Pot Sticker Stir-Fry (Your New Weeknight MVP)

January 30, 2018
Pot Sticker Stir-Fry (Your New Weeknight MVP) - A one-skillet weeknight dinner that's simple, umami-rich, and delicious! It's like eating pot stickers, but without the wrapper.

Well, it happened

Photo Credit: Unknown

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My husband is traveling.  The puppies gently nudge me awake.  I start the water for tea, give the kitties their treats, and turn on NPR for some background noise

While I usually know better, while I usually would use this sun-streamed hour wisely, while I usually reach for my notepad to jot down my thoughts while frying the eggs, while I usually greet the day with my own direction, my own path, my own sense of quiet; I did something else instead

I lost myself in the Internet

I lost myself

— — —

There is a woman on the screen.

She lives in a sunny apartment in The Keys that is close to the beach. She's filled with ingenious wit and wisdom to share on healthy eating, living minimally, fitness, and living a soulful life while having a full-time career and a million hobbies

She makes superfood smoothies for breakfast and beautiful Buddha bowls for lunch and has mastered the secrets of jeans that always fit.

She is perfect

Her life is perfect

Pot Sticker Stir-Fry (Your New Weeknight MVP) - A one-skillet weeknight dinner that's simple, umami-rich, and delicious! It's like eating pot stickers, but without the wrapper. Pot Sticker Stir-Fry (Your New Weeknight MVP) - A one-skillet weeknight dinner that's simple, umami-rich, and delicious! It's like eating pot stickers, but without the wrapper.

Do you want to know what I did after staring at her Instagram feed for 45 minutes?

I went to the Co-op and over-spent on pretty much everything in produce. I contemplated kitchen curtains, linen, of course.  I secretly cursed my husband for not striving to be a minimalist and lamented the fact that we live in Iowa in January, with all of its cold and grey

I shamed myself for the pizza crust craving, for ordering Blue Apron instead of mobilizing to go to the grocery, for not enough walks during the past few days    (ps: Do you know of a good gluten-free recipe for pizza crust?)

Do you want to know what I didn't do?

I didn't think

— — —

I didn't sit with my feelings of inadequacy long enough to realize they weren't feelings of inadequacy at all.

Instead, a nod to the success, triumph, and adequacy of someone else. Look at her go.  She's killing it at life.  She's happy. Good for her!

In my small-mindedness, I'd twisted someone else's happiness to mean there wouldn't be any left for me

Pot Sticker Stir-Fry (Your New Weeknight MVP) - A one-skillet weeknight dinner that's simple, umami-rich, and delicious! It's like eating pot stickers, but without the wrapper. Pot Sticker Stir-Fry (Your New Weeknight MVP) - A one-skillet weeknight dinner that's simple, umami-rich, and delicious! It's like eating pot stickers, but without the wrapper.

A simple scenario

Last week, a girlfriend and I were sitting in the sauna.  We’ve spent the past two weeks playing Schedule Tetris to pull off a few hours together. As the sweat begins in earnest, our conversation (naturally) turns to weight

“How's it going at the gym?”

“Not too bad, it's been a couple of weeks, and I'm feeling a million times better.”

(we fall silent)

“Do you ever think about what it would take to be truly happy with your body?  What I mean is: I don't weigh myself, and I really feel comfortable in my own skin.  I used to weigh twenty pounds less, but my obsession with counting calories wasn't something I could keep up long-term.  I've been thinking about how I can still be mindful of my health without obsessing, counting, and judging myself.  I mean, do we really need to see a lower number on the scale?”

Translated:  Girl on the screen is thin and beautiful.  I think the girl on the screen is pretty cool. I like the way she lives.  Do I need to be thin to be happy with the way I live too?

A simple truth?


— — —

You don’t either.  You don't need the beautiful Buddha bowls for dinner, the linen curtains, the magical number on the scale, the smoothies (ok, you might).  But you needn’t shame yourself when you think you do

(It happens to the best of us)

Pot Sticker Stir-Fry (Your New Weeknight MVP) - A one-skillet weeknight dinner that's simple, umami-rich, and delicious! It's like eating pot stickers, but without the wrapper.

As I went through the rest of my day, my mind kept drifting back to the beach girl. So I did something I've never done before and sent her a message


This is so random, but I’m feeling compelled tonight to send you a fan letter. Please don't think of me as strange, and I'm certain applause isn't what you're going for, but hey, we can all use a blue ribbon moment every now and again.  Yes?

I know the life you lead has its own set of challenges, but I'm impressed by your self-control and grace.  Thank you for sharing snippets of your days.  You might not realize it, but there are some of us out here learning from and growing with you.  And, my dear, that's no small thing


( to be continued; next time, a few thoughts on the question: “How do I know if I need to lose weight?” )

Pot Sticker Stir-Fry (Your New Weeknight MVP) - A one-skillet weeknight dinner that's simple, umami-rich, and delicious! It's like eating pot stickers, but without the wrapper.

Today, one of my favorite recipes from Michelle Tam's Nom Nom Paleo cookbook, “Ready or Not!”  It's like eating pot stickers, but without the wrapper.

It's a snappy little stir-fry, and it comes together in a flash. The most time-consuming part is the prep. You get freshness from the veggies, substance from the pork, and lots of flavor from the ginger, garlic, and sauces. It's lovely to make on a Sunday afternoon to have in the fridge for the week ahead.

I often use the leftovers as spring roll filling (perfect for on-the-go lunches). Rice paper or lettuce wraps do the job

The beautiful thing about stir-fries is they're infinitely variable. Beef, chicken, or turkey can stand in for the pork. Any other green veggies (asparagus, broccoli, mustard greens, spinach, or thinly sliced green beans) substitute nicely for the cabbage. Make a version of this recipe once or twice, and you'll have it down

Faster than takeout and far more delicious



Ps:  This post is part of a series about the 10-week fitness challenge at the gym I belong to.  More stories from the challenge can be found here  

~ Adapted (barely) from Nom Nom Paleo

Pot Sticker Stir-Fry


  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (or another high temp oil)
  • 2 -3 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 6-8 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thin
  • fine grain sea salt + black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 1 small Napa cabbage, cut in half and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3-4 scallions, thinly sliced (green and white parts)


  • In a 12-inch (or larger) skillet over medium heat, warm the oil (I used my wok)
  • Add the carrots, onion, mushrooms, and pinch of sea salt. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and the mushrooms are pliable
  • Add the ginger and garlic, and stir for ~ 30 seconds or until fragrant
  • Add the pork, along with another pinch of salt and a grind or two of black pepper, breaking up the meat as it cooks
  • Increase the heat to medium-high, and cook for ~ 5 minutes, or until the pork is no longer pink
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to another platter, leaving the liquid in the pan
  • Add the cabbage to the pan, along with another pinch of salt, and sauté for 3 - 5 minutes or until the cabbage has wilted.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the ground pork back. Stir to combine
  • Stir in the coconut aminos, rice vinegar, and fish sauce.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings
  • Finish with a drizzle of sesame oil and a generous sprinkle of scallions
Serves: 8
Nutrition + Show
Calories 395
Total Fat 27.9g
Saturated Fat 10.1g
Carbohydrates 4.5g
Fiber 1.1g
Sugars 2.2g
Protein 32.5g
Print This Recipe

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  • Reply Georgie January 28, 2018 at 10:44 am

    You, my dear, took the words right out of my heart. Thank you for this. Just what I needed to hear today. I’m so happy I get to virtually know you.

  • Reply Katherine January 30, 2018 at 2:35 am

    5 stars
    When I started working as a line cook I realized how easy and flexible stir-fries could be (my mother always made them seem like an ordeal growing up), so now a go-to dinner is _____(leftovers typically) and a salad.

    Often we have enough leftovers for what feels like not-quite-dinner, and adding a fresh salad is really nice. I usually just do a mustard vinaigrette on kale or balsamic vinaigrette with romaine and shaved hard cheese (pecorino or parmesan or asiago). With whatever veggies we have around. I generally avoid lettuce other than romaine since it has almost no nutritional content (and goes bad so quickly), but sometimes kids really like it so it’s worth including. (I was an au pair for two kids who would eat anything if it had lettuce and vinaigrette with it!)

    ps: I wish I had little puppies to nudge me awake!

  • Reply Robin January 30, 2018 at 4:32 am

    This is Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful message, especially one that is so needed in today’s insta\facebook\digital world! At our house, we’re really big on stir fries. They’re easy for me to whip up and the kids love that there’s usually enough for at least seconds!

  • Reply Candy January 30, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Who doesn’t love a good stir fry. So many things to throw in, so many great veggies. Love your pan, I have one that looks like yours. Means there has been many a great dish made.

  • Reply Amber Myers January 30, 2018 at 7:21 am

    5 stars
    Oh yum, I just love a good stir fry. This one looks scrumptious!

    And never shame yourself for a pizza crust craving. We all get them! Ordering pizza is a must when a husband travels 😉

  • Reply Jeanette January 30, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Is definitely a good reminder not to compare yourself to somebody else. Pictures only show perfection and it doesn’t usually show what’s going on behind the scenes. There are times that I compare myself and I get jealous and then there are other times that I remind myself of how wonderful my family is and how I love my life with my family.

  • Reply Suzanne Spiegoski January 30, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Thank you. Thank you for your beautiful, thought-provoking words. As for the pot sticker stir-fry, it looks easy and simply delicious! Definitely saving for later 🙂


  • Reply Val January 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

    5 stars
    Sometimes we all need to take some time to not think. The interesting thing about the internet is there are a lot of fake people out there. You are enough.

  • Reply Joanna January 30, 2018 at 8:58 am

    I make something very similar, egg roll stir fry. It’s a great low carb option that you can make at home.

  • Reply Ellen January 30, 2018 at 9:15 am

    5 stars
    This looks absolutely delicious. I like the idea of not having the wonton wrappers . I bet my family would love to try this!

  • Reply Sarah Honey January 30, 2018 at 9:23 am

    I’m all about easy recipes during the weeknights. It’s too crazy with afterschool activities and homework to plan harder more time-consuming meals. This recipe looks delicious will give it a try!

  • Reply Tomi C January 30, 2018 at 9:40 am

    5 stars
    My life is perfect… for me. I remember getting so tied up in the pictures on the screen or in magazines thinking this is what life is supposed to be like but you know what, it’s not reality. It’s not reality any more than reality tv is reality. Our lives are perfect… for us.

  • Reply Felicita Moncada January 30, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Love Pot Stickers! I’m always looking for recipes that are on the healthier side. I know my family would love this recipe.

  • Reply Mama Ash January 30, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Love your photo’s ANNNNNND, I have that cookbook. I’ll have to try this recipe as you just reminded me to pick up the book and get some dinner ideas. 😉

  • Reply A G January 30, 2018 at 10:38 am

    5 stars
    I LOVE your writing! The range of emotion is well beyond the mare recipe; and because I am paleo also, it’s one I will surely try!

  • Reply Lisa Favre January 30, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    I know what you mean about seeing that perfect woman living in the perfect home, leading the perfect life – it can get tough witnessing such things. But I like to look at all that I’ve accomplished and be proud of what I’ve done!

  • Reply Jessica Taylor January 30, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    5 stars
    This post is exactly what I needed today. Thank you, Ali! The last paragraph just really gets me. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you

  • Reply Sarah Bailey January 30, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    5 stars
    It can be so hard not to compare yourself to another at times.

    This sounds like a delicious stir fry, I may just have to look into the cookbook as well.

  • Reply Cherri Megasko January 30, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    5 stars
    As I read the ingredients and recipe for this dish I could start to taste the dumplings (which are a favorite of both my husband’s and mine). Even the dipping sauce is included with the rice vinegar, fish sauce and sesame oil. Obviously, eating it this way without the extra carbs and calories from the wrappers makes the dish much healthier.

  • Reply Jay Colby January 30, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    5 stars
    I haven’t heard of this before but I’ve always loved a good stir fry!! This recipe sounds great and tasty.

  • Reply Lisa Lisa January 30, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    5 stars
    I think we all at one point in our life compare ourselves to others which we know it’s not the best thing to do. I can truly say I’m comfortable in my skin and as to who I am, as my mom use to say everything on the other side is not always good. This recipe looks so darn delicious, my family and I love stir fry!

  • Reply Cathleen January 30, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    5 stars
    And the same can be said for your sweet demeanor, wonderful recipes, and beautifully-designed web presence

    Dear Ali,
    I know the life you lead is not without challenges, and I’m so impressed by your self-control, your wisdom, your grace. Thank you for sharing your life with the rest of us.

    We’re learning from you, and growing with you, and that’s no small thing.

    You are a blessing. I so enjoy the thoughts you share.

  • Reply Emily January 30, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    5 stars
    This stir fry looks so good! I feel like we get in a rut of making the same things over and over, this is something new to try. Thank you!

  • Reply Heather January 30, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    I so used to do this. I used to look at other people’s blogs and think man their life is so great. I’ve matured a lot and while I love seeing other people loving what they do at life, I think we just have to be happy in our own skin and do what makes us happy. We have to stop comparing our lives to others. As soon as we do, we’ll find that happiness.

  • Reply Laura January 30, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Wow, beautifully said. Thank you.

  • Reply Amanda January 30, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    5 stars
    I love pot stickers and I love stir fry but I have never combined the two. Sounds like a delicious weeknight meal–and so much tastier and healthier than take out!

  • Reply Claudia Krusch January 30, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    However, could you have known that we’re in such a dinner rut here at our house? Lately, it’s been something like butternut tortillas and a side salad (pretty much a Spanish-style tortilla, but with butternut squash replacing the potatoes – apologies Spanish people). I also like stir-fried veggies with grilled fish (and if I’m really in a hurry, made with pre-cut stir-fry veggies from the produce section. So excited to give this one a try. My husband will be thrilled for something new. xo

  • Reply Danielle January 30, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    Oh, Ali, how I needed to read this just right now. The comparison game is such an ugly one and one that I battle with far too often. Thank you for your honesty!

  • Reply Censie Sawyer January 30, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Do you ever wonder if it is possible for your brain to just STOP! I think that at least 3 times a day! lol! I love this recipe. WE do a stir fry at least once a week. It is a great healthy meal and it can be switched up with all kinds of ingredients too. So yummy!

  • Reply Victoria Lola January 31, 2018 at 2:14 am

    …so beautifully written. and i loved the message too. well done.

  • Reply Abigail January 31, 2018 at 3:13 am

    5 stars
    I am guilty of comparing myself with others too and then I get depressed when I cannot achieve even a tenth of their success. My husband keeps on reminding me that success is not measured in the ways we think, and perfection is a quality of God. Which means I am not God, and it is perfectly okay to be imperfect.

  • Reply Catalina January 31, 2018 at 3:39 am

    This is completely brilliant. I can’t thank-you enough. So often your writing inspires me to pull out my journal and write some of my own thoughts down. I’ll remember your words, and be more conscious about processing and applying them in my days. xo

  • Reply Marionela January 31, 2018 at 3:43 am

    5 stars
    I’m the queen of making dishes that are great as left-overs, mostly because I work as a nightshift nurse in the ER at an inner-city hospital. I also have two teenagers and a husband at home. A few of my go-to meals are tuna casserole, chicken tortilla soup, red Thai curry, chicken enchilada casserole, stuffed peppers, turkey chili, veggie pasta salad, and pretty much any type of stir-fry. I’m also a big fan of Trader Joe’s lentils mixed with whatever veggies I have in the fridge. (My favorite blend is beans, carrots, edamame, cucumbers, tossed with either green goddess or a vinegarette. All of these take less than an hour and only get better as leftovers. So excited to add this stir-fry to our regular rotation. Thank-you for the recipe!

  • Reply AnnMarie January 31, 2018 at 3:45 am

    I love the message behind the recipe. It’s really important that we appreciate our bodies and ourselves and stop comparing our lives to others. Yes, sometimes it feels as if we cannot do any better but we can, we just have to take that extra step to start it all.

  • Reply Cristina Leau January 31, 2018 at 4:02 am

    I have five kids, my husband is a physician who works long hours, and I’m gluten-free. So I just love recipe ideas like this one. My latest make-ahead routine? Every other week I roast a couple of whole chickens on Sunday afternoon and put veggies with them. Then Monday through Thursday for dinner, I get creative with the leftovers. I can put it on pasta for them or on a salad for me. Or quesadillas for them and I make a rice bowl using the leftover chicken and extra veggies. Yes, it’s a lot of chicken but it makes things far less stressful and feeds all my hungry mouths.

  • Reply Lisa January 31, 2018 at 6:38 am

    No more words are needed! I did enjoy reading this! Love it!

  • Reply Emman Damian January 31, 2018 at 8:23 am

    5 stars
    Sounds delicious! Stir fry is great for a busy night. My wife has come up with some great combinations using leftovers, particularly meat. He recently made a pork and pineapple stir fry using leftover grilled pork chops , fresh pineapple, and a package of Asian stir fry vegetables, and season it with lite soy sauce and some sesame oil, and some sort of hot sauce. He never uses recipes and his dishes are super.

  • Reply Chubskulit Rose January 31, 2018 at 9:42 am

    5 stars
    You always makes my mouth water and then I get hungry whenever I am reading your recipes! This would be delicious on a lettuce wrap!

  • Reply Cyn Gagen January 31, 2018 at 9:53 am

    I dislike pot stickers but this? This sounds like a recipe I could really enjoy. I know my whole family would like it too. We’ll have to give this a try this weekend.

  • Reply Anosa Malanga January 31, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Indeed a yummy stir fry! With this I will look forward on your upcoming posts about the 10 week challenge. On the side note, thanks for reminding us to love ourselves. We should not look on other’s life and compare ours to them. Just live a happy and meaningful life is the best thing to do.

  • Reply Sela January 31, 2018 at 10:39 am

    5 stars
    I love the quote at the beginning and I truly believe it. You post is beautifully written and I enjoyed reading it, good job. We have to be ourselves and live our life and stop comparing and competing. We love stir fry in my home and yours is a new one that I will make.

  • Reply Maggie January 31, 2018 at 10:48 am

    I am not young. I am not cool, hip, or wise. I do not live in a beautiful little cottage by the beach where I host dinner parties for friends on the weekends. I buy my morning smoothie at the coffee shop and I’m never quite sure about my paint choices. I do love scrolling through my Instagram feed, but have so little desire to pin, tweet, promote. The Internet whispers to me, I think, that somehow I should be, do, and make all of these things. (In order to be … maybe? I’m not entirely sure) I internalize everyone else’s wonderfulness and somehow measure myself against the height of everyone else – finding myself falling so woefully short in comparison. All that Internet success twists internally into self-criticism and an almost daily recognition of all I am not. Still. The Internet (and all of you beauties – present company included) have started me on my own writing and photography adventure just a short year ago. Truth be told, I’m forever contemplating staying the course, because I so hopelessly and helplessly recognize all of the above shortcomings. Or at least, the perception of them. So. Yes. Here I sit. Thinking. And thanking too. I look forward to your every post. xo

  • Reply Heather January 31, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    I just love reading your beautiful writing and your insights into how to be a little better than I am today. Please know that you’re inspiring to all of us, just as others are inspiring to you. There’s room for everyone, even those who don’t like Buddha bowls and who can’t seem to get on board with the smoothie craze (like me :)). You are enough.

  • Reply Sara Welch January 31, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    5 stars
    I can’t think of a better word than perfect to describe this. This stir fry is out of this world.

  • Reply Lavanda January 31, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    5 stars
    This stir fry sound so good I can even express how I feel. I forget how versatile these are. I need to make one with my leftovers. Great recipe!

  • Reply Kitty January 31, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been reading your beautiful blog for quite a while but have never left a comment. Your writing reminds me of everything that I love about food and also about life. You’ve inspired me so much! This recipe is a little piece of heaven and the photos are amazing.

  • Reply Dee Jackson January 31, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    I have always been obsessed with pot stickers. they are the best thing ever. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply Megan February 1, 2018 at 3:48 am

    I think it’s especially true of mothers. In my twenties and thirties, I was far more carefree and self-assured. Of course, I thought I’d had the world by the tail. And then I realized the incredible weight of raising another human to kind and decent. Suddenly everything I knew was in question. Surely someone, somewhere had it all figured out.
    Thankfully, I’ve realized, they don’t. We’re all in this lump together, and all have our own shades of hiding it, muddling through with imperfections and arguments with our spouses, and little people who clearly don’t realize the importance of a good sleep-in on Saturday mornings.
    I’ve come to believe it’s a daily process to find peace in yourself and your life, while at the same time striving to better yourself a little along the way. Cheers to the process, and all of the coffee in between!

  • Reply David Elliott February 1, 2018 at 9:35 am

    5 stars
    I know what you mean when you say it’s so easy to get caught in the life of others while you look at the net. I think so much of social media is set up that way. And then we do act like what happiness other’s have is somehow unattainable. We forget that the little bit of life on the screen is just that. It’s the little bit of life. Sometimes I think of the little bit of life I put out there and begin to wonder what other people think, and how they must feel. People think I am this awesome father who does all kinds of things with his daughter. And while I do try to do things with her as often as I can, my wallet would never afford it. It leaves out the sick weekends or the lazy ones where we do nothing. It doesn’t recognize any of the hardship with few exceptions. Someone could get lost in my life and think how amazing it is. I love my daughter, my blog, and my job. But it’s not all perfect. As for the pot sticker stir-fry, it does look amazing. I really need to learn how to make the spring rolls at home. They are delicious, but I think I am intimidated at putting them together for some reason. Your recipe looks amazing.

  • Reply Sirri February 1, 2018 at 9:47 am

    I can’t thank you enough for this. Jealously and shame are sure tricky and sneak up on you before you even realize what’s happening. Thank-you for your honesty and willingness to be vulnerable. Thank-you for reminding us all that we don’t have to compare all of the time and can instead rejoice is the happiness of someone else. Thank-you for shining some light into the deep void that the internet can often times become.

  • Reply Joanna February 1, 2018 at 9:48 am

    5 stars
    The girl on the screen might seem to have a perfect life but… that’s only on the screen! Nobody has a perfect life! Nobody buys only organic products, nobody has a perfect clean minimalist house that looks like it’s been taken out of a magazine. Nobody wakes up in the morning with perfect hair and perfect make-up. Nobody has a perfect body. It’s just an illusion, it’s just a world she created for others to see. But it’s not real. Nothing online is real.

  • Reply Lisa Marie Heath February 1, 2018 at 11:00 am

    5 stars
    Sounds wonderful. Looking around today for a good, comforting dish to bring to a friend who’s just had a big loss. I think this will be perfect for her. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Reply Jacqueline February 1, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    A lovely message wrapped up a delicious recipe. I love to cook so it’s always great to find something new. My only gripe with stir-fry dishes is prepping. But once that’s all done the cooking part is usually quick. I love cooking for others. A dinner party will encourage to make this 🙂

  • Reply Nicolette Lafonseca February 1, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    5 stars
    Thank you for your honesty we are all so guilty of this I know I play I want that life so often then I get a slap in the face as I get an email saying hey your life lools great. What! I suppose we spend so much time editing our life online we forget everyone does it and actually we a&e all doing okay x

  • Reply Amber Marie February 1, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    This looks like a fantastic meal! And btw, I think we all forget sometimes when we are reading online that we are really only seeing the highlight reel of a person’s life. Our lives probably look amazing to some people, and they may think we have no problems, which is CERTAINLY NOT true! Kudos for doing a self-readjustment!

  • Reply GiGi February 1, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Holy wow does this look DELICIOUS!!!!!! I am actually friggin’ HUNGRRYYY right now and could totally wolf this down, no prob!

  • Reply Duska February 1, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    I can’t even tell you how much I appreciated this post. Have you ever written about your decision not to use Facebook outside of promoting your site’s content? If so, I’d love to read it. I left social media completely after a few years for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of the comparison trap.

  • Reply Macy February 1, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    Oh.. for me, this stir-fry has to be completed with the wonton wrapper! Or just wrapped it with some fresh lettuce and hot sauce! yum!
    Ya, and you’re right! We don’t need to live like the other instagramers to feel good about ourselves! We create our own feel-good vibes!:) Cheers

  • Reply Ashley February 1, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    Oooo .. this looks really good! And something I could actually eat, despite my multiple food allergies. Thanks for posting such a great recipe!

  • Reply Anna February 1, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    These sorts of feelings sneak up on me at the oddest of times. In one breath, I know I have a pretty incredible life, in the next, I’m trying to figure out how I wound up with a crazy busy job and a child in daycare. All the while SHE spends her days painting with her little and having adventures at the beach. But then I have to remember that she has her life, and I have mine. We both have exactly what we’ve worked to create. We can both change it if we’d like and are willing to put in the work. Admittedly, though, it’s hard not to see her life through rose-colored glasses, and mine as all work. xoxoxoxo

  • Reply Melanie williams February 2, 2018 at 3:26 am

    Tell me about it – I always lose myself in the internet! I go on for an hour and there goes a day. Love the look of this food though, I will need it after being on the internet lol x

  • Reply Jhilmil February 2, 2018 at 5:03 am

    5 stars
    So true, I need not think that this girl on the screen is so lean and gorgeous, she must be having a great life and wish I had that! Never, I’m too happy in my own skin, might not be too glowy or skinny but I’m fit and happy with what I do! I so much love reading your stories liked with some delicious recipes in the end.

  • Reply Charli Bruce February 2, 2018 at 5:10 am

    I love a good stir fry and this one sounds delicious, definitely putting on my ‘to make’ list x

  • Reply Rhian Westbury February 2, 2018 at 5:40 am

    I’m sure this woman and her life isn’t perfect, it’s just what she’s decided to show over social media x

  • Reply Amanda February 2, 2018 at 6:37 am

    Holy Canoly did I need this to start off my week! I set an intention this year to stop being jealous of the ‘internet others’. It has been an on-again-off-again success and have mostly struggled mostly with the ‘how.’ Your words, my dear, have made me reframe all of it. So many thank-yous. I’m really looking forward to the second half of the year. May it be filled with far more happiness for others and less jealousy of others.
    ps – I don’t follow the beach girl and for the sake of my sanity, I don’t think I will look her up. Just keeping it real. 🙂

  • Reply Kacie February 2, 2018 at 7:18 am

    My housemate makes a delicious pork mince stir fry. His mum is from Hong Kong and it’s one of her recipes.

  • Reply Kirsty February 2, 2018 at 7:56 am

    You’ve picked up on some very important points in this post and it’s a shame that we feel the need to compare and want a life that someone is living rather than enjoying our own! Social media can be extremely fake at times as we only ever show the happy times and not a true representation of our lives!

  • Reply Angela February 2, 2018 at 8:06 am

    5 stars
    Nobody’s perfect. We all have our flaws and insecurities but what’s important is how we deal with them and how to strive more to be better and improve ourselves. Your Pot sticker Stir Fry looks tasty!

  • Reply Emily Leary February 2, 2018 at 8:10 am

    I love these kinds of dishes where simple fresh ingredients combine with delicious spices and sauces. I also love positive messages like this and the importance of the right perspective 🙂

  • Reply Aileen Adalid February 2, 2018 at 8:40 am

    “In my small-mindedness, I’d twisted someone else’s happiness to mean there wouldn’t be any left for me” – this line struck me!

    I go through those phases too from time to time and it gets really toxic. It always helps to know that we’re all on our own paths and social media isn’t always what it seems to be. For instance, since I travel a lot, a lot of people think that I have the most epic life possible but they don’t know I have struggles of my own.

    Love this post of yours!

  • Reply Rose February 2, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Thank you so much for posting this! My husband is starting a new job soon and I’ve been brainstorming ways to help make his transition as smooth as possible, one of which would undoubtedly be for me to take over the cooking and meal prep which he usually covers. I love this idea!

  • Reply Elizabeth February 2, 2018 at 10:26 am

    5 stars
    What a beautiful, thought-provoking post. I look at these lifestyle influencers and just assume they’re hiding the rubbish, like I am. No one wants to know how I cried through my yoga session that morning, big fat tears dripping down on to the yoga mat. If I IG it right I’m doing yoga, go me, something to aspire to, if that’s your thing. We’re all on our own roads, and man, my road has a truck stop that’s totally got this pot sticker stir-fry in it. My goodness, that looks good!

  • Reply Surekha February 2, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    This is beautiful! I was going through the similar phase the other day. I spent the entire evening (skipping gym) and getting lost in the world of Instagram, comparing myself to others, feeling low of myself and forgetting about how hard I worked to reach where I am today. It’s a phase we all go through every now and then. I love stir fries. They are healthy and fulling

  • Reply Khushboo February 2, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    I have been conflicted about being happy with my body. I keep telling myself to lose weight but I am just not able to and I hate feeling like a failure. Here’s hoping I get some peace, too.

  • Reply DASH ☀ February 3, 2018 at 5:18 am

    This made me emotional
    It is truly so beautiful and so insightful and has spoken to me in the pit of my gut
    We perceive things differently depending on the day or hour or moment in which we read them.
    I am so thankful that I read this right now, at this precise moment.
    Your blog is wonderful.
    Thank you

  • Reply Dannii February 3, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Now this is my kind of comforting meal. I love how many vegetables you have managed to pack in to it too.

    I love what you have said too. I am all about body positivity.

  • Reply Elena February 3, 2018 at 10:48 am

    5 stars
    The first thought that came to my mind while I was reading your post I thought that the woman you were talking about was yourself. Probably that is how I see you after reading so many of your posts, you are that woman that always has the the perfect recipe, and a great story to share with her readers.

  • Reply Kara February 3, 2018 at 11:31 am

    I made a very similar stir fry last night and it was delicious – I added some chilli’s for an extra kick

  • Reply Jane February 3, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Truth be told? I have moments of jealousy reading your words, even though you share the not-so-great moments too. Somehow other people’s less-than-perfect moments are somehow kinds of wonderful in their humanness and always makes me like them all the more. So how is it that I offer grace to others, but shame myself for my not-so-great moments. I just love your perspective on this.
    I’ve learned to reflect on what it is that I actually want whenever I start to feel jealous. I read an article not too long ago that said you have to be willing to struggle for anything you truly want, otherwise, it’s simply a fantasy to dream about. I have to believe that we just want the fantasy of what we see online, just like the people we see having it. Thank-you, as always, for the food for thought, but more importantly for making me look inward. I think you’re wonderful and I’m so happy I’ve gotten to virtually know you 🙂

  • Reply Elise February 3, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    HUMMMM…I stumbled upon your site blindly. Reading your words made my soul hum. Thank you, your soul is beautiful and I needed to feel that today…hummmm. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Reply Michele Dennis February 3, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    5 stars
    I am soo excited to make this Pot sticker stir fry!! I love pot stickers, however they no longer fit into my new lifestyle…. But now I can reintroduce them in a new and improved way!!! Thank you!

  • Reply Emily February 3, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    I have an Instagram woman who I feel the same way about. I love to get lost in her blog. It’s everything my house with three boys and a husband is not. Crisp, clean, and pure. You’ll never guess what I did. I ordered the same linen napkins she uses because they’re going to fix all of my problems, right? Not so much. But I’ll be darned if I don’t use those same linen napkins every.single. day 🙂
    Thank you for your openness and your perspective on life, even the not go great parts. You push me to see the world in far better light.

  • Reply Genevieve February 3, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Yes, yes and even more yes! It’s not easy to do, but you’re so right – celebrating someone’s success is the greatest cure for those not-so-pleasant feelings of jealousy and insecurity. It’s so easy to believe the lies we tell ourselves that we’re somehow lacking or not good enough. I always try to remember that we all have different things to offer in the world. Thank-you for that beautiful reminder, Ali! xo

  • Reply Kavita February 4, 2018 at 2:08 am

    Waoo Stir fry is just amazing 🙂 I will try to make it for my kids .. Thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful message!

  • Reply Tanya February 4, 2018 at 6:27 am

    5 stars
    That stir fry looks so delicious! I love that you’ve shared such a great message, I used to be so bad at comparing myself to others and feeling bad if I wasn’t at the same level but one of my goals this year was to celebrate myself and be happy for others hitting milestones and goals in their lives

  • Reply Sheena Tatum February 4, 2018 at 10:00 am

    I usually don’t comment, but had to add that this used to happen to me all of the time whenever I logged into Facebook. Jealousy would hit. (Alas, I even had to delete the app from my phone to use it less)
    While I didn’t send my former friend a message, I did say a prayer for her. In my faith as a Muslim, we believe that whenever you say a prayer for someone, the angels say “and for you too” So I’m hoping I get whatever she has too 🙂

  • Reply Ami Rose February 4, 2018 at 11:05 am

    5 stars
    I too find myself comparing myself to others on the Internet. I have to realise these people are only sharing certain parts of their days with us, and usually the good bits. You really don’t know what’s going on in their lives behind the camera. Love the recipe too, looks like a really simple one. I love stir fry, in fact I may do one for dinner this evening.

    Ami xxx

  • Reply Amber February 4, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Today I turned 40. I weight 15 kg more that I used to before my daughter came into my life. I stopped looking at insta-perfect bodies a while back. I will never be them. I just want to be the best I can be with the life choices I have made.

  • Reply Jenni February 4, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    It’s very easy to start comparing to people on Instagram but that’s only a small snippet that they share and I’m sure she compares herself and has the same feelings about someone else. This stir fry looks awesome x

  • Reply Laura February 4, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Social media is the absolute worst at adding to this comparison culture. I really have to focus hard to keep my concentration on what I’m doing and to not look at how well others are. xxx

  • Reply Laura February 4, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    This is definitely a meal I’d make at home as its perfect for taking for lunch the next day with huge lettuce leaves. xxx

  • Reply Blair Villanueva February 4, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Today’s online culture makes everything so easy, and yes we be one so easy to get jealous of everything and anyone. Yes, it is normal to admire someone else, but behind those imperfections on IG feed comes the painstaking reality. If you know yourself and know how to exercise control, you can use jealousy to motivate yourself.

  • Reply Hannah February 4, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Now, THIS is a beautiful piece of writing, that to me feels far more important than most of what I’ve read this week. Thank you for sharing – and be blessed!

  • Reply Debbie Nicholas February 5, 2018 at 7:04 am

    Beautiful writing and such a comfort food piece too. Love everything about this post.

  • Reply Nichola February 5, 2018 at 8:20 am

    I love stir frys, especially at this time of year, just starting to inch our way in to spring… .Lovely writing too x

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus February 5, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    I completely get where you are coming from, sometimes I come across someone who seems to really have their life together and you do often find yourself comparing yourself to others because you ‘want what they have’. You wonder how they became so successful and what you can do to emulate their success. I have learned with time that it is when you focus on your own path as opposed to others that results in the most amount of growth, both on a personal and career basis.

  • Reply Mel February 5, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    5 stars
    Great words of wisdom! Comparison really is the thief of joy. I sometimes spend ages looking at an Instagram feed and feeling completely inadequate when I put the phone down. It’s worth reminding ourselves than what most successful Instagrammers show is the best them, not the regular them being boring and uninspirational. They share the snippets of the 10% of their life that’s worth looking at. It’s not always easy to remember that. Anyway, when it comes to the stir fry, it looks absolutely delicious, and I love it even more because it takes minutes to put together 🙂

  • Reply Olivia February 7, 2018 at 1:39 am

    Your blog is so calming. I want to sit and drink tea while reading. I just started blogging and a friend said, “Look at Veggies By Candlelight, it’s fabulous.” So, I did, now there are eight million recipes I must try. Thanks for a great example of what a blog can be.

  • Reply Nora February 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Oh wow that looks super delicious! And btw I feel you what comes to going trough the Insta and feeling that others are perfect – but then I suddenly realize that I could do mostly the same staff with photoshop, not everyone is perfect even if it looks so. I’m kind of happy I learned editing very young so I have always been able to calm myself down by telling my self most of that ain’t real (though some sure are close to perfect).

  • Reply Aditi February 9, 2018 at 6:36 am

    This post is so beautiful and so retrospective. So many times, we sit and admire other people on SNS, which I am not saying is a bad thing, and start scrutinizing our own life with respect to theirs. We forget that they also have their struggles but still they are just showing the positive side of the rainbow. That was such a beautiful message you sent to that girl! <3

  • Reply Leslie Hernandez February 9, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Mmmm thanks for sharing this looks so yummy! I always do what I love and just support others even if they are doing better than I am. What matters most is that I know I am working hard and doing what I love and being myself. xo

  • Reply Jenine February 9, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    Oh goodness. This reaffirms the fact that this is one of my favorite blogs. Ever. I was thinking today about your blog and how beautiful it is. Thank-you for your incredible generosity of spirit!

  • Reply Blair Villanueva February 11, 2018 at 12:06 am

    5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. And as always Ali, your writing is so enjoyable. This morning it’s twenty-some-odd degrees, windy and grey here in Michigan. A perfect day for pot sticker stir-fry. Not only for eating but also for reading about. Thank you! Best, Blair

  • Reply Cindy February 11, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    This sounds like the perfect meal solution for the days where I am weary from the constant need to feed small humans, and haven’t been able to bring myself to think of dinner until 6 pm. I think I’ll make it this week.
    By the way, made the olive oil rosemary cake on Friday with and it was fabulous!

  • Reply Hannah Denton February 12, 2018 at 6:54 am

    This looks delish! I love making Stir fry’s, so quick and easy! I think tomorrow’s valentines diner will be this little beauty! Thank you

  • Reply Corinne February 13, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Accepting your body the wait it is is always hard at the beginning! This stir fry looks fantastic! it is making me so hungry!

  • Reply Kiyshia February 13, 2018 at 8:17 pm

    It’s like you pulled the words straight from the thoughts swirling in my head. Is it not the most wonderful, refreshing feeling to change online jealousy into fan letter writing? To celebrate the beauty of someone else without diminishing the beauty of yourself? The number of times I’ve thought I wanted to do something because you do something? The number of times I’ve admired your spirit and wished I could be more like you? Thank-you, my dear … thank-you

  • Reply Kallia February 14, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    5 stars
    I have a very similar recipe and I usually make it for the middle of the week with leftover veggies and meat. It is great for lunches! I never used mushrooms with them, I will try them like this next time!

  • Reply Ginger February 17, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    I just wanted to say I’m rediscovering your blog/writing after a long break (probably three years and two little ones later), and it is so very, very lovely. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your life so beautifully.

  • Reply Laura Dove February 20, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Ooh this looks SO good!! And as always your words rang so true. I think being kinder to ourselves and realising everyone has their own issues is an important lesson to learn.

  • Reply Melanie williams February 22, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Currently, at my pc working and then I come across this post! I am now even more hungry, as this looks totally yummy x

  • Reply Gene March 13, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    Health and happiness are two different parts. I agree it is not necessary to shed weight to be happy. A content life is enough. Loved reading your post. Amazing.

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