Ten years ago, stir-fries were my jam.
I lived in a dilapidated bachelor apartment in South Granville. My kitchen was equipped with appliances from the 1950s, including an oven that burned most things and a freezer filled with frost I chipped away each week with a dull knife. (If you’re curious, you’ll find a picture of that kitchen in this post.)
Directly below me, there was a group of three guys. They were extremely friendly with the trio of girls who lived across the hall from them. It appeared to be a Friends-style arrangement, except instead of drinking coffee, they smoked a lot of pot and one of the dudes worked at the X-rated video shop a few blocks away.
In my neighbourhood, an elderly Italian man roamed the streets bellowing opera songs, hands tucked into his pockets, a poorboy cap jauntily perched on his head. For a girl accustomed to living with her parents in the suburbs of Toronto, I found him alarmingly weird. He’s a rare sighting for me nowadays, but whenever I hear him I’m filled with joy because a) he’s still alive and b) he truly has a beautiful voice and sings with such gusto.
But back to stir-fries.
My general formula went something like this: white rice + vegetables + bottled sauce = dinner.
Almost every night. Eek.
It’s been awhile since I’ve made stir-fries regularly, and I find they’re creeping back into my rotation, with a few changes. No white rice. Homemade sauces and seasonings, which are simple and flavourful to create.
This stir-fry is incredibly tasty and comes together quickly. It’s perfect for those nights when you think, ‘Blarggg I need some food right now’ and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
As a side note, do you think it’s possible to exponentially shrink your tolerance to spicy foods, even when you’re gradually increasing your exposure to them? ‘Cause I’ve been adding chilies or cayenne to everything lately, and it seems my spice wimpyness is amplifying. I welcome your thoughts!
I created this recipe using ingredients from SPUD, who supplies me with an online credit. As always, any opinions I express about the products are my own.
Get $20 off your first SPUD order by entering my special coupon code ‘Sondi’ at the checkout (it’s valid on orders of $40 or more). It’s a sweet deal: you get forty bucks worth of organic groceries for only $20. SPUD has locations in Metro Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
- ½ a medium-sized onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1-inch knob of ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp gluten-free tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 heaping cup of mushrooms (I used crimini and white button), sliced
- ½ a bell pepper, chopped
- 2 large heads of baby bok choy, ends trimmed and sliced lengthwise
- Add your coconut oil to a large pan or pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and saute for a few minutes, until the onion has softened.
- Throw in the spices and tamari, along with the mushrooms, and mix to ensure that everything is coated with the spices. Cook for another two or three minutes, until the mushrooms begin to exude their juices. If the pan gets dry, add a tablespoon or two of water.
- Add the bell pepper and bok choy pieces to the pan and stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes. The leaves on the bok choy will wilt, but the stalks should still have some crunch to them.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve with your favourite gluten-free grain or plant-based protein.