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Toasted Sesame Vegetarian Stir Fry – Gluten Free

by Sharon on August 25, 2014

Toasted Sesame Vegetarian Stir Fry - Gluten Free

When you read my recipes, a lot of times they call for half of an onion or half a red pepper. Ever wonder what happens to the other half? It can go into soups or stewsor it can be turned into this delicious stir fry that your family will never guess is good for them.

And isn’t that the goal, really?

To get your loved ones (and yourself, of course!) eating healthy but not feeling deprived. Looking forward to dinner even if it’s a plate of veggies. Because a plate of veggies can be so tasty and satisfying. Seasonings and oils can take a plate of leftover vegetables from your crisper and transform them into magic for dinner.

Toasted Sesame Vegetarian Stir Fry - Gluten Free-

What we enjoy about this dish in particular is how much it is reminiscent of Chinese delivery, which was a staple of ours back in the days of eating garbage food, smoking, etc.

Oh, you didn’t know I smoked? Quite a shocker, I know. Part of my enthusiasm for this healthy lifestyle is that I know everyone can achieve it. We all have it in us. It just all comes down to desire. When I quit smoking (ten years ago in December!) I didn’t take medication or chew gum. I didn’t have fake cigarettes or taper off from it. I quit. Cold freaking turkey. And at the risk of sounding smug, it wasn’t even that hard. Why? Because I was ready. I had the desire.

Now, I have the desire to treat my body as kind as possible. If that means feeding it a rainbow of vegetables, then that is what I want to do. And who wouldn’t when it tastes like this! Say good bye to takeout forever. :)

Toasted Sesame Vegetarian Stir Fry - Gluten Free-

The key to this dish is the toasted sesame oil. I know it’s a higher ticket item at around fifteen dollars, but the bottle will last forever and it’s such an essential flavour to Asian style cooking. Well worth the investment.

Toasted Sesame Vegetarian Stir Fry - Gluten Free

To up my toasted sesame game even more, I actually toasted some sesame seeds by lightly heating them in a cast iron pan.

Toasted Sesame Vegetarian Stir Fry - Gluten Free-

Using the same pan heat up some of the lovely toasted sesame oil and then add in a cornucopia of vegetables and let them soak up the flavour.

For added protein, I scrambled in a couple of eggs, but that is optional if you’d prefer this to be a vegan dish.

Some cooked brown rice for a bit more bulk, and my favourite condiment, soy free soy sauce, rounds out the seasonings.

It’s always promptly devoured and a great way to use up those veggies!

Toasted Sesame Vegetarian Stir Fry - Gluten Free-

Serves 2 large

Toasted Sesame Vegetarian Stir Fry – Gluten Free
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  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 pepper, diced (I used ½ red, ½ orange)
  • 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 kale leaves, torn
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs (omit for a vegan dish)
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup soy free soy sauce (or soy if preferred)
  • sea salt & fresh pepper, to taste


  1. If you don’t have any cooked rice, now is the time to do it. 1 ½ cups of dry rice should yield about 3 cups of cooked
  2. Toss sesame seeds into a large pan and set heat to medium. Stir the seeds every so often and cook for 2-3 minutes, until lightly toasted. Transfer seeds to a small bowl and set aside
  3. Add toasted sesame oil to the pan and keep it over medium heat. Stir in the peppers, cabbage and onion, and season with sea salt and pepper
  4. Stir fry the veggies until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the kale and once it’s wilted a bit, 2 minutes or so, stir in the minced garlic
  5. If you are using eggs, now is the time to crack those into your pan on top of the veggies. Stir them well and keep scrambling them around the pan until they are cooked through
  6. Add in the cooked brown rice and top with the soy-less soy sauce (or use soy if you prefer) and once again, stir everything together
  7. Top with toasted sesame seeds and serve

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie August 25, 2014 at 11:36 am

Looks great! By coincidence I just made a recipe last night that called for toasted sesame oil. I went to our local Thrifty Foods and couldn’t find it any where so bought plain sesame oil instead. I added the 2 teaspoons to my salad dressing, and thought I couldn’t be bothered to “toast” 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. Now I know toasted sesame oil does exist! I will keep an eye out for it in my healthfood store as they must not sell it mainstream. Have a lovely day Sharon!


Sharon August 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm

I adore the toasted variety. It is pricier, but totally worth it. Enjoy your last week off Jules!! :)


Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods August 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm

I love making a stir-fry for dinner and loading it up with all kinds of vegetables. This looks delicious and so much better than take-out 😀


Karen @ Lushious Eats August 25, 2014 at 11:49 am

I love the look of this salad Sharon, and I also love the blue colour of your placemat! Gorgeous pics!


Sharon August 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Doesn’t that blue just pop! it really complimented the sunny day. :) Thanks Karen! Have a great week. :)


Kelly @ Trial and Eater August 25, 2014 at 12:56 pm

This looks so healthy and filling! Love all the colors. I agree about toasted sesame oil, a little goes a long way but it totally changes the flavor of the dish.


Sharon August 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm

Thanks so much Kelly! This meal is a staple at our house. Quick, simple and the toasted sesame oil fancies up the leftovers. 😉


Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health August 25, 2014 at 2:31 pm

I rarely eat takeout because most places could care less about how healthy the food is. They just load with as much sugar, salt and fat as they can to make it taste better. But this stir fry looks way better than any takeout I’ve ever had. I love how colorful it is!


Olivia - Primavera Kitchen August 27, 2014 at 6:53 am

This looks amazing and one hundred times better than take-out since has less sugar, less salt and fat. Great dish, Sharon 😉


Thalia @ butter and brioche August 27, 2014 at 5:30 pm

I am loving the look of this stir fry. I definitely will be making the recipe for my vegetarian household, Thanks for sharing it!


Sharon August 27, 2014 at 11:10 pm

I hope the family loves it as much as mine does. :) Thanks so much!


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