balsamic and Fig Vegetable Stir Fry (via abeautifulmess.com)   It's also a great way to get some servings of vegetables in since this is a mostly-vegetables meal. If you want to add some tofu, tempeh, or meat though, you certainly can. One of the times I made this, I added some shrimp (as we eat seafood sometimes at our house), and it went great with this. 

Vegetables to stir fryBalsamic and Fig Vegetable Stir Fry, serves two to three

2 heads of broccoli (mine was 14 oz. before removing the stalks)
one yellow squash or zucchini (mine pictured was 12 oz. but a little smaller is great too)
3 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 cloves of garlic
1-2 tablespoons olive oil (or other cooking oil you prefer)
3 oz sun dried or fresh figs (just nothing with lots of added sugars, so not candied in any way)
1 cup cooked brown rice*
1/4 cup chopped cashews (or almonds, peanuts, or other nuts you have/prefer)

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

*I like to cook the rice the day before or even a few days before and store in a ziplock or other airtight container in the refrigerator. I usually make enough brown rice at one time to use throughout the week for a few stir fry meals and store in this way. Day old, or slightly dried out rice, is best for stir fry as it will absorb more moisture as it cooks. If you use rice that you just made, it can turn out a bit soggy. Not the end of the world, but if you can make it ahead, it's a little better. 

Spirilized squashFirst prep all your vegetables. Cut up the broccoli into bite size pieces after removing the stalks, chop up the onion and figs, mince the garlic, and spiralize or cube the squash/zucchini. In a small glass or bowl, stir together the sauce ingredients as well. 

In a large skillet, cast iron skillet, or wok, heat the oil over medium/high heat. Cook the broccoli for 2 minutes, until bright green. Then add the onion and cook another minute. Now add in squash or zucchini and garlic. If anything seems to stick to the pan, add a little more oil, but you don't want to drench everything. So go easy when adding it. 

After another minute add in the rice and figs and pour the sauce over everything. Stir some here so nothing sticks and everything gets coated in the sauce. Once you can see most of the sauce has absorbed into the food, remove from heat. 

Balsamic and Fig Vegetable Stir Fry (via abeautifulmess.com)    Divide onto plates and toss the cashews (or other nuts) over the top. That's it – super fast and delicious! Enjoy. xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions