April 07, 2010

Elimination Diet: No-Soy Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe

I'd say that one of the most consistently frustrating things about this elimination diet is how much it cuts down on sauces. No tomato sauce, no chili paste, no bacon fat (just kidding. kind of.), no Sriracha, no soy sauce, no Worcestershire sauce (it contains high fructose corn syrup and anchovy extract), no fish sauce...in short, very limited options when it comes to adding flavor to what can tend to be bland dishes.

However, I just happen to be a genius.

Trying to prove to T that you can go vegan and still be satisfied at dinner time, I stir-fried carrots, onions, asparagus, cabbage, and zucchini together with a magically delicious no-soy stir fry sauce and served it over brown rice on Saturday night.

After trying out several combinations (one of which included Worcestershire sauce before I thought to read the label and realized that it was filled with pretty gross stuff), I combined sesame oil, lemon and lime juice, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to create a light, tangy, and slightly nutty sauce that was a perfect complement to the stir fry.

No-Soy Vegetable Stir Fry
  • 1 zucchini, cut into thin slices about four inches long
  • 2 carrots, cut into thin slices
  • 1 bunch of asparagus (bottoms removed), cut into two-inch chunks
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup grapeseed oil (for stir frying)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • The juice of one lime
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tsp. real maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine brown rice with three cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and cook until tender (about 30 minutes).

2. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil begins to thin out (a sign that it's hot). Add the zucchini, carrots, asparagus, cabbage, and onion, and stir until the vegetables are coated with oil.

3. Cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften up. Add garlic and salt and pepper, and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender but not mushy.

4. As the vegetables start to become tender, mix the sesame oil, lemon and lime juice, maple syrup, and salt and pepper together in a small bowl.

5. Remove stir fry from heat. Add the sauce and stir until the vegetables are coated.

6. Spoon a generous helping of brown rice into two medium-sized bowls, then top with vegetables and serve.

I can't tell you how great it felt to be able to come up with a good alternative to soy sauce for this stir fry. While the maple syrup might be off-putting to some, its taste really goes undetected and all it does is counter the acidity of the lemon and lime with a little sweetness.

All in all, a very satisfying vegan meal. I mean, I don't mind having poultry and fish back in my life, but the vegan week wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, and it forced me to be creative.

No comments:

Post a Comment