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Pork Stir Fry

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So simple yet so tasty, Pork Stir Fry features fresh zucchini, green beans, garlic, and ginger tossed in a spicy stir fry sauce. This easy 30-minute stir fry is the perfect choice for a simple weeknight meal.

Overhead image of Pork Stir Fry in a skillet, ready to be served.

Overhead image of Pork Stir Fry in a skillet, ready to be served.

Pork Stir Fry has quickly become a family favorite. It’s easy to adapt with whatever veggies you need to clear out of your fridge, and it’ll be ready on the table in 30 minutes (or less!).

If you’ve got some fresh garden veggies, this dish is the perfect way to use those up! As written, I would rate this dish as mild– mild enough my little boys inhale this meal — it’s one of their favorites. That said, I typically like a bit more spice (the spice adds so much flavor!) so I’ll usually add more chili garlic sauce to my individual portion. If you are making this dish for people that enjoy spice, feel free to increase the chili garlic addition to a tablespoon or more (just taste and adjust until the spice levels suit you!)

Image of the uncooked zucchini and green beans in the skillet about to be sautéed

Image of the uncooked zucchini and green beans in the skillet about to be sautéed

How to make Pork Stir Fry

When making a stir fry, once the cooking starts, everything comes together fast. So, you want to make sure you’ve got everything ready to go before starting. This includes whisking together the stir fry sauce, chopping the veggies, and mincing the aromatics. 

Once everything is set out and ready to go, start by browning the pork. Avoid stirring too much at the start, so the pork gets a nice brown crust, which will contribute to a delicious flavor. Transfer to a plate while cooking the veggies. 

Char the veggies in the hot skillet, add the stir fry sauce, reduce it, combine everything together, garnish and it’s ready to eat!

Process shot-- image of the zucchini and green beans cooked in the sauce pan

Process shot-- image of the zucchini and green beans cooked in the sauce pan

What to serve with Pork Stir Fry

The great thing about stir fries is that they are typically pretty balanced meals. They’re loaded with protein and veggies, which means there’s not a big need for many side dishes. 

That said, this cool and crisp Asian cucumber salad would make a great side dish and complement the flavors nicely.

You’ll also likely want to whip up some white or brown rice or even quinoa for the base of the stir fry (how to cook quinoa guide here!).

My favorite base for Pork Stir Fry is ginger basmati rice. Here’s how to prepare it.

Process shot-- image of a bowl of the sauce that goes over this dish

Process shot-- image of a bowl of the sauce that goes over this dish

Variations

  • Swap the ground meat. While I personally haven’t tried any meat substitutions for the ground pork in this stir fry, I would imagine ground chicken or ground turkey would work well. Here are some considerations when using ground chicken, such as being more aggressive with seasonings.
  • Switch out the veggies. Use all zucchini or all green beans instead of the combo, swap out asparagus for the beans, or maybe use summer squash instead of zucchini. 
  • Try additional garnishes. Add toasted sesame seeds and your favorite fresh herbs (we like scallions/green onions) to top off this dish.
  • Use more spice. Serve sriracha sauce on the side or increase the chili garlic sauce in the stir fry recipe.

Overhead image of Pork Stir Fry over rice, with a fork on the side, ready to eat.

Overhead image of Pork Stir Fry over rice, with a fork on the side, ready to eat.

More 30-minute dinner ideas

Pork Stir Fry

So simple yet so tasty, Pork Stir Fry features fresh zucchini, green beans, garlic, and ginger tossed in a spicy stir fry sauce. This easy 30-minute stir fry is the perfect choice for a simple weeknight meal.

Course: Dinner, Main Course

Cuisine: American, Chinese

Keyword: pork stir fry

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 188 kcal

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons EACH: regular (not lite) soy sauce, rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Asian chili garlic sauce (like Sambal Oelek) (See Note 1)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, (not packed)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

Stir Fry

  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) zucchini, cut into half moons (~1 medium)
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • Serve with: cooked rice, toasted sesame seeds, and fresh lime.

Instructions

  1. SAUCE: In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce and cornstarch together with a fork until smooth. Add in the rice vinegar, finely minced ginger, finely minced garlic, chili sauce (See Note 1), chicken broth, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/4 teaspoon of each). Whisk to combine and set aside.

  2. PREP VEGGIES: Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and then cut into half moons about 1/2-inch thick. Trim green beans and cut into 1-inch pieces. Set aside. Line a large shallow bowl with paper towel and set aside.

  3. COOK PORK: Heat a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil around the pan, add the pork, and season with salt and pepper to taste (I add a pinch of each). Let cook without touching for 30 seconds, and then break the pork into small, bite-sized pieces and continue cooking until golden brown, about 6-9 minutes. Transfer pork to paper-towel-lined bowl and set aside.

  4. COOK VEGGIES: Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan and increase heat to high. Add beans and zucchini when the pan is very hot, spreading out to cover the base of the pan. Leave for 1 minute and then quickly stir, spread them out again, and cook for 30 more seconds. Repeat that process once more (for a total of 2 and 1/2 minutes cook time) until veggies are charred but still tender crisp (not soggy). Reduce the heat to low. Add pork back in and stir to combine. Pour in the stir fry sauce.

  5. FINISH: Stir until the sauce is incorporated and the veggies look glossy, about 30 seconds more. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding additional salt or pepper as needed until the flavors sing. You may want to add some additional chili sauce if you want more heat (this chili garlic sauce adds a lot flavor wise as well!). Garnish with the green onions and sesame seeds and serve over cooked rice. Serve fresh lime wedges by the side of the plates or drizzle fresh lime on the finished dish.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: We use 2 teaspoons of chili garlic sauce so it’s not too spicy for the kiddos, but I usually add more to my individual plate. Scale this sauce up to heat preference — it adds a lot of flavor overall to the dish. Here’s the chili garlic sauce I use. In a pinch, sriracha can be used.

Nutrition facts in pork stir fry

Nutrition facts in pork stir fry

Steak Salad Recipe

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Our favorite Steak Salad recipe! Romaine lettuce is topped with grilled steak, sweet cherry tomatoes, dried tart cherries, toasted sliced almonds, roasted red pepper, crunchy green onions, and tangy feta cheese. This salad is dressed with an herby cilantro-lemon vinaigrette.

Overhead image of Steak Salad, dressed and about to be tossed.

Overhead image of Steak Salad, dressed and about to be tossed.

Steak Salad 

There’s a great salad and sandwich shop near my home that has lots of healthy options made with fresh and organic ingredients. It’s one of the boys’ and my favorite places to grab a quick lunch. I’m totally obsessed with the salads and my boys love them too. Their steak salad recipe is a personal favorite of mine so naturally I had to make a “copycat” recipe to share. 

There are plenty of fresh veggies and herbs with the most addictive lemon-cilantro vinaigrette. The dressing is tangy and a little bit sweet; it’s got loads of cilantro, plenty of fresh citrus, and just the right amount of honey to balance everything out. If you’re a fan of cilantro and lemon, you are going to go crazy for this vinaigrette!

Process shots-- images of the steak being grilled and the dressing being made.

Process shots-- images of the steak being grilled and the dressing being made.

Steak Salad tips

  • Juicer: This recipe calls for fresh lime and lemon juice in the dressing, which can be a pain to juice by hand. I recommend a small juicer or citrus reamer — you don’t need anything special or crazy expensive. This one is inexpensive and a great investment if you juice a lot of citrus. A microplane is also nice for zesting the citrus.
  • You can buy jars of roasted red peppers at the store; they are usually near things like pickles, capers and artichoke hearts. We love the soft texture and smokey flavor of roasted red peppers, but a raw chopped red pepper is also delicious in this steak salad recipe.
  • Thoroughly dry lettuce. Nothing ruins a salad quicker than wet lettuce! Dry it completely after washing; a salad spinner makes this process a breeze.

Images of the dressing being drizzled over all the different parts of the salad.

Images of the dressing being drizzled over all the different parts of the salad.

Steak tips 

A few overall steak cooking tips:

  • Generously season the steaks. A good steak doesn’t need much more than a drizzle of oil and good sprinkling of salt and pepper! But don’t skimp on the S&P; it’s going to bring out all the flavor in the beef.
  • Look for thickness.  Try to get a steak at least an inch thick and preferably 1 and 1/2 – 2 inches thick. The thickness helps you get a beautiful pink center.
  • Try to get the center cut, which will ensure more even cooking
  • Make sure the grill is completely heated before you add the steak. High heat is going to sear the surface of the meat, resulting in a juicier steak with an amazing char.
  • Let the steak rest before cutting into it. Once the steak is grilled, it needs a bit of time to rest so the juices can re-distribute evenly throughout the meat. By letting the meat rest, you will have a juicier steak! I recommend covering the steak in foil and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it.
  • Cut the cooked steak against the grain. Here’s more on that! Once it’s sliced, it’s read to go.

The best way to ensure your meat is perfectly cooked is by using a meat thermometer. If you cook steak often, you can likely tell when it is done by gently pressing on the meat, but I still like knowing for sure with a thermometer.

Temperature tips

I think New York steak (and rib-eye) is best at medium rare and can lose flavor and texture when cooked beyond medium. Of course, to each their own though — cook the steak exactly how you like it!  Below are the temperatures for cooking steak to your personal preference.

  • Rare: 120-125 degrees F
  • Medium-Rare: 135 degrees F (about 4-5 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Medium: 140 degrees F (about 5-7 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Medium-Well: 150 degrees F (about 8-10 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Well-Done: 160-175 degrees F.

**Time depends on the steak’s thickness, your grill, and actual temperature of your grill**

Pull the steaks off about 5 degrees below the desired temperature — the steaks will “cook” those last 5 degrees from carryover heat as they rest. 

Up-close overhead image of steak salad, dressed.

Up-close overhead image of steak salad, dressed.

How to toast almonds

Place the almonds in a single layer in a heavy skillet (you don’t need to add anything else) and stir them around on medium-low heat. It only takes about 2-3 minutes (sometimes less depending on how much heat they are getting) until they are toasted and smelling quite fragrant. Make sure you are stirring them around and watching constantly so they don’t have a chance to burn! 

Storage

Steak Salad doesn’t sit or store well after it’s made. Once assembled, the salad needs to be eaten soon after; otherwise the dressing wilts the greens and the almonds soften. The steak also loses flavor and texture the longer it sits. This recipe can easily be halved to ensure it can be enjoyed without having leftovers. 

To make ahead: Prepare everything, but store ingredients separately in the fridge. Grill steaks and assemble everything right before eating.

Dressing can be made one day in advance. Simply store in a mason jar and thoroughly shake to recombine before adding to the salad.

More salad recipes

Steak Salad

Our favorite Steak Salad recipe! Romaine lettuce is topped with grilled steak, sweet cherry tomatoes, dried tart cherries, toasted sliced almonds, roasted red pepper, crunchy green onions, and tangy feta cheese. This salad is finished with an herby cilantro-lemon vinaigrette.

Course: Dinner, Main Course, Salad

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Steak Salad Recipe

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 782 kcal

Ingredients

Steak or Chicken

  • 1 pound (453g) steak (such as New York or Rib-eye)
  • Olive oil, freshly cracked pepper, and fine sea salt

Salad

  • 8 cups (258g) chopped romaine lettuce (~2 heads)
  • 1 cup (167g) halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup (121g) chopped roasted red peppers (See Note 1)
  • 5 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup (47g) dried tart cherries (or dried cranberries)
  • 1/3 cup (31g) sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup (51g) feta cheese

Dressing

  • 1 large lemon (3 tablespoons lemon juice & 2 teaspoons zest)
  • 1-2 large limes (2 and 1/2 tablespoons lime juice)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup (22g) lightly packed cilantro (~1 bunch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup (74g) extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

STEAK

  1. Heat the grill to high heat (400-450 degrees F). Once the grill is hot, clean it with a wire brush. Roll up a few paper towels and drench them in canola oil. Using tongs, rub the paper towel wad along the grill grates. Remove the steaks from the fridge and drizzle with olive oil (about 1 tablespoon total) and then generously sprinkle with sea salt and pepper over all sides (about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper total).

  2. Place the steaks on the grill and cook about 4-5 minutes. Using tongs, flip the steak over and continue to grill for 3-5 minutes for medium-rare (internal temperature of 135 degrees F). (See Note 1) Once the steaks are cooked to your desired doneness, remove them to a plate or cutting board and tent loosely with foil for 5-10 minutes to give the juices chance to re-distribute. Cut steak against the grain into thin slices. 

DRESSING

  1. Using a zester, zest the lemon to get 2 teaspoons lemon zest. Squeeze to get 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Squeeze the lime to get 2 and 1/2 tablespoons lime juice.

  2. For the cilantro, chop off the large stems (no need to remove all the tiny stems) and lightly pack into measuring cup to get 1 cup.

  3. Combine all of the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil in a small blender. Add salt and pepper to taste ( I add 1/4 teaspoon of each). Blend until cilantro is broken down. Add in olive oil and pulse until emulsified. Do not over-blend with the oil or it can make the dressing taste metallic. Taste and adjust dressing to personal preference (more honey, more salt/pepper, etc.). Place in the fridge until ready to use.

SALAD

  1. Wash and thoroughly dry the lettuce. Chop the lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Halve the cherry tomatoes, chop the roasted red peppe,r and thinly slice the green onions.

  2. When ready to serve, toss the lettuce, green onions, and tomatoes with half of the dressing. Stir in the dried cherries, sliced and toasted almonds, and feta cheese. Add thinly sliced steak on top and drizzle with the remaining dressing (add dressing to desired preference; we like all of the dressing on this salad, but you may like less).

  3. STORAGE: All ingredients are best when combined right before eating. The salad doesn’t sit or store well. (If you don’t plan on eating it all or are making in advance, toss small amounts of the salad with the dressing and store separately)

Recipe Notes

Note 1: The grill time will vary depending on your actual grill, thickness of the steak, and the temperature of your grill. For best results, use a meat thermometer and remove the meat when it is 5 degrees below your desired internal temperature. (It will cook a bit more after being removed from the grill.)

Desired doneness temperature guide:

  • Rare: 120-125 degrees F
  • Medium-Rare: 135 degrees F (about 4-5 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Medium: 140 degrees F (about 5-7 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Medium-Well: 150 degrees F (about 8-10 minutes on one side and another 3-5 minutes on the other side)
  • Well-Done: 160-175 degrees F.

Nutrition facts in steak salad recipe

Nutrition facts in steak salad recipe

A delicious tri-tip steak OR chicken salad with cherry tomatoes, dried cherries, toasted almonds, red pepper, and a delicious healthy cilantro-avocado dressing.A delicious tri-tip steak OR chicken salad with cherry tomatoes, dried cherries, toasted almonds, red pepper, and a delicious healthy cilantro-avocado dressing.

Eclair Cake

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Eclair Cake tastes like an eclair but needs only a fraction of the work to prepare it! This simple-to-make cake starts with layers of graham crackers and French vanilla cream. It’s topped with a three-ingredient chocolate ganache and then chilled in the fridge until ready to eat. No baking required!

This eclair icebox cake is the perfect make-ahead dessert. It stores well, transports nicely, and is a great treat to make when you don’t want to turn on the oven.

Image of an Eclair Cake slice with a bite taken out of it.

Image of an Eclair Cake slice with a bite taken out of it.

Eclair Cake

This cake couldn’t be much easier to make — it only takes minutes to whip together and honestly tastes like you’ve slaved away all day in the kitchen! The flavors mimic a chocolate eclair — the vanilla pudding layer tastes just like the vanilla pastry cream filling you’d find in an eclair. The filling on this eclair cake has a prominent vanilla flavor without being overly sweet. It’s smooth, creamy, and not overly heavy (thanks to the whipped topping lightening it up!) 

The chocolate ganache topping this cake tastes similar to the chocolate icing you’d find on an eclair. It’s rich, thick, and smooth — the perfect topping for this cake.

While making chocolate eclairs from scratch can take many hours and quite a few more ingredients, Eclair Cake is the perfect shortcut recipe. There are only eight ingredients in this cake and each aspect of the cake takes less than 10 minutes to whip together.

Process shots-- images of the pudding filling being made and layered between layers of graham crackers.

Process shots-- images of the pudding filling being made and layered between layers of graham crackers.

How to make Eclair Cake

  • Prepare filling. The filling of Eclair Cake uses only three ingredients! Vanilla pudding mix, milk, and whipped topping. We love French vanilla pudding mix in this cake. 
  • Layer ingredients. Once the filling is prepared, it’s all about the layering. Graham crackers form the first layer, and next we add half of the pudding/filling mixture. Another layer of graham crackers and the rest of the pudding/filling is spread on top. Finally, we add one more layer of graham crackers.
  • Prepare the chocolate ganache topping. Once the cake is layered, the ganache goes on top. The ganache is only three ingredients — chocolate chips, heavy cream, and butter. Microwave the ganache until smooth and spread it evenly over the cake.

Homemade “Cool Whip”

If you want an alternative to frozen whipped topping, you can make your own whipped topping. Depending on how sweet the pudding mix is, you might want to reduce the amount of sugar in this. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl attached to a stand mixer (with a whisk attachment) add in the 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat to combine, and then increase the speed and whip until firm peaks form, about 2-4 minutes. With a spatula, fold the whipped topping into the vanilla pudding.

Image of the chocolate ganache being made and poured over the Eclair Cake.

Image of the chocolate ganache being made and poured over the Eclair Cake.

Eclair Cake tips

  • Thoroughly whisk pudding and milk. To avoid any unpleasant textures, take time to briskly and thoroughly mix the pudding with the milk.
  • Allow for plenty of chilling time. For best results, this eclair cake needs 8 hours to fully chill and set up. This allows time for the graham crackers to soften into a cake-like consistency — a must for an icebox cake. Chilling time also allows the ganache to set up and the pudding layer to thicken.
  • We use whole milk to ensure an ultra-thick, creamy, and rich filling. If you are watching calories or fat, 1% or 2% milk will work. I don’t recommend skim milk or milk alternatives; in my experience these milks don’t thicken up enough.
  • Make sure the frozen whipped topping is completely thawed. If the whipped topping is at all icy, it won’t fold or mix in nicely to the pudding.

Ganache tips

  • Melt the chocolate slowly: To avoid burning or seizing the chocolate, make sure to take your time melting the chocolate ganache mixture. Make sure to stir in between each burst of microwaving the mixture. Remember, the chocolate is still melting even outside of the microwave. 
  • Don’t worry if the ganache doesn’t look perfect; you can add on some miniature chocolate chips or crushed graham crackers to cover up any imperfections.
  • For cleaner and easier slicing, between slices, run the knife under hot water and then wipe off with a towel.

Eclair Cake variations

  • Sugar-free: If you are watching calories or sugar, sugar-free pudding mixes can be used in place of the regular pudding mix. You can also use a sugar-free or lite frozen whipped topping.
  • Add chocolate frosting. Feel free to use your favorite chocolate frosting recipe (or even store-bought frosting) in place of the chocolate ganache topping.

Image of a slice of Eclair Cake.

Image of a slice of Eclair Cake.

More dessert bars

Eclair Cake

Eclair Cake tastes like an eclair, but needs only a fraction of the work to prepare it! This simple-to-make cake starts with layers of graham crackers and French vanilla cream. It’s topped with a three-ingredient chocolate ganache and then chilled in the fridge until ready to eat. No baking required! 

Course: Dessert, Vegetarian

Cuisine: American

Keyword: eclair cake

Servings: 24 servings

Calories: 190 kcal

Ingredients

Eclair Cake

  • 2 boxes (3.4 oz; 96g EACH) French vanilla instant pudding
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (840g) whole milk (1% or 2% will also work)
  • 1 package (8 oz; 226g) frozen whipped topping, completely thawed (like Cool Whip)
  • 1 package (14.4 oz; 408g) honey graham crackers (See Note 1)

Chocolate Topping

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (190g) milk chocolate chips (or semi sweet chocolate chips work)
  • 2/3 cup (140g) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. PUDDING FILLING: Pour the milk into a large bowl. Add in both packages of pudding mix and whisk to combine. Briskly whisk until completely smooth and no lumps remain, about 2-3 minutes. A hand mixer can be used instead of a whisk, if desired. With a spatula, gently fold in the completely thawed whipped topping until well incorporated.

  2. ASSEMBLE CAKE: Lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Add a layer of whole graham crackers on the bottom of the pan. (You will likely need to break some graham crackers in half to cover the entire bottom of the pan.) Add half of the pudding mixture on top of the graham crackers. I like to add big spoonfuls all over the graham crackers and then use the back of a spoon or spatula to gently spread into an even layer. This takes some patience to keep graham crackers from sliding.

  3. REPEAT LAYERS: Add another layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding. Add the rest of the pudding mixture and again, smooth into one even layer. Add the last layer of graham crackers on top, making sure to cover all of the pudding. Place cake in the fridge while preparing the ganache.

  4. CHOCOLATE GANACHE: In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, combine the milk chocolate chips, heavy cream, and the butter. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir for at least 20 seconds. Return to the microwave in bursts of 15 seconds, stirring after each burst for 15-20 seconds until completely melted and smooth. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes to slightly cool. Pour over the cake and gently spread over the graham cracker layer.

  5. CHILL: Cover bars and chill 8 hours or overnight in the fridge. This allows the pudding to thicken and to soften the graham crackers into a cak- like consistency. Let cake stand for 5 minutes at room temperature before cutting and serving. Use a hot, sharp knife (run it under hot water, dry with a towel) to make cuts into the bars. Use a metal spatula to pull out bars. Serve and return any leftovers (covered tightly) to the fridge.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: I usually buy two boxes of graham crackers since there will usually be a few graham crackers crushed up or broken to the point of not being useable in the cake. With two boxes, you can be sure you’ll have enough crackers for the cake.

Nutrition facts in eclair cake

Nutrition facts in eclair cake

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