Early Bird Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry


It’s a common joke that it’s impossible to read half the ingredients in food today. Sadly, with all the processed foods for sale today, this isn’t actually a joke. As Michael Pollan says, “Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” Good advice for unreadable ingredients.

Another problem is much more basic though. Some Americans can’t read the food labels at all.

Illiteracy in America is a problem for all of us to solve. More than 40% of people with low literacy skills live in poverty, unable to find jobs or advance in the jobs they have. Illiteracy hurts families, robbing parents of the joy of sharing stories with their children. And without outside help, their children are likely to have low literacy skills as well.

Not all the news is bad news though. There are dedicated folks in our community who are working to turn the tide. Literacy Mid South has worked for over 30 years to increase literacy among our neighbors. Their work with adults creates proud and productive citizens. Their work with children is creating new generations who love to read.

Angela created this recipe to give students at Literacy Mid South a place to go when they are practicing their reading and internet skills. Of course we hope everyone who visits our site tries the recipe and lets us know how they like it. But it is all you adult learners that we really hope to hear from. We are so proud of you and your accomplishments. Writing this for you is one of the most humbling things we have ever done. We wish you much happiness and every success.

Paul and Angela

Early Bird Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 2 medium zucchini squash cut into 2-inch long sticks
  • 2 yellow squash sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • salt
  • black pepper


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken and sprinkle it with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook the chicken, stirring constantly, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm.
  • Add the onion and carrot to the skillet. Sprinkle it with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until you can almost see through the onion, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the zucchini, yellow squash, and the red pepper, if you are using it. Sprinkle the vegetables with another pinch of salt. Cook the vegetables, stirring constantly, until the squash is cooked through but not soft, about 5 more minutes.
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet and stir it into the vegetables. Add the lemon juice and soy sauce, stirring to combine. Cook for 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the chicken and vegetables with cooked brown rice.
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