My family often has a hard time figuring out what we should have for dinner. My sister tends to hate everything we make, my dad is low-carb, my brother rarely eats vegetables and prefers meat and carbs, and my mom is nightshade free and low sugar. On top of that, my sister, my mom, and I have celiac and are dairy free. My mom and I also try to be soy free.
How on earth do we survive? Honestly, sometimes I don’t know. But, one of our favorite go-to meals is stir fry. It is quick, easy, and adaptable to almost ANY dietary restrictions. It is also one of the few ways we can get my brother and sister to gobble down vegetables.
Making the Stir Fry
Typically, whatever vegetables we have in the fridge, we throw in the stir fry. This makes it super easy for those busy workdays. In our fridge, we typically have carrots, ginger, onions, and garlic. The day we made this stir fry, we picked up some bok choy, snap peas, and mushrooms. We also like to buy water chestnuts. Any vegetables will work.
For the protein, we typically use chicken breast since we almost always have some in our fridge or freezer. However, we also make this recipe with leftover pork and steak. It’s a great way to get rid of those left overs!
The first step is to wash all of the vegetables and chop them up if needed. Then, dice up the protein you have chosen.
It is important to first oil the pan and brown the onions, garlic, and ginger before you throw any of the other ingredients in. This helps release flavor.
Once browned, you can throw in the protein to cook. After it is fully cooked, add the harder vegetables first. It takes longer for vegetables, like carrots and the stems of the bok choy to cook. Then add the softer vegetables that do not need as much time to cook, like the leaves of the bok choy and the snap peas.
When making stir fry, we use our cast iron wok.
Adapting the Stir Fry
When we make stir fry, we adapt the ingredients based on what we have in the fridge, our food allergens, and preferences. We prepare all of the meat and vegetables that we are going to use and split it up between two frying pans.
We have one frying pan for my dad, brother, and sister (low-carb, gluten free, dairy free) and another for my mom and I (low-carb, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nightshade free).
Each pan will get the same base ingredients/seasonings: onions, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, vegetables (not nightshades), and meat.
However, one pan will get gluten free soy sauce. Be careful if you are gluten free. A lot of soy sauce brands contain gluten. My dad’s favorite gluten free soy sauce is La Choy, but there are also very good organic soy sauce options. My dad likes things spicy so we typically add red pepper to flakes (nightshade) to that pan to give it a little kick.
The other pan will get the coconut secret or other soy substitute.
We also make a small batch of brown rice for my brother and sister to go along with their stir fry.
The stir fry recipe that we have below is for the low-carb, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and nightshade free version, however, feel free to adapt it in anyway possible that satisfies your family needs!
- Cut cooked meat into small chunks and set aside.
- Dice the garlic.
- Chop the onion into preferred size or just slice into thin circles.
- Finley dice the ginger root.
- Wash and chop any vegetables you plan to add.
- Heat oil in wok and add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the meat and heat for another couple minutes if precooked. If raw, cook meat until done well.
- Next, add any vegetables that are hard or will take longer to cook such as bok choy stalks or carrots and cook until hot and just starting to soften.
- Now, add rest of the vegetables (snap peas and bok choy leaves) and heat through. This can take 3-5 minutes depending upon how soft you like the vegetables.
- Finally add in the coconut secret or soy sauce to taste, salt, black pepper, and vinegar and continue to stir fry for two more minutes or until vegetables are cooked to desired texture.