Pistachio Stir Fry {Step-By-Step}

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Remember this lunch?


It was so tasty that I decided to recreate it tonight and put together a little step-by-step tutorial for everyone. 


The ingredients?  Brown rice, steamed kale, onion, carrots, pistachios, and Italian dressing.  Tonight, I added some tofu for an extra little protein punch.  There are no exact measurements – just make the proportions of each ingredient as big or little as you like.  Love carrots?   Add some more.  Need some greens in your life?  Toss in extra kale.


Alright – Step 1.  Begin to prepare the cast iron tofu (<— directions).  Unless you need to boil the brown rice (see my shortcut down below), the tofu will take the longest to prepare.  I recently stumbled on this new ‘super firm’ tofu at Trader Joe’s – very tasty.


Meanwhile, chop the carrots and onions into bite-sized pieces.  I used a sweet white onion.


Drop the veggies in a pan with a little oil.  Veggie oil, olive oil, or coconut oil would work.  I used coconut oil.


Side note:  There’s a great little piece in Oprah magazine this month about coconut oil.  The article states that:


“Nutritionists have historically lumped coconut oil into the same category as cream, butter, and lard – namely ‘off limits’ – because it consists largely of saturated fat, the kind linked to heart disease… [however], current science indicates that… the crucial question is whether [the fat] consists of ‘medium-chain’ or ‘long-chain’ fatty acids… coconut oil is the richest naturally occurring source of medium-chain triglycerides [which] are more readily absorbed into the small intestine… meaning they don’t enter the lymphatic system and are less likely to get deposited in the stomach as fat.” 


The article says that the jury is still out on whether it’s the healthiest choice, and there’s no conclusive evidence that coconut oil is better than canola or olive oil, which both promote cardiovascular health.  However, I think coconut oil is MIGHTY tasty, and that’s reason enough for me to use it.  (It also makes an excellent hand lotion, but that’s a story for another post.)


Anyway, stir-fry the onions and carrots on medium heat in the oil of your choice until the onion begins to brown.   You’ll want to also begin cooking the kale per the Steamed Greens method.


If I had another wok, I could’ve made everything at once, but I only have two appropriate pans. Smile


Now – here’s the trick that makes this recipe go REALLY fast – use pre-cooked brown rice or frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s (I hear Consumer Reports recently rated this a #1 food product).  I used a pack and a half because I made a huge batch of stir-fry. Just heat and go.


Final steps – combine everything going and add in the pistachios (very important! Don’t sub in another nut – the pistachios are worth it).


Then, drizzle everything in Italian dressing.  Lots of it.  Mix it all up.


And enjoy.  Like I said, I made a HUGE batch, so this delicious meal will be feeding us for a while.  The best part is that this meal is one that gets better with time – the nuts soak up the dressing and get extra tasty. 


Couch is calling my name.  Do you hear that?  It’s saying, “Caitlin, Caaaaitlin, come sit on my soft cushions.”



  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 12, 2012, 8:48 pm

    OMG I love pistachios!! Haven’t had them in so long, but stir fried veggies with some sort of protein are staples for me, especially on weeknights so I’m totally adding pistachios to my next one! Thanks for the inspiration Caitlin!

  • Janae @ Bring-Joy September 12, 2012, 8:56 pm

    Pistachios–what a fresh take on stir-fry!

    (jealous that you have a Trader Joes where you live–that tofu looks awesome.)

  • Julia @ Girl vs. Food September 12, 2012, 9:07 pm

    As a current RD to-be, I must admit I was hesitant to hop on the coconut oil train since all of my nutrition courses drilled into my head that coconut oil is a taboo fat. But after some research I learned that it’s the quality and composition of the coconut oil that determine its health benefits. Needless to say, I am now a coconut oil-phile and I put that shizz on errythang!

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 12, 2012, 9:12 pm

    Looks delicious!!

    And I think the coconut debate is very interesting. I also happen to have coconut oil that’s supposed to be used ONLY as a beauty product (though I thought I was buying one to cook with) but it does make a good lotion. 😉

  • Kris September 12, 2012, 9:22 pm

    Here in the house of dog shaming, my couch cushions are saying “please don’t let Spook pee on me again”. Enjoy your (hopefully) dry, soft cushions.

  • Lauren September 12, 2012, 10:04 pm

    Love the step-by-step. Great pictures too!

  • Ali September 12, 2012, 10:23 pm

    I made something very similar for supper – brown rice, kale, carrots, beans, asparagus, and mushrooms; all combined in a pot and cooked until the rice was soft. I added in garlic and herb seasoning (McCormick I think) and a little blue cheese. SO good! 🙂 I’ll have to add in some nuts next time…maybe cashews with soy sauce? I’m allergic to almonds and pistashios. I love these meals when I make them 1 pot…so little cleanup!

  • Kristi September 12, 2012, 11:07 pm

    I started using coconut oil as a whole body moisturizer when I found out I was pregnant. 6 months later and my skin has never been softer and I’m still on the first jar so it’s a great budget choice too! I’ve also heard it is great for skin rritations and has healing properties. I’ve never actually cooked with it though, need to get a separate jar!!

  • Chelsea @ Dine & Dash Diaries September 12, 2012, 11:09 pm

    I used that same TJ’s super firm tofu in a recipe on my blog tonight! Looks like it’s a popular product.

    I just tried pistachios for the first time recently (I KNOW, I KNOW, WHAT?!), and they are SO addicting. I can see why you wouldn’t want to sub them.

  • Ksenija September 13, 2012, 3:13 am

    mhmmm, this looks so comforting – I could just dig in right now!

    And I get the couch-call every runny evening now, guess thats the good thing about the uncomfy weather 😉

  • Molly @ RDexposed September 13, 2012, 6:54 am

    I do tell patients that the jury is out on coconut oil. I mean it comes from a plant so…it must be better than an animal-based fat-right?

  • Anne September 13, 2012, 7:40 am

    Holy canoli, pre-cooked brown rice ?!?!?! As long as it doesn’t go bad quickly or I can freeze it… well, you just made me a very happy girl 🙂

  • April September 13, 2012, 9:55 am

    OMG i need to make this ASAP, looks delish and perfect for left overs!!!!!! I keep hearing about the pre-cooked rice, and i know it would be SO much quicker but i try to stay away from as many ‘pre-packaged’ foods as i can – prob just my own issue:= Does the package list any other ingredients? I imagine there is some sort of preservative?
    The dish looks lovely too!!!!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 10:15 am

      No its just rice!

  • Jennifer September 13, 2012, 10:08 am

    I just love pistachio but never tried something like this. Thanks for the post and images too!!

  • Mary September 13, 2012, 11:18 am

    If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s in your area, there are other companies that make frozen brown rice! I used to live in NJ and bought TJ’s rice all the time, moved to Colorado where we don’t have TJ’s (YET. 2013 yeeeeah man!) and found frozen brown rice at Whole Foods.

    I forget what brand it is but I swear its exactly the same thing, three packs of frozen brown rice per box (EXACT same bags with the red stripes), and the same weird box (anyone? why one big flap with the sides tucked in? Why not have it open like a cereal box?).

  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut September 13, 2012, 1:52 pm

    I’m definitely making this! I love recipes that you can make in big batches and adapt later on based on your preferences at the time.

  • Lisa September 13, 2012, 2:51 pm

    This sounds delicious! I only recently started liking pistachios. I want to add all kinds of nuts to every recipe I make now!

  • bonnie September 13, 2012, 3:12 pm

    I am not the authority, but i have heard that canola is carcinogenic as it comes from the rapeseed- which is the origin of mustard gas ironically- and that it potentially causes kidney and liver damage. Have you heard that?

    • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 3:13 pm

      No I haven’t!

  • Katie September 13, 2012, 3:51 pm

    Yum! Looks so good, I’m bookmarking this.

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