One of the things I became very conscious of early on in my transition to a healthier, cleaner diet was label reading. At one point it was really just the nutrition label I was looking at. As my knowledge around nutrient density and processed foods grew, I found myself investigating product packaging more carefully and favouring those with fewer ingredients.
As a kid, ketchup was my go-to condiment for everything from macaroni and cheese to mashed potatoes. A quick Google search tells me there’s 4g of sugar per tablespoon of ketchup, but at the rate I was going through it, it’s no wonder I was a high-energy child!
Sugar aside, I’m sure you know that there’s a ton of other stuff hiding in the condiments we buy at the grocery store, including stabilizers and additives that make it ok for those products to be sitting on shelves for months (and sometimes years) at a time. The thought of it is a little scary, so it makes sense that some people who would rather not know simply turn a blind eye.
Because I like a good challenge – especially a recipe challenge – one thing I’ve been doing is experimenting with making my own healthier versions. Not only is it healthier, but it’s also helped me to spend less on groceries and I’ve been able to cut ingredient lists by over half. I’d say that’s pretty good progress considering my goal of living life with less ingredients this year!
Stir fried dinners of some form or another have been in regular rotation around here these days, and in effort to switch up my game a little, I decided to try making my own teriyaki sauce. I’ve done this in the past but it didn’t quite turn out the same in terms of texture, so I had another go and am pleased to let you know it was a huge success!
Regular teriyaki sauce contains soy sauce, which my fellow gluten-free friends will know contains wheat (and therefore, gluten). Here’s what the back of the average bottle says:
Soy sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), wine, high fructose corn syrup, water, vinegar, salt, spices, onion powder, succinic acid, garlic powder, sodium benzoate: less than 1/10 of 1% as a preservative.
I knew I could do better.
This teriyaki sauce has only 6 ingredients including tamari to keep it gluten-free, and Truvia Brown Sugar Blend to keep things sweet, but with less sugar and 75% fewer calories from sugar. Since it’s a stevia blend, I was able to use a smaller amount and still achieve the same taste with fewer calories.
The sauce comes together in 2 easy steps: First, all the ingredients are whirled around in the blender. This means you don’t have to do any garlic mincing or ginger grating yourself (although if you don’t have a blender, you totally could and still create a similar result).
The second step is to pour the whole thing into a saucepan and cook it on low-medium heat for 5 minutes. Stirring constantly is essential here because if you don’t, the corn starch (which thickens it up to the consistency of conventional teriyaki sauce) sinks to the bottom and starts to burn. Ever had lumpy gravy? Well that’s exactly what will happen. Stir my friends, stir often!
That sauce was put to use in an amazing Pineapple Teriyaki Shrimp Stir Fry, and I’m super thankful for the leftover sauce because I’ve used it in several recipes since. Obviously since there are no preservatives in the sauce, it won’t last as long as a store-bought version so be sure to use it up within a week or so. (It’s so good I don’t think you’ll have any trouble doing that!)
Pineapple Teriyaki Shrimp Stir Fry
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Ingredients (2 servings)
- 20 medium raw shrimp, peeled with tails removed
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 2 cups julienned zucchini
- 2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 cup snap peas
- 1 cup diced pineapple
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced, to garnish
Teriyaki Sauce (makes about 1.5 cups – you will have plenty leftover):
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 cup gluten-free tamari
- 3 tbsp Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
Start with the teriyaki sauce: Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Pour the mixture straight into a small saucepan over medium-low heat, and stir constantly for 5 minutes. (Stirring is CRUCIAL – the corn starch will sink to the bottom and start to get clumpy if you don’t!) After 5 minutes of cooking the sauce will have reduced in volume. Transfer to a small jar and set aside.
Heat a frying pan or wok over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Stir fry the shrimp in 1 tsp coconut oil and the lime juice until almost completely opaque. Transfer to a small bowl and return the pan to the stove. (Don’t worry about cleaning it just yet.)
Add the second teaspoon of coconut oil to the pan and heat until just melted. Swirl it around, then add the carrots and bell pepper. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes or until carrots are fork-tender, adding a little water if needed to prevent sticking.
Stir in the cabbage, snap peas and pineapple with a few tablespoons of teriyaki sauce. Stir every minute or so for 2 minutes.
Finally, add the julienned zucchini and the shrimp. Stir to coat in sauce, and cook for 2 more minutes or until everything in the pan is hot.
Divide between 2 bowls and garnish with scallions. Serve hot.
Now please excuse me while I go stir fry all the things!
Over to you…
- Do you make your own condiments with fewer ingredients than the store-bought versions? What have you been making?
- If you could only have one sauce/dip/spread for the rest of your life, what would it be? Tahini currently has my heart, but if I had to pick just one, I think it would have to be salsa. I’m definitely a heavy user!
Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Truvia, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting Eat Spin Run Repeat and the companies I partner with!