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Use It or Lose It Stir-Fry

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
Several mushrooms
Peas- inedible to children because they had a few white spots
Celery stalks
Mashed potatoes
Cooked pasta


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.


Making gluten free stir fry -- image 1Making gluten free stir fry -- image 2








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.


Making gluten free stir fry -- image 3


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.
Food does not have to be traditional. If it tastes good and is nutritious that is enough.
Soy sauce is a flavor enhancer that can be used in low levels and not make your dish taste Asian.
Taste as you go. If you question whether a seasoning would taste good in what you are cooking, open your seasoning and smell it over the top of your cooking food. You can smell both together and get an idea of how it will taste.
Buy sale produce and use it all to save money on your gluten free diet.


You can cook gluten free!

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