Well, today you’re in for a special treat. Yours truly and Confident Wellness’ COO wrote today’s blog!

As you may already know, I love all aspects of food—planning, shopping, cooking, and most of all eating the food that I cook. I’m the “chef” in our family and enjoy preparing meals not only for Barb and I, but also for friends and our VERY large family.

Family Dinner

One of our family dinners — as you can see, it’s a very informal affair served “family style.”

November will mark Barb’s one-year anniversary of being gluten free and, of course, my anniversary of cooking gluten free.

A couple of weeks ago, one of Barb’s clients who knows that I cook, asked her for easy sauce recipes as alternatives to purchasing jarred stir-fry and barbeque sauces that are typically loaded with gluten and unwanted ingredients. This created a unique challenge because (maybe like you?) I rarely use recipes when I whip up my culinary specialties. Hmm, what to do?

Being of Asian descent, I prepare many different stir-fries. However, I was now tasked with creating a recipe for one of my “mad-professor”-style cooking sauces. I went to the kitchen, pulled out a pot, measuring utensils, and ingredients that I thought would pull together as a simple, layered, and tasty stir-fry sauce. Here’s what I scribbled on a Post-It note as I made my 10-minute sauce:

Gluten Free Stir-Fry Sauce
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons (or to taste) gluten free soy sauce
½ teaspoon of garlic powder or a couple of cloves of fresh, finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
¼ teaspoon (or to taste) cayenne
Pinch of Chinese Five Spice (careful, it has a strong flavor)
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

Dry roast the sesame seeds by placing the sesame seeds in a hot, pre-heated fry pan until golden brown and set aside. This should take roughly two minutes.

Pour the chicken broth into a water-tight container and shake with the corn starch until dissolved.

Pour mixture into a small sauce-pan, heat on a medium flame until it thickens. You may need to add more cornstarch if you like a thicker sauce.

Add the soy sauce, garlic powder or chopped garlic, sesame seed oil, cayenne, and Chinese Five Spice.

Let the mixture simmer for five minutes.

Add the sauce to your favorite stir-fry combinations. One of my favorites is thinly sliced chicken breast added to a combination of diagonally sliced celery and carrots, bok choy cabbage, and bean sprouts. Be careful not to overcook any of the ingredients, particularly the cabbage and bean sprouts. Oh yes, and use fresh bean sprouts. The canned bean sprouts are downright nasty.

Sprinkle the roasted sesame seeds on top of the stir fry as a garnish.

Notes: My favorite soy sauce is made by Kikkoman, however, their gluten free soy sauce may be difficult to find. We got ours at Wegman’s, a great grocery chain headquartered in Rochester New York. On a recent trip to an Asian store, I found what was termed “vegetarian soya sauce”. Although I don’t like it as much, it can still be used since there are no gluten components.

 

I was also asked to write a recipe for a barbeque sauce. This is one of our favorites since neither Barb nor I enjoy “heavy”, ketchup-style sauces. We prefer something like this:

Gluten Free, Carolina-Style Barbeque Sauce
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon of your favorite pepper sauce. We use some of the hotter, habanero sauces (not for wimps).
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
4 tablespoons tomato paste

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a day or two before using.  If refrigerated, it will last for a fairly long time.

Notes: This is very similar to some of the Carolina barbeque sauces that can be found online. The sauce is great on top of shredded pork or grilled chicken. It can be used as a marinade for other barbequed meats.

I think you’ll enjoy both of these sauces as much as we do.

 

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