Soy-Free Sesame Peanut Chicken & Vegetable Stir Fry

A soy-free stir fry?  Yes.  There are many people with soy allergies out there as well as many who avoid soy for other reasons. 

When I was nursing my first son, I learned about 4 weeks in that he was allergic to the milk I was consuming.  I was on a milk free diet for the next 4-5 months and continued to feed him breast milk exclusively.  Once he was old enough to try yogurt, cheese, etc. we learned that he had outgrown his milk allergy.

The second son came along about 2 1/2 months premature, he was allergic to both milk and soy products!  Again, I eliminated these from my diet so that I could continue to feed him breast milk.  This was a longer process – maybe 6-8 months.

More recently, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2013 and fought the battle all year.  As of early December I learned that “there is no unexpected activity” on my latest PET scan!  Anyway, The tumors inside of me were estrogen based and I learned early on that soy can act like estrogen.  I wanted nothing to do with that so I have permanently removed soy from my diet – I even avoid beauty products made with soy as these still absorbed into my body. 

Our family used to LOVE going to “the Japanese steak house” (a.k.a. places that cook food on your table) for birthdays, celebrations, or even just for a fun Saturday night out.  Since my diagnosis, we have only been a few times and ordering the food without soy sauce just isn’t the same! 

I decided tonight to make a soy-free stir fry for my family and add the bottle of soy sauce to the table for all of them to use.  They agreed I did a great job seasoning it before they added the soy sauce.  While writing this post, I even found a homemade soy-free soy sauce recipe from Stephanie Cooks that I will have to try next time!  Right next to the bottle of soy sauce on the table, I added a bottle of hot sauce – everything is always better with a little hot sauce!

The veggies in this dish are absolutely flexible!  I used what was in my freezer.  Other options include carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, snow peas, etc.

Of course I did add peanuts to this – if you have a peanut allergy in the house, you can certainly skip that step!

I even used my wok – do you have a wok?  I love it!  A large skillet will do the trick too!

With or without soy sauce, this came out pretty good!  The entire dish was devoured by my family with everyone (except the little one) helping themselves to seconds! 

What foods to you avoid eating?  Does anyone in your family have food allergies?

Soy-Free Sesame Peanut Chicken & Vegetable Stir Fry
Serves 4

2 chicken breasts, cut into small, bite size pieces
2 cups mixed vegetables, cut into small bite size pieces (I had broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans in my freezer so that’s what I used)
5-6 tablespoons of dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup peanuts (optional)

In a wok (or a large skillet) add 1-2 tablespoons of the dark sesame oil over medium-high heat until hot and swirled around the pan. 

Add the diced chicken, some salt & pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until done.  Once done, if using a wok, you can slide the chicken up the sides of the wok to make room for the vegetables.  Otherwise, remove the chicken from the skillet. 

Add another tablespoon of sesame oil and stir fry the vegetables until soft.   If you have removed the chicken, now is the time to add back to the pan.  Start to season with more sesame oil, the ground ginger, the rice vinegar, the lemon juice, and salt & pepper. 

Once everything was cooked, I did some taste testing and adjusted the seasonings to my liking.  Just before serving, stir in the sesame seeds and peanuts.

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