Easy 20 Minute Start to Finish Stir Fry Recipe- Gluten Free, Frugal

I can't eat gluten. I can't eat eggs. So when I'm hungry and the kids are clamoring for food because I'm already running behind, I can just cook up some eggs and toast for the kids, but then I have nothing for myself to eat, or I can cook a whole meal for the family that I can also eat, but that usually takes time.

 Recently, I was trying to figure out if I could make something really quickly, and then had this idea to make a beef and vegetable stir fry with rice noodles. I knew I could make it quickly, from start to finish, even with the meat and greenbeans still frozen and everything raw. I put on a timer and got to work. 

Originally I thought it would take me 15 minutes to do it, but I kept readjusting the sauce to try to get the flavor right, because I was making it up on the fly, and I also needed to find the ingredients for the sauce and get them out of my stockpile, so it ended up taking me 22 minutes to make, start to finish.

 Then I tried making it again, already knowing what to put in it, and despite needing to wash a cereal bowl for my daughter and find where the sugar went because the kids took it, and even with my kids opening the dishwasher while I was cooking which made me not be able to work at the counter, it still took me only 20 and a half minutes, so I feel comfortable saying this is a 20 minute recipe provided you have mise en place and don't have kids calling you to do other things while you're at it. And even with kids interrupting, it still is a fast recipe.

This meal is pretty cheap to make, providing you buy the minute steak on sale like I do, and it is gluten free providing you use gluten free soy sauce. It is also conveniently a meal in one, so need for a bunch of sides.

And did I mention that it tastes absolutely divine?

This recipe makes 6-8 servings, depending on how big your servings are.

Easy 20 Minute Start to Finish Stir Fry Recipe- Gluten Free, Frugal

1 half pount package rice vermicelli noodles or 1 lb divided in half (there are two thicknesses of these- get the thinner kind since they soften just from soaking, no cooking required)
1/4 cup oil
1 onion
2-3 carrots
2 peppers
3 cups frozen green beans
2 cups packed chopped swiss chard
1 package minute steaks (250 grams or half a pound)
6 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar (apple cider, white vinegar, or rice vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Before I list the instructions I want to say that the order in which you do things matters a lot here. Without doing it in this order you won't be able to finish it all in 20 minutes.

1. Heat up your wok so it starts smoking.

2. While the wok is heating, fill the kettle and start it boiling

3. Add oil to your wok, open your package of frozen minute steaks, and pop the meat frozen, into the wok. Give it a mix every 20 or so seconds so that it all cooks, breaking it apart as it cooks and defrosts.

4. In one container put your rice vermicelli. In another container put your green beans. Pour enough boiling water to cover the noodles and with what is left in your kettle pour over the green beans. If there isn't enough water the first time boil more water. But noodles come first, because they need to fully soften, whereas the green beans just need to thaw.

5. While your meat is cooking and your rice noodles are soaking, start with the veggie chopping. Cut your onion into half slices. When your meat is all defrosted and mostly cooked add the onions. If it isn't ready yet, move on to peel and julienne your carrots while the meat is cooking. Add your carrots to the wok when the onions have gotten translucent. 

6. Cover your wok so the carrots cook faster. While this is going on, chop up your peppers and your swiss chard. Then mix together the ingredients for the sauce, strain the green beans, and strain the noodles.

7. Once that is done, add the peppers to the wok, and mix for a minute or two, then add the swiss chard and green beans. 

8. When the swiss chard has started to wilt, add the sauce, mix and cook for about a minute, then add your noodles and mix again.

9. Voila, all done and ready to serve!

I can't promise that this will take you only 20 minutes- perhaps my chopping skills are quicker than yours, but if you chop as quickly as I do it should take you no more than 20 minutes, max 25, start to finish for this delicious wholesome meal.

What is the quickest healthy meal that you make for your family? Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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