Making a gluten and dairy free meal for lunch

A friend of mine has decided to go gluten and dairy free for an extended period of time. We normally meet up for lunch but going out right now stresses her budget and has meant her mostly eating salads when we’re out. So I decided I’d invite her to my house for lunch and make something which would meet her dietary restrictions. I’ve had some experiences with going dairy and gluten free myself. My son had bad colic and I gave up dairy, gluten and soy for eight weeks. It isn’t easy but it’s very doable if you prepare your own food and plan well.

I’d originally thought I was going to make a vegetarian quiche with no cheese or milk. But when I found out the lunch had to be gluten free to, I shifted gears. I could have bought a gluten free pie crust mix but making pie crust is not a strength of mine. So I decided to not risk a fail whale and shift directions.

I realized that one of my favorite things to make for lunch, stir fry, was gluten and dairy free. I like to make stir fry for lunches because I almost always have a bunch of vegetables to use and keep tofu on hand. I also frequently have brown rice pre-made. So for today’s lunch I create a stir fry with tofu, egg, red pepper, sweet onion, shiitake mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, bok choy and kim chi.

I really don’t measure when I make these things I just kind of guess and judge by eye how much of each of the things I’m doing to need. If I had to guess I’d say the following would be reasonably accurate

  • 1 bunch of baby bok choy chopped
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup sliced sweet onion
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup julienned red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup diced kim chi
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup extra firm tofu water removed and cubed
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 2 tbs grapeseed oil
  1. Heat the oil on high in a pan and add tofu
  2. Cook tofu until crispy
  3. Add vegetables except kim chi and stir fry
  4. When vegetables are cooked pull the up the sides of the pan so an empty well exists in the bottom of the pan. Add beaten egg and cook it. Mix nearly cooked egg in with cooked veggies
  5. Add the cooked brown rice
  6. Add kim chi and stir
  7. Add 3 tbs stir fry sauce of your choice and stir
  8. Add peanuts, stir and serve

I’ll change this up based on what vegetables I have. I also will re-use leftover meat in a stir fry. For example if I have steak leftover I’ll slice it up and use it as the protein for the stir fry. When you’re using cooked meat, you want to add it late in the cooking process so you just warm it up enough but don’t over cook it. You can choose to omit the rice and serve over noodles or not mix the rice into the stir fry. Sometimes I use ssamjang and soy sauce to flavor things instead of a bottle of stir fry sauce. It really is all about what I have at my disposal. I’ve yet to make a version that wasn’t super tasty. So I’ll probably keep making different stir fry riffs for lunches.

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