Use it or Lose it Stir-Fry
One complaint I often hear about gluten free food is that it is expensive. That is true, but I want to address another issue that makes your food cost too much. Waste. It is estimated that the average American family wastes $2,275 worth of food each year. See this article for more information . Imagine the gluten free treats you could buy with that much money.
Determined to stop food waste at my house, I made up a stir fry I am sharing this week. With this recipe (if you can call it that) I am trying to demonstrate several things: good gluten free dinners can be made with ordinary, cheap ingredients, it is easy to cook using available resources, and with a little thought you can reduce food waste.
I pulled out what was in my fridge. Most of it had been there for a while and was starting to show its age. Here is what I had to work with:
½ an orange bell pepper
Mushy tomato slices left over from hamburgers
½ an onion.
½ a head of purple cabbage
One large, woody carrot from last year’s garden
½ a roast beef
Peas- inedible to children because they had a few white spots
The easiest way to use that many vegetables is to stir fry them. If you don’t have a wok just use a big pan. I added about ¼ cup of olive oil to my pan and started frying. I added the vegetables that needed longer cooking times first and cooked partially before adding the other ingredients. I grated the carrot to speed cooking. Since the meat was already cooked I added it near the end.
The big question was how to season this. The family had an Asian inspired stir-fry recently so I decided against that flavor profile. I opened the cupboard and looked at my seasonings. I added garlic, 2 crushed beef bouillon cubes, and a little salt and pepper. It was bland. I added about 2 T of gluten free soy sauce. It was still bland. I added dried basil and oregano and it tasted great. The adults opted to eat it atop mashed potatoes and the children chose pasta. Several children even took seconds.
A few lessons from this stir-fry:
Don’t be afraid to experiment. You don’t always need a recipe. What you make probably won’t be so bad you can’t stand it the first night.