Chicken Stir Fry

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This basic stir fry is not only delicious and quick to make, it’s also an example of a dish where the ingredients can be replaced based on preferences and what’s available. There’s no gluten or dairy—and you can substitute corn starch for another thickener (see sidebar on page 111).

The Sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce (low-sodium, gluten-free)
1 cup chicken stock (easy to make from scratch)
2 tablespoons honey or sugar (or give monk fruit a try)
1 tablespoon corn starch (see more about alternative thickeners on page 111)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

The Stir Fry
2 tablespoons avocado oil (handles heat better than olive oil)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
2 carrots, sliced
4 boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips
1 batch of your homemade stir fry sauce Rice, spring onions and lime wedges for serving

Essential tools

Wok: A wok pan is relatively inexpensive ($15-$20) and can be found in most supermarkets or in your neighborhood Asian grocery store. The rounded shape is ideal for cooking large amounts of food quickly and the thin carbon steel gets hot fast. A regular stainless steel pan will do an acceptable job, but avoid non-stick coated pans since the high heat may result in toxic gases from the coating releasing.

Wooden spatula: Your regular plastic spatula may get damaged from the heat so look for a bamboo spatula or spoon that can tolerate some heat.

Instructions

Start by placing all the ingredients for the sauce into a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the sauce starts to thicken and set aside. (Note: If you are using egg yolks as thickener instead of corn starch, add 3 large egg yolks to the sauce and heat slowly over medium-low heat while whisking constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.)

Prepare all the ingredients for the stir fry before turning on the burner. (Note: Since this dish cooks fairly quickly you may not have time to step away.)

Turn on your exhaust fan and start heating up your wok dry over high heat for 2-3 minutes then add the avocado oil. You will be cooking the ingredients in batches.
Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until done, about 4 minutes depending on how hot you managed to get the pan. Set aside.

Follow the same process with the carrots, broccoli and bell pepper, separately. Once all ingredients have been cooked, mix them into the wok pan over medium heat and add the sauce.

Heat through and serve over rice with sliced spring onions and lime wedges for decoration!


Whole Food Super Smoothie

This is the perfect breakfast! It’s packed full of macro- and micro-nutrients you may have a hard time getting without taking supplements. Everything is either frozen or dry from the pantry. And just like with the stir fry, the exact ingredients can be altered based on what you have available and your personal preference. It’s gluten- and corn-free and the milk can be substituted with Kombucha, coconut water or regular tap water.

Essential Equipment

High-speed blender: Any Vitamix will do the job flawlessly. A NutriBullet or Ninja blender may struggle with whole seeds but if you buy ground seeds, those will do fine.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 banana (buy in bulk and freeze, peeled and halved)
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup frozen, wild blueberries
1 tablespoon peanut butter (or your nut butter of choice)
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt (full fat, like Fage 5%)
1/4 cup frozen spinach
1/2 cup frozen kale
1 1/2 cup whole milk (or coconut water, Kombucha and/or tap water)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Instructions

Add all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend on half speed for 30 seconds and then on max for 90 seconds. Serve in pretty glasses—or pour into a protein shaker for an amazing on-the-go breakfast.


Seed Cracker

If you are sensitive to gluten AND corn, you probably have a hard time finding things that provide some crunch in your life. These seed crackers are delicious and are great with toppings such as cream cheese, peanut butter, fruit preserves—or just some good spreadable butter.

INGREDIENTS

7 ounces sunflower seeds, raw
1/4 cup whole flax seeds
2 tablespoons almond flour
2 tablespoons psyllium husk (thickener, available in health food stores)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, raw
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup poppy seeds, for sprinkling on top

Instructions

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except the poppy seeds in a bowl and mix until combined. Let sit for 8-10 minutes to allow the psyllium husk to absorb the water. Spread out the mixture into a square shape on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle the top with poppy seeds (and some flake salt if you like). Bake for 30 minutes or until the top starts becoming golden. Break or cut into pieces and serve with a cheese tray or simply with your favorite topping.


About Thickeners

Thickeners are food products intended to help thicken up sauces, gravy, pudding, pie fillings, soup, stews and more. As the name indicates these ingredients are only included for their ability to thicken and rarely affect the taste, which means that if you are sensitive to one, there are options for substitutions. Or, in some cases, you can forego a thickener altogether.

Corn starch and white flour (wheat) are the most common thickeners and both tend to make trouble for tender tummies. The most commonly available alternatives include potato starch, tapioca starch or arrowroot starch. They all thicken in different ways, so you may want to test more than one.

However, if starch itself is something you are trying to avoid there are still options, even if they are more limited:

Psyllium husk is a plant-based, gluten-free product that is a good replacement in certain recipes and is worth experimenting with. It is especially useful in baking and sauces.

Gelatin is a protein typically derived from animals and is wonderful when making desserts that will be served chilled. It has virtually no expiration date when stored air-tight.

Egg yolks are often used as emulsifiers (binding an oil and a liquid) in French sauces, like Béarnaise, Hollandaise, or their condiment cousin, mayonnaise. But it can also work as a thickener, like when you make custard for homemade ice cream.

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