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“No need for take-out with unknown fats and sodium, when you can easily make a better tasting, fresh, better for you, version of a Quick Low-Fat Beef with Broccoli Stir Fry at home? On the table in about less than 30 minutes. To keep this dish gluten-free, use a gluten-free soy sauce product”
In a bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients, add the meat, toss well and set aside while you prepare the sauce and vegetables.Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
Bring a small amount of lightly salted water to a boil in a skillet, or your wok, add the broccoli, stir in the water until they just turn bright green, about 1 minute. Remove immediately to an ice bath. (This quick blanch ensures the broccoli retains its bright green color ). Heat half the oil in a wok or large skillet, when hot, add the meat along with the marinade and stir-fry for two minutes or until the meat is just beginning to cook. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the remaining oil along with the bell pepper and cook for 1 minute or until crisp tender, then add the broccoli, cook 1 minute more until hot and crisp tender. Return the meat to the pan; add the sauce ingredients, stir fry quickly until the sauce thickens slightly and all the ingredients are coated. Serve over rice with optional toppers.
This recipe was written for 2 servings but could easily be doubled.
Chinese take-out is great, isn’t it? A convenient quick dinner of excessive calories, fat, and sodium. At a price, you don’t really want to pay. Neither from your wallet nor your health.
Yep, it’s great.
I do actually love Chinese food – well, as I know Chinese food to be. Not as maybe a Chinese Chinese person knows and loves Chinese food. Having been raised on American Chinese take-out, I am familiar with the tastes, look and feel of typical American Chinese dining. And, overall, when it comes to healthy choices, Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry is considered one of your better options when eating Chinese take-out.
Of course, it depends on where you go.
According to cspinet.org the average Beef Broccoli stir-fry from your average Chinese restaurant has over 900 calories, with about 3200 mg of sodium. Even with an average of 9g of fat, the calories and sodium are excessive.
Pf Chang’s – a popular Chinese Bistro’s Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry has 669 calories, 35g fat, and 3260mg sodium – that’s 136% of your daily recommended amount of sodium. So while you save in the calorie section of the deal (I’m thinking less meat, more broccoli) you lose big time in fat and sodium.
Panda Express – While you might not consider this “Chinese” food at all, at least is making an effort with their portion of Beef Broccoli coming in at only 150 calories and 520mg of sodium.
But one of the biggest problems I have, when trying to get take-out Chinese, is getting take-out Chinese that’s good. I find, especially around my town, that the food is expensive, and one dimensional in flavor. Sure I can taste the sauce, but where is the broccoli?
So you argue, Chinese take-out is still…convenient.
And I can’t argue with you there.
But wait, I will.
What is convenient?
You just pick it up and bring it home. Open the cartons, and you know that there is now more than one carton, because you didn’t just order Beef Broccoli, you ordered a couple of other dishes – ya know – variety. So you can have those left-overs for lunch. Even if it’s a lunch of high fat, high sodium foods. I mean, you can’t throw it out.
Is 15 minutes too much time to spend preparing fresh food, that’s better for you?
Yes, you will have to clean the stove, I admit that, but unless you eat right out of the carton, the rest of the dishes should be about the same.
I always use white vermouth in place of white wines. White vermouth is not only more consistent in its flavor, it’s cheap. You can get a bottle of vermouth for about $4.00. A wine sold at that price is not something you necessarily want to consume…and let’s not cook with anything we wouldn’t drink. And that means NO COOKING WINE! If it says cooking wine on the label, throw it out right now, this second! If you don’t drink alcohol, no problem. The alcohol cooks off and vermouth keeps for about forever in your refrigerator…so save it for the next time you need it.
Once your stir-fry is ready, serve it over some steamed rice. Making fresh rice takes about 20 minutes, but there are many instant and frozen kinds of rice out there anymore, you can have the rice done in 5 minutes.
And of course, it’s all better with the optional sesame seeds, Chinese noodles, some thinly sliced green onion tops.
Also, cooking it your self allows you to add ingredients that you wouldn’t normally find in a Beef Broccoli Stir-Fry, such as the red peppers I added here. How about some bean sprouts? Those could easily be added at the end of the cooking time when you re-add your meat. Water chestnuts? Those would add a nice crunch as well. Carrot (blanch these first so they soften a bit) would be a great addition as well.
So do take this recipe as a starting point, and feel free to make it your own. If you do, let me know what you did and how you liked it in the comments.
And now for a quick PSA – When I went to the store to get my red bell pepper for this dish, I went to my local neighborhood Safeway. It’s just a bell pepper. No need to get all fancy. The sign showed a price of $2.99. Seemed a little high to me because that was PER bell pepper, not PER POUND. So I did a little shopping. Whole Foods, known for high prices (Whole Paycheck as we all like to say) had organic bells at $2.99. G&G Market, a local market, had organic bells at $2.99. But those were both PER POUND. So Safeway was essentially charging $9.00 PER POUND. And their non-organic was the same pricing per unit as opposed to per pound. SO please, when buying anything…pay attention to what you are getting for your money. I can’t see how they can justify 3X pricing, but I’m sure people pay it, and the stockholders must love the PROFIT they make. Buyer Beware!
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