So remember the spaghetti squash post where I mentioned all of our recipes being simple? Well, I guess after that I decided it was time to test my cooking skills. This recipe is not difficult, but the sauce is a little tricky, and requires a decent amount of ingredients.
The idea for this dish came to me during an attempt to spice things up for dinner one night. I had some produce in the fridge that was in need of cooking or else it would have been dinner for the garbage, and I wanted to surprise Bill with something new and delicious. One of my favorite foods growing up was Chinese food. I’m pretty sure I could have eaten Chinese for dinner every night of the week and been perfectly content. Now, as an adult, (and proud to say, a very clean eater) I can barely stomach the stuff. It’s way too greasy for me. Of course it still tastes good, but I feel awful after I have eaten it. So for all you Asian Cuisine lovers, this dish might satisfy your desire for takeout while keeping your diet in check.
Of course I can’t take full credit for this meal. I really don’t have any experience cooking Asian Cuisine. The closest I’ve ever gotten to making an Asian dish is pouring wheat free Tamari over sautéed vegetables and tofu, so I used my “Google go-to trick” for an idea of what to cook. For the sauce I Googled “Asian stir fry sauce”. I found one that looked easy enough, and substituted the “non-primal” ingredients for “primal” ones. Now, I say “primal” because that is the way Bill and I choose to eat, but in reality, the substitutions don’t need to be categorized under a certain “diet” title. They are just healthy substitutions for any way of eating. So, on to the meal!
For the sauce:
• ½ tsp. minced garlic
• ½ tsp. minced ginger
• ½ cup Trader Joes Free Range Chicken Broth**
• 1 tbsp coconut aminos
• 1 tbsp coconut sugar
• ½ tsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. pepper
• 1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
• 1 ½ tsp. guar gum, (a vegetable thickener that has about three times the power of cornstarch. Whisk sauce briskly while slowly adding the guar gum)
• 1 Tbs. coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
** You will see me using Trader Joe’s Free Range Chicken Broth in a lot of my recipes. I do not use the low sodium broth because there is added sugar in it. This is another example of knowing what is in your food. A lot of broths/stocks have added sugar. Another good brand to use is Imagine. Their chicken broth has similar ingredients to the Trader Joe’s broth, and it does not have sugar added to it.
- Heat sesame oil in a small sauce pan.
- Add ginger and garlic and sautee over medium heat for a few seconds to bring out the flavors.
- Add chicken broth, coconut aminos, coconut sugar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice and vinegar. Bring just to a boil while stirring.
- Whisk vigorously while adding in guar gum in small amounts until desired thickness.
- Whisk until sauce reaches a full boil, then simmer for 30 seconds, remove from heat and set aside.
On to the stir fry! This is the fun part. Add in any colorful veggies you would like. I had zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, and red pepper in the fridge, so those are the ones you will see in this dish. Be creative! Maybe throw in some water chestnuts, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, or broccoli. The fun is in the cooking.
• 1 Tbs. Coconut oil
• 1 medium-large zucchini quartered
• ½ cup of baby carrots sliced
• 1 ½ cups mushrooms quartered
• 1 red bell pepper chopped
• ¾ bag of fully cooked frozen shrimp, defrosted. (you are welcome to use fresh raw shrimp, beef, chicken, or whatever protein source your taste buds desire.)
- First, prepare your protein for the stir fry. If you have to defrost shrimp, do it now. Cube your chicken, cut your steak into strips, etc…
- Heat coconut oil over medium heat in large frying pan (or wok if you are really into the Asian cooking).
- Throw in veggies and sautee over medium head until all are tender.
- When the veggies were almost ready we added the pre-cooked shrimp.
To complete the look of this dish, I cooked half of a spaghetti squash that I had in the fridge for “Asian style” noodles. (Reminder for how to cook the squash: Scoop out seeds and heat in microwave on high for 9 minutes.)
For the eats:
We placed the spaghetti squash in a bowl, topped it with all the sautéed colorful veggies and shrimp and drizzled the stir fry sauce over top. Delicious! Enjoy!
One suggestion (since I am clearly a stir-fry aficionado): I don't like my carrots super raw/crunchy, or my mushrooms too mushy — in other words, I'm picky about the texture of my veggies. I start with onions in the wok, since it takes several minutes before they are soft and delicious. Then I add the densest veggies (carrots, celery, etc.) to the wok, give them a few minutes to cook, and then finish by adding my softer veggies (mushrooms, scallions, etc.) for only about a minute. It really gives me much better control over cooking each veggie to its optimum degree of doneness.
Also — sesame oil has a high enough smoking temp that it can be used as the stir-frying oil, either by itself or in combination with another type of oil. Adds another level of flavor to the food.
Nice insights on cooking sequence. Its something we typically do as well, though we forgot to mention it here. Thanks for that tip!
We have not tried Sesame Oil for stir frying yet, but will give it a shot next time. Sesame Oil is in the sauce, which you've got to try making! Knowing your sensitivity to spicy foods, i'd scale back the red pepper flakes a tad.
This is a very tasty meal – report back if you make it.
Wish your recipes could be printed sans the inserted pics. Am I just missing the printer friendly icon?
Unfortunately blogger doesn't have that option for us. You could try to copy the whole recipe, paste into word, and delete the pictures before printing. This is something that we are going to work on, we would like our recipes to be easily printable.
-Hayley & Bill