Fifty Shades of Grey Stir Fry

I know, I know.

If you’ve been on the internet at all in the past few weeks, I’m sure you’ve heard of these books – if you haven’t read them already.

After reading an article online a few weeks ago about the trilogy and then downloading the free trial of  Fifty Shades of Grey, I was hooked.

Are these classics – or anywhere near a classic? Uh…heck no.

Will they ever be part of an English class curriculum? Goodness, I hope not.

But they are addicting. Like, drop your responsibilities, let someone else make dinner, lounge on the couch for 3 days until you’ve finished the entire series kind of addicting.

If you haven’t heard about these books, they’re a series that was originally written as Twilight fan fiction, a way for E.L. James to take the story of Edward and Bella and twist it into a new storyline. One filled with cable ties, penthouses, and a lot of wine instead of sparkling vampires and high school drama.

The back of the first book – Fifty Shades of Grey – gives you the most boring break down of the story, describing it as a college girl who randomly encounters a man who is beautiful, but intimidating.  She realizes she wants him, and he wants her, too—but on his terms, which, you guessed it, includes the cable ties.

That’s the basics, I guess, but the summary doesn’t give any hint at all to why women everywhere are running to the store for these books.

The worst part about these books? The writing isn’t very good, but the story sucks you in so fast that you just. can’t. stop. reading.

Is anything in the book anywhere close to reality? Nope. Not one bit.

The main character is a 21 year girl, about to graduate college, and she doesn’t have a computer.

Seriously? Last time I checked, almost every college requires that you have your own computer. And she doesn’t have an email address? Sure. Her roommate is this super hot girl who goes out all the time and gets all the guys, but Ana has never been drunk? Doubt it.

I get it.

She’s supposed to be innocent, pure, naive. And she’s definitely all of those things, but some of the details would fit better for a 14 year old than someone who’s about to be out of school and working and living on her own.

And then…what everyone is talking about – the sex scenes, “vanilla” as it may be to Mr. Grey. If you’ve read them, you know. Some are insanely hot, some are absurd, and some of them are just completely ridiculous.

Hello, bathroom in Georgia? I don’t think so. That is not real life, or not for anyone I know, anyway.

Also – do these people work? Really? They’re almost always in that penthouse. Or the helicopter. Or some ritzy hotel, making a mess of every pair of sheets and bathroom rugs that they can.

I don’t want to say too much more in case you are reading them, because the story line does get better in the 2nd and 3rd books. Even with all the ridiculousness, the books are crazy addicting, and if you like to fall easily into a story, you’ll love them.

In between the bedroom and red room of pain sessions, food makes a big appearance in these books – just like in Twilight. Frittatas, salads, oysters, vanilla ice cream, wine, pancakes and bacon, and a stir fry that almost doesn’t get made. It’s a good thing stir frys are fast. I don’t think those two would eat if it wasn’t  – there are much better things than dinner to get to.

Sadly, I was making this stir fry by myself – no Christian to dice my vegetables for me. I wouldn’t even mind that he chopped veggies as slow as molasses.

This stir fry is one classic dish I keep in my recipe box for quick weeknight meals. There’s no set recipe – just a method and a few ideas for the sauce and veggie mix-ins.

One stir fry, fifty ways.

The basics:

  • protein: chicken, beef, pork, tofu or eggs
  • vegetables: onions, peppers, carrots, broccoli, peas, beans, etc
  • herbs: scallions, cilantro, parsley – whatever you like
  • grains: brown rice, rice noodles, couscous, quinoa, or leftovers you need to use of anything else
  • sauce: soy sauce, orange juice, canola oil, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, pepper, crushed red pepper, cornstarch, brown sugar

Pick your protein and slice into thin pieces (unless you’re using eggs). Slice the veggies and herbs. Heat a large pan over high heat. Add your meat and cook, stirring frequently 3-4 minutes until it starts to brown. Add the veggies and herbs and cook, 3-4 minutes.*Add the eggs here and scramble for a minute, if using eggs as the protein.

Pour in the sauce, bring to a quick boil, and let the sauce start to thicken. Remove the pan from heat, stir in your grain, and serve.

If you want to make a meal straight from the book, serve this for dinner with a glass of wine and then whip up this vanilla ice cream for dessert.

But don’t blame me if you’re just as addicted to the books as I am – or if you spill ice cream on the sheets.

Laters, baby.


  1. Loved the post, B! Much tamer than mine. That’s why I like you. Well, I like you for lots of reasons, but you get what I mean. :)

  2. 50 shades of grey was the selection at my last book club meeting. VERY dividing!

    • I could see that. I know a few people who haven’t gotten hooked like most women, and with the writing, I can see that.

  3. Hahaha I loved reading this post. I’m almost done with book two and you’re right, the plot is really picking up. After book one I read this review from MomJovi, which I think you’ll appreciate:

    The blog dedicated to the writing is what cracked me up the most! I completely agree — there are moments where I think, “what?!” but then the storyline makes it so I can’t tear my eyes away.

    Oh, and I may have to (shamelessly) copy the last line of your post when I write my review. Too perfect. I’ll give credit, of course. :)

  4. Ha, I’m just starting the books! This stir fry looks awesome, esp the thin noodles. What kind are those?

    • They’re Annie Chun’s brown rice noodles – I randomly found them at Kroger last weekend!

  5. Haha I love this post! I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but maybe I should? I’m so torn! But at least they’re quick reads.

    And the stir fry looks awesome, no matter what shade!

  6. LOL I had to laugh at this post. I felt very similar to you – was completely addicted to the books and read all three very quickly… but yeah, the writing is pretty weak. I also thought it got very repetitive by the end, but clearly that wasn’t why we all ready them:-)

  7. Your review of the books is totally spot on. The writing is just AWFUL. But she had the idea first. And is seriously winning.

    At least the next 2 books get better. But I was sort of disappointed with the end. :(

    • seriously! i kind of was, too. it seemed like the end was stuck on there as an afterthought. it didn’t flow at all with the rest of the books.

  8. I’m a little over halfway through the 2nd book, it is taking me forever to get through them. I agree the writing is horrible, but I also cannot stop reading a chapter or two every night…

  9. What?
    You dont have sex 6 times a day?

    We read it for book club too!

  10. Oh my gosh- so I just started the first book last night and am now halfway through. I now TOTALLY understand what all the fuss is about. All I want to do is sit around and read these books!! We are reading it for my trashy book club (I also have a legit one) haha and I’m sure this will be a fun one to discuss!

  11. gorgeous pictures!

  12. Man I need to read this book that everyone is talking about… maybe a beach read for the summer? And that stir fry looks great! I have a bunch of rice noodles and peppers that need to get used- thanks for the inspiration :)

  13. hmm, perhaps a read for my vacation next week? i do tend to get annoyed at bad writing, though… we’ll see ;)

  14. Hi Brandi
    I just found your blog today from Pinterest. I love the Shades Of Grey Trilogy I’m on book 3 now and loving it. I’ll be sad when I’m finished reading this series.
    I’m really enjoying your recipes and was wondering if you are on pinterest. I don’t see a button to follow you on your website. I would love to follow you!

    • Hi Andrea! yes, I am! you can search for branappetit and I should come up! Happy Friday!

  15. You are funny! I am reading the first book but I am still at the vanilla part. I am sure it will take me long to finish. And by the way, I love stir frys. Maybe I’ll have my husband chop some veggies fir me next time, I make one…lol.

  16. I absolutely LOVE your breakdown of Fifty Shades of Grey! It made me laugh while still promoting what’s fun about the series. I might actually try reading it now. Maybe. ;-) I hope you don’t mind that I posted a link to your blog post on my bookshop’s facebook page. I thought it might be fun for readers to view an interactive approach to how they think about thier books…such as letting a recipe from a book inspire them in their own kitchen. If it’s a problem, please let me know and I’ll take the link down right away.

  17. That is just wrong! lol And I like it that way!

    All those tantalizing pictures of food with a whole bunch of text that doesn’t even tell me what I’m supposed to be doing with them.

    The books sound interesting, but the food looks delicious!

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