The whole idea behind emergency protein is that I want to cook some protein and veggies really quickly so it gets in my rumbling belly FAST. Plus, I want to make sure I make a big batch so I have leftovers.
Hands-down, the quickest way to cook meat is to stir-fry it. Everything should be cut small so your dish is finished lickey-split. Similar to my Garbage Soup, this “recipe” makes use of whatever protein and wilting veggies are in the fridge or freezer. I don’t have any set measurements, and I rarely make this dish the same way more than once. I taste constantly while I’m cooking and I stop seasoning when it tastes right.
Time to make Emergency Protein! (A.K.A Garbage Stir Fry)
- Quick cooking veggies (e.g. pre-washed baby spinach, leftover sautéed chard, frozen broccoli, shredded carrots, broccoli slaw, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons of your favorite cooking fat (e.g. lard, coconut oil, ghee, etc.)
- ½-1 cup of onions, leeks, or shallots cut into small dice
- 1 pound ground or thinly sliced meat
- 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite seasoning or coconut aminos
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- All of my recommended kitchen tools are listed here.
I quickly chopped up my veggies…
…and melted 2 tablespoons of ghee over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. I tossed in some sliced green garlic and diced shallots and stir-fried until they were tender.
I added the mushrooms…
…and shredded carrots (i.e. vegetables that take longer to cook) along with some salt and pepper to taste.
Next, I tossed in some thinly sliced chicken breast along with a few healthy shakes of Turkish seasoning, salt, and pepper.
When the chicken was cooked through, I tossed in some pre-washed spinach leaves…
..and turned off the heat when the spinach was wilted.
It’s that easy.
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).
PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD
Emergency Protein (A.K.A. Garbage Stir Fry)
- 1 pound quick cooking veggies pre-washed baby spinach, leftover sautéed chard, frozen broccoli, shredded carrots, broccoli slaw, etc.
- 2 tablespoons ghee or fat of choice
- ½ cup finely chopped onions, green onions, or shallots
- 1 pound ground beef or any ground or thinly sliced meat
- 2 tablespoons seasoning or coconut aminos
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Chop up your veggies. Melt 2 tablespoons of ghee over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. Toss in the chopped onions and stir fry until tender.
- Add in your veggies. Start with the veggie that needs the longest to cook (e.g., carrots) along with some salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss in your meat along with your seasoning and additional salt and pepper.
- When your meat is cooked, toss in the pre-washed spinach leaves (if you're including those), and turn off the heat when the spinach is wilted. Serve!