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Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables | Sweet & Sour

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For me, stir-fries are so easy and a terrific way to use up some of those veggies in the refrigerator that need to go quickly. Stir-fried mixed vegetables with sweet and sour sauce is a great recipe for that!

sweet and sour stir fry

We love this sweet and sour stir-fry because it’s…

  • Packed with veggies
  • Crunchy
  • Tangy & sweet
  • Easy to make
  • Healthy
  • Delicious

This is an easy stir fry packed with mushrooms, celery, carrots, onions, red bell peppers, and smothered with a thick sweet and sour sauce. These are the vegetables I normally use, but any veggies you prefer would be great in this recipe.

diced veggies on wooden cutting board
Use any mix of vegetables you like best. Even frozen veggies can be used.

I am often asked what knives I use and recommend for cooking, and my favorite brand is Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery. Yes, that’s the same company that makes the Swiss Army Knife. These knives come with a lifetime guarantee and are very reasonably priced. I absolutely love mine.

Making the sweet and sour sauce

The sweet and sour sauce for this stir fry is SO easy to make. All ingredients just need to be whisked together in a bowl then added to the pan or wok as the other ingredients cook. These are the ingredients in the sauce I use.

  • pineapple juice
  • apple juice
  • soy sauce
  • seasoned rice vinegar

Seitan in this stir fry

Seitan is used for this dish, and many people have never even heard of it before. I sometimes make my own seitan, because it’s quite easy to make. Check out this article I wrote called Seitan How to Cook it and Recipes. It can also be purchased already cooked.

sliced seitan on wood cutting board with knife
Seitan is delicious in stir-fries and other recipes.

What is seitan?

Seitan, also known as wheat meat, is a vegetarian meat substitute made from wheat gluten, soy sauce or tamari, ginger, garlic and seaweed. This nonmeat alternative is high in protein, low in fat and a good source of iron. 

Whether you make it yourself or buy it ready-made, seitan is a low-calorie choice with 100 to 120 calories per 3-ounce serving. Seitan is also considered a low-energy-dense food, which means it has few calories compared to its serving size. 

Although seitan is made from wheat, it is low in carbs and high in protein. A 3-ounce portion of seitan contains 2.5 to 4 grams of carbs, 1 to 2 grams of fiber, 0 to 2 grams of fat and 21 grams of protein. —LiveStrong

I sometimes make my own but usually, just buy it already cooked. To find it, you usually have to go to Whole Foods, Earth Fare, or a health food store.

Making this recipe in Food for Life classes

I am a licensed Food for Life instructor with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and we make this dish in the Cancer Project classes that I teach at cancer centers in Western NC and Upstate SC.

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The recipe comes from The Cancer Survivor’s Guide by Dr. Neal Barnard which is the textbook we use.

In classes, participants are always amazed at how easy it is to make this tasty recipe that is packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants. We serve it over a bed of brown rice or bulgur to make it a completely filling meal.

The excitement that is generated among students is contagious as they suddenly realize that cooking a healthy cancer-fighting meal does not have to be difficult and taste like cardboard, as they had previously thought.

Knowledge is an incredibly powerful thing!

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Other great Food for Life recipes

vegan Sweet and Sour Stir Fry

Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables | Sweet & Sour

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This is an easy stir fry packed with mushrooms, celery, carrots, onions, red bell peppers, and smothered with a thick sauce of pineapple, apple juice, soy sauce, and seasoned rice vinegar. Recipe from The Cancer Survivor's Guide by Dr. Neal Barnard.


  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup apple juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple packed in juice
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 onion, sliced into crescents
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup celery, diagonally sliced
  • 1 carrot, diagonally sliced
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped, or 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 ounces seitan, cut into strips


  1. Place sesame seeds in a wok (or pot) and cook over medium heat until seeds become fragrant and begin to pop 2-3 minutes. Set aside in a bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, apple juice, pineapple, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, and pepper. Whisk together, and set aside.
  3. Place wok back on the stove and make sure all veggies are cut up and ready to go.
  4. Saute onion with veggie broth or water over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until just soft, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add garlic, celery, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms, basil, and additional 3/4 cups of water.
  6. After about 3 minutes, add seitan, turn the heat down and continue to cook until vegetables are tender-crisp, approximately 5 minutes. Don't overcook it.
  7. Stir in sauce mixture and continue to cook until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve over rice.


Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 2gCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 8g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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