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Obsession: Stir Fry Salads

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I’ve written about stir fry salads before, but lately they’ve been such a staple in my diet—due to the extreme summer heat—that I figured they deserved another post.

What is a Stir Fry Salad?

A stir fry salad (“SF Salad” for short) refers to any normally-eaten-hot vegetable dish that one eats cold over salad greens.  It’s an especially-great technique for leftovers, and an easy way to add veggies to one’s diet. For the stir fry salad below, I cooked various veggies (red cabbage lends such a sweet flavor) with garlic and shoyu.  Then I put the stir fry in the fridge to cool.  Next day: added a few cashews, served it over spinach, and called it lunch! 

stir fry salad

Above, with a roasted sweet potato, purple plum, and ginger-garlic tempeh strips

Below: an example of leftovers-turned-sf-salad


Fall’s Favorite Curry—SF Salad-style, raw walnuts, and a little muffin.

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Do you ever use frozen veggies?  Even though I prefer fresh, I always keep a bag of frozen veg in the freezer for rushed days. The above stir fry salad consists of a bag of frozen veggies sauteed with kale, then served over raw spinach (with mushroom gravy).

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. I have been obsessed with cooked/cooled vegetables on salads for years. I usually use roasted- so good! Ah, I have a bunch of roasted mushrooms and broccoli sitting on my counter cooling off as I type for tonight’s dinner.

    Our birthday’s are only 2 days apart- YAY Virgos!

  2. Yay for stirfry salads! I love the idea of taking a great stirfry and taking it up a nutritional notch by serving it on a bed of greens. Brilliant!

    I love birthdays b/c it always gives me a chance to set some great goals for the upcoming year, and a chance to celebrate with friends and family :)

  3. carolinebee says:

    Love stir fry salads, the best thing for leftovers! I try frozen veggies- but I always end up with a bag full of stems if i buy broccoli- laaame 😀

  4. I love tossing leftovers on salad!

  5. Lainie says:

    I love this! I just posted on my blog asking readers for salad ideas, so this definitely helps! Thanks Katie!

  6. glidingcalm says:

    Watcha guna do for your bday!?
    Besides make beautiful cupcakeys 😉

    I love your copious veggie-loads, and TEMPEH drooooooooooool. i haven’t had tempeh in months!! A SIN! I know!!

    LOVE YOU CCV or CCK (though I can’t say that now, haha)!


  7. elise says:

    i agree, frozen is good to have on hand, but fresh is the way to go if you have time. i loveeee leftovers, but rarely have them (the fiance seems to swoop on anything i have leftover – but i guess that goes with the whole “whats mine is yours” territory) 😉

  8. Shelby says:

    I LOVE stir-fry salads! I love how the lettuce gets all wilty when you use the hot veggies. Yummy.

  9. randomlymikey says:

    the third one looks tasty right about now. i actually have some stir-fry in the freezer. yay. happy early birthday! i like birthdays because they remind me to be thankful i have made it another year. i have no problem growing older. i embrace it. not so big on partys anymore. i always get all excited, then just end up uncomfortable or let down-lol. i think it kinda loses it’s magic after a while.but i hope yours is fantastic!

  10. Jules says:

    Ooh, yummy! Those look delicious, and they’re perfect for the summer heat! I bet a stir fry would taste good hot over a salad too :)

  11. Maria says:

    What am I waiting for–need to make some stir fry salads asap! I do love leftover veggies!

    Big YAY for Virgos 😉 I think I told you this before, but I am not looking forward to turning a year older (the kid in me). However, I guess feeling special for one day doesn’t hurt, haha!

  12. buffmuffy says:

    eee birthdays! i love birthdays. mostly because i like presents… lol. but yeah each year i feel older and older :( lol.
    oh, and the salad looks great. i like having warm stir fry on salads!

  13. Good idea! It’s starting to cool off here, but I’m sure there are more hot, hot days ahead. This is a great way to make a new use of leftovers…

  14. Oh, and happy early birthday! I love birthdays, and I don’t mind getting older yet. I’ll be 29 this year and I think I’m okay with that. I’m scared of 30 though.

  15. Your stif fry’s look really good, especially the purple one. Rarely does one see a plate of pretty purple food that’s not fruit. Leave it to you CCK to make it look so awesome! Happy Early Bday!!!!!!!

  16. Jessica says:

    I looove this technique, it makes the best salads EVER!! Sometimes I have a hard time keeping leftovers around, but I try :)

  17. Meredith says:

    Yum! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Abby says:

    As I’m reading this, I’m eating a huge spinach salad with raw corn and sauteed tofu, portobellos, red peppers and broccoli! Needless to say, I’m a fan!

  19. miss v says:

    i love the idea. and i totally keep a bag of frozen veggies around… sometimes it helps to have a backup of produce. no shame in that!

  20. Alison says:

    I love salad with leftover veggies – especially roasted veggies.
    I like to keep some frozen veggies around. I’ll probably eat a lot in the winter so I can save some money (the farmer’s market has such cheap veggies in summer)

  21. CaSaundra says:

    Those salads look super yummy!

    I buy both frozen and fresh veggies. Depends whats on sale, or in season :-)

  22. Happy almost birthday!! I love birthdays – cake is involved! I’m slightly scared of big birthdays like the dreaded 30 (3 more years!), but mostly I love the chance to celebrate life.

  23. Sarah says:

    Stir-fry salad… I had never thought of that before, but it looks great! I’m sure it would work just as well with ratatouille, no? Topping vegetables with vegetables… that’s what we vegans do best!

  24. Ricki says:

    I actually have never thought of that. . . sounds yum! And birthdays are great! We should always celebrate being here another year! :)

  25. broccolihut says:

    Another genius idea from CCV. I really like cold stir-fry (I have snuck a few stray veggies straight from the leftover container before…), so this recipe is perfect for me. THANKS.

  26. ohkansascity says:

    My version of a stirfry salad is my fajita salad: you stirfry peppers and onions in fajita seasoning or low-sodium taco seasoning, and then you throw your peppers and onion on top of your salad ingredients and I like to add hummus (for a cheesey effect), salsa, something some olives and avocado. You mix it all together and awesome.

  27. Mmmm I love stir fry salads! They are one of my favorite ways to use up leftovers, add some extra nutrition to my meals or jazz up a ‘plain’ salad. Great pictures, wonderful ideas!

  28. Emily says:

    Love SF salads! Such a great way to recycle leftovers. :-) Also good for when you want something warm but aren’t in the mood for a fully cooked meal. I also use frozen veggies for a quick meal.

    Your fall curry looks amazing. And I like that it has the word ‘fall’ in the title. :-)

  29. Diann says:

    You probably already guessed I do this. I make so many stirfrys and so many salads! I do use frozen veggies, but I try to at least get a fresh onion mixed in with them.

  30. veganhomemade says:

    I like your stir fry salads! I do the salad stir fry, just the opposite – chuck salad greens in at the end of a stir fry and eat it hot. Either way, it’s good!

    A preemptive Happy Birthday to you! My boyfriend’s is September 7th, it’s a good time for a birthday.

  31. I love your stir-fry salad idea! Looking at your meal pictures always fires me up about eating healthy whole foods meals and lots of veggies.
    Haha, my rushed meal of the night included frozen purple yams sauteed with part of a can of Vegetarian Sweet-n-Sour Pork – the “pork” can has lots of Asian characters on it and contains some very tasty seitan! Seitan really isn’t a whole food but it is very fast and, if you buy the canned kind from an international food store, very cheap! Plus, I was so surprised that the stuff was low in fat, sodium, and sugar. Yay. :)

  32. having a packet of frozen veg in the refrigerator is very convenient. i used to take them as breakfast on Sunday mornings, but i am running out of stock now, too lazy to go for grocery shopping.

  33. Marianne says:

    I like your stirfry salad idea. Really, there aren’t too many leftovers that you can’t eat the next day on top of a salad. Other than maybe chocolate cake.

    I’m okay with birthdays. I just turned the big 3-0, and really, you just have to go with it. Instead of it being “OMG, I’m old), it’s become more of a turning point in my life for going back to school to do something I really believe in.

  34. fruitsveggieslife says:

    Your birthday is the day after mine! Fun!