March 28, 2008
Gluten Free Beef with Broccoli
As I mentioned in passing a while back on the banana pudding post we recently discovered that Jamison can't eat gluten (or in more technical terms he has Celiac Disease). While that sounds dire, in reality it just means he has a gluten intolerance and needs to avoid it entirely. Needless to say for a person who had a diet largely made up of wheat in some form or another this has been a huge adjustment, but I must say he's done very well, if not for a grumble here or there, cutting the gluten out of his diet. (Note: The banana pudding recipe is NOT gluten free as it was made before we found out he couldn't have gluten. the pudding itself and the bananas are gluten free, but the vanilla wafers are not.)
As this journey begins you are startled by how many things have gluten in them that you wouldn't expect (various medicines/vitamins, almost anything that is a pre-packaged food which Jamison was a fan of, candy, and of course any breads/crackers and I even discovered that the brand of garlic salt I used had wheat in it! What's that about?) Once you know you can't gave gluten you have to start reading labels even closer than you did before and let me tell you I'm a label reader to begin with! You quickly learn what is and what isn't gluten free and you regularly visit the Celiac Sprue Association's Grain Page. I'm still learning, but I'm becoming more and more comfortable every day saying what is and what isn't gluten free.
One of those things that you wouldn't suspect to have wheat is soy sauce and because of that a lot of Chinese foods, especially those with brown sauces, are now off the market if you can't have gluten. Unfortunately Jamison loves Chinese and all of the dishes he eats are cooked in that soy filled brown sauce and this is how this recipe came about. If you can't have gluten then you just have to start adapting recipes of the things you love. In some cases it isn't easy, but it is doable and in this case it was a quite easy fix.
Chinese cuisine has an aura about it that makes a lot of people think it's hard to cook, but don't worry it's not! If you can steam some veggies, stir fry and make rice, you're golden! It also doesn't take a long time to prepare. It's a quick, easy and healthy option for when you want take out, but can't necessarily have it for health reasons or any other issue.
You'll also notice we have a new "Gluten Free" category on the side bar and I'll be adding to it as I adapt Jamison's favorites to gluten free equivalents. So far it's been hit and miss and I've yet to find a bread recipe that isn't grainy in texture and green in taste, so that's an adventure in and of itself, but I have been able to adapt some other things, so stay tuned! Oh and I will conquer that bread too! I'm anything if not determined! ;o)
What You'll Need:
1 1/2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
2 tablespoons of organic cane sugar
4 tablespoons of gluten free soy sauce (Note: La Choy soy sauces are wheat free according to their label. I always use the version that has less salt. If in doubt read the label! Wheat should be readily labeled and if it says something along the lines of "food starch" in most cases that means wheat so steer clear!)
2 tablespoons of corn starch
Extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds of beef, cut into bite sized chunks
1 pound of broccoli, steamed
1 cup of cooked brown rice, per person
In a medium sized bowl mix water, rice vinegar, cane sugar, soy sauce and corn starch and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add meat and stir to ensure that all the meat is covered. Cover the bowl tightly and then refrigerate to let the mixture marinate for at least an hour to overnight.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator and take it out of the sauce. Do not discard the sauce as you will need some of it for the recipe.
In a large skillet over medium heat sauté the meat in a little olive oil until the outsides are slightly browned. (Note: Don't go overboard with the oil. You want enough to just coat the pan, roughly 1 tablespoon max.) Once the meat is browned add 1 cup of the marinating liquid and cook until the mixture thickens and the beef is done through. If you like a lot of sauce add more of the marinating liquid.
While the meat is cooking steam the broccoli until just tender and set aside.
Most varieties of brown rice take around 1 hour to cook. The Beef with Broccoli takes about 20-30 minutes to cook depending on how big your chunks of meat are so make sure you give enough time for the rice to be done. You want 1 cup of cooked brown rice per person.
To serve place some rice on a plate and top with the cooked beef mixture. Next add 6-8 broccoli florets and serve.
Notes: You could add in different types of steamed vegetables (i.e. carrots, snow peas, cauliflower, etc.) to make a Mixed Vegetable version. You could also substitute chicken or shrimp for the beef if you're not a beef fan. If you wanted to make a completely vegeterian/vegan version you could use tofu or mushrooms in place of the meat. The possibilities are endless!
Posted by Dianne at March 28, 2008 7:12 AM
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Oh man... I'm sure there are few options for Gluten-free in the soy sauce world, but La Choy soy sauce is the nastiest stuff I've ever tasted. I guess it might be OK to cook with, but don't dip anything in it... it tastes awful.
Posted by: Emily A. at March 28, 2008 10:47 AM
It's slightly sweeter than regular soy sauce. I think there may be some organic soy sauces that don't have gluten in them, but I haven't had a chance to look yet.
Posted by: Dianne at March 28, 2008 11:42 AM
Wow! That's great to know about La Choy soy sauces.
I've been using Bragg's Amino as a substitute. I really like it, but I think it's a little saltier than soy sauce, so I have to make adjustments when I use it.
Posted by: Allie at March 28, 2008 3:55 PM
I have a bottle of Bragg's Amino, but I've never tried it. I keep meaning to find something to do with it, but then I get side tracked on other things.
Posted by: Dianne at March 29, 2008 10:48 AM