Tonight was one of those nights that I didn’t really feel like cooking (yes, it happens), but wanted more than just a salad. I decided to gather up a bunch of veggies and do a GF version of my typical stir fry. The changes that I’ve made are mostly to use gluten-free Tamari instead of soy sauce, and to substitute for the higher carb rice with healthy quinoa.
I will admit that quinoa is a grain that I knew virtually nothing about until deleting the wheat from my diet a few weeks ago. I knew it existed (although in my head I was pronouncing it wrong!), but that was about the extent of it. It was a sacred seed in the ancient Inca civilization, and it turns out that quinoa is a gem in any diet, not just for those going without gluten. It is a complete protein, and a good source of Magnesium, Manganese and Phosphorus. It has a glycemic load of only 18, and is not inflammatory. Low in cholesterol, it is an important source of plant-derived calcium, and it has a pleasing nutty flavor to boot!
Kitchen Tip: In this recipe, I also use fresh grated ginger. I have a trick for ginger that I learned from my Mom; I keep the whole root in the freezer in a ziploc, and just pull it out and grate it when I want to add it to a dish. If you are like me, even though you use ginger, you may not get through the whole root before it molds, and keeping it in the freezer is a great way to store it, and it is even easier to grate when it’s frozen.
The orange zest adds a little extra flavor boost as well, and I use a zesting tool that I picked up in a kitchen shop to do this task. In general I am not a gadgety person, mostly preferring sharp knives, but this is a nice inexpensive tool that I bought back when I was doing lots of zesting for holiday biscottis and baked goods. I will definitely be changing my holiday routine this season, and exploring new treats!
Orange Stir Fry Veggies and Quinoa:
- 2 C cooked Quinoa
- 1.5 lbs boneless chicken breast, cut into 1″ chunks (beef, pork or shrimp works too)
- 2-3 Tb Olive oil
- 3 Tb Olive oil
- 1 C chopped Napa cabbage
- 1 C chopped Broccoli rabe (or regular broccoli)
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 1/2 Sweet onion, slivered
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1/2 C Crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 of an orange Bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 C slivered Almonds
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- Zest of 1 Orange
- 1/4 C frozen or fresh peas, thawed
- 3 Tb Olive oil
- Juice of one orange (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 C Tamari GF Soy sauce
- 2 tsp honey
- dash of Cayenne pepper
- 1 Tb fresh grated ginger
- dash of Red pepper flakes
- 1 Tb Apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 C coconut milk mixed with 1 Tb arrowroot powder (for thickening)
Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl, except coconut milk and arrowroot. Set aside. Using a large heavy skillet (or wok if you prefer), heat 2-3 Tb olive oil and stir fry the chicken until just cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Heat remaining olive oil and add all “Veggies” except peas. Stir fry about 5-8 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add cooked chicken, peas and sauce ingredients, heat through. Add the coconut milk and arrowroot, stir to thicken. Dish over warm quinoa and serve. Makes about 4 servings.