Thursday, 20 March 2014

Asian Stir-Fry... SOY FREE!!!

Stir-fry is a great mid-week, quick and easy, yet healthy dinner that pleases almost everyone. It is
easily adapted to use up any proteins, veggies, or starches you have to use up, and is great as a vegetarian dish as well.

Since we have gone GFCF, we have maintained a pretty strict no soy rule as well.

Soy was once thought to be the Mecca of super foods for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. It is high in protein, low in fat, and grows very easily. Sounds like a dieter's dream. Unfortunately, almost every soy bean now comes from GMO crops and are not nearly as good for your body as previously thought.

"Thousands of studies link soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility -- even cancer and heart disease."    -Dr. Joseph Mercola

I won't get too much into the dangers of soy, but I would like to point out a few things that unfortunately, most people aren't aware of. 
Soy is extremely high in estrogen, which can cause a multitude of hormonal issues within the body. Babies and children consuming soy are likely to suffer from all sorts of hormonal imbalances which effect puberty and normal growth and development.
Soy can also cause cancer, low sperm count, menstrual problems, and infertility which can go generations deep.
As someone who suffers from an under active thyroid, as does a large portion of the population, I was quite interested to learn that soy is a goitrogen, and will make hypothyroidism much worse with regular consumption.
Soy apart from being bad for you in and of itself, also inhibits other foods that are actually good for you from ever benefiting you. Soy blocks the absorption of many vitamins and minerals. Therefore if you eat a super healthy diet and consume soy along with it, you're not getting nearly the benefits from your lifestyle that you otherwise would be.

Again, I am not going to go too much further into this, but if you are interested in reading more about the dangers of soy, check these out:

Ok, back to the oh so yum stir-fry. As evil as I think soy is, I love soy sauce. It is salty, and deeply flavoured, and adds a component to a lot of dishes that I miss terribly. Recently however, I have discovered coconut aminos. I found it at my health food store, but it is available at large whole food style stores and online.

Here's a picture of the bottle to help you find it in the stores.
It tastes quite a bit like soy sauce, but is made from the sap from a coconut tree. It is very rich in amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and contains live enzymes to help with digestion. It is also seasoned with pure sea salt and is low GI. Not to mention that is is gluten free, soy free, dairy free, and vegan.

Just for the record, I am not affiliated with this product, I just really dig it.

Soy Free Asian Stir-Fry:
serves 2-4


  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 T honey OR Palm sugar OR other sweetener of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar (I like Braggs) you can also use rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • *Hot sauce to taste (I like siracha, and lots of it)

  • 1/2 lb chicken, beef, or pork, sliced thinly
  • 1 head of broccoli florets
  • 1 sweet pepper (yellow, orange, red, or green)
  • 1 white onion, julienned
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, sliced thinly on the bias
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced thinly on the bias
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • *1 chili pepper of choice, sliced thinly on the bias (optional) 
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
*note: If you want chili flavour but not a crazy amount of heat, leave out the hot sauce, use a jalapeƱo chili and remove all seeds.

TIP:  Prep all ingredients before you begin to cook anything, stir fry's cook fast and hot, so don't get caught with your pants down ;)

  • Heat a Large frying pan or wok until quite hot, but not quite on high. 
  • Add coconut oil and follow immediately with the meat if you are using any. 
  • Toss the meat around in the hot pan, making sure not to overcook it. It should only take about 2 minutes. 
  • Quickly remove from pan and set aside. 
  • Allow heat to come back up for about 30 seconds, and add in all vegetables except garlic.
  •  Again, toss around in hot oil for about 3-5 minutes. The vegetables should still have quite a bit of bite to them. 
  • Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds and then add the sauce. 
  • Throw the meat back in, including any drippings that may have come off of it. 
  • Bring the sauce up to a boil and toss around for about 1 minute. 
  • Immediately transfer entire contents to dish for serving.
  • Serve over rice or vermicelli. 
  • Garnish with sesame seeds.

I hope you enjoy this great tasting, clean eating stir-fry. I'd love to hear any feedback, or about your favourite stir-fry.

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  1. This looks terrific. I will definitely look for the coconut aminos.

  2. Hi, I really enjoyed the stirfry sauce recipe! I was wondering though, I'm not a cooking guru so I was wondering if I could add more vinegar or sesame oil to each batch without compromising the taste to add more volume? The coconut amibos are pretty expensive and I make stir fry a lot and I'm trying to figure out a way to make it last longer. Thanks for the recipe though. It is amazing! :)

    1. Hi there, sorry for the late response. The ingredients are all working together to create a balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy. When these are out of proportion you loose the flavour because one takes over. You are right though, the coconut aminos can get a bit expensive if you eat stir fry often, however, it is well worth it to have such a healthy, and delicious alternative to soy sauce. You could perhaps try less sauce and season the vegetables and rice or noodles with a bit of salt and pepper and a pinch of cumin (or spice of your liking)
      Hope this helps and I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe :)