Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Broccoli Beef in a half hour

I've been so exhausted, but still feel the intense need to eat healthy. This has been a major challenge since preparing healthy foods usually takes time. So I've enlisted Dave's help! Every other Thursday night we browse that weeks sales papers to decide on our menu for the next two weeks. Last week we did this Wednesday before our trip to St George, and it went something like this:

Amy - Ooh, cherries are on sale at Sunflower Market! We'll have to get a few pounds of those!
Dave - And look, broccoli is on sale there too! I love fresh broccoli!
Amy - (silence)

Now being my mother's daughter, I couldn't figure out what we would DO with 2 lbs of fresh broccoli. I didn't have any plans to  bring a veggie tray to an event, so why in the world would we buy it?!? But my silence did nothing to curb Dave's enthusiasm.

Dave - We could make Broccoli Beef! I love that dish
Amy - I guess I can look for a recipe online. But if it's too complex, it's not making next week's menu

So I started digging. I went through probably 7 different online recipes from the painfully simple but not tasty sounding, to the ones with gorgeous pictures and 200 ingredients that I would never use on any other recipe. Eventually I decided to combine an easy one with some of the more simple ingredients of a more involved one (ie. what we already had on hand).

Before purchasing the broccoli, I stepped back and had Dave commit to help me with the prep work. We'd need to slice and marinate the beef the night before, as well as for ease of cooking the day of, chop up the broccoli. He agreed, and we have now discovered one of our new favorite dishes! And because we prepped the day before, it only took a half hour to actually prepare the day of. Not too shabby.

I didn't take a picture, because I wasn't expecting much from this meal, but here's the recipe:

Broccoli Beef

1/4 c soy sauce
2 t oil
1/3 c white grape juice
1 t sugar
2 t cornstarch
¾ lb beef round steak (cut 1/8 inch thick)

3 T oil
1 slice ginger root (or caramelized ginger from the spice isle)
1 garlic clove (diced)
1 - 2 lb broccoli (cut into florets)

Whisk together soy sauce, oil, grape juice, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl. Stir until dissolved. Place steak pieces into a shallow bowl, pour the mixture over the meat and stir to coat well. Marinate 30 minutes to overnight.

Heat vegetable oil in a wok over medium high heat, and stir in the ginger and garlic. Let them sizzle in the hot oil for about 1 minute to flavor the oil, then remove and discard. Stir the broccoli, and toss and stir in the hot oil until bright green and almost tender (7 minutes). Remove the broccoli from the wok. Set aside.

Pour a little more oil in the wok. Stir and toss the beef with the marinade until the sauce thickens, and the meat is no linger pink (about 5 minutes). If the sauce doesn't thicken, add more cornstarch. Return the cooked broccoli to the wok, and stir until the meat and broccoli are heated through (3 minutes).

Serve over rice or noodles.

We ate this over ramen last night (actually better than it sounds), and are planning to eat the leftovers over rice tonight. It made 4 servings for us. It's a winner, as is prepping the meal the night before! I usually get home exhausted, cook dinner, Dave gets home, we eat, Dave cleans up while I relax a little, and now we've started prepping the next day's dinner together. Then we can relax by reading (if I want to put Dave to sleep), or by watching a movie (if I want to fall asleep). Pretty laid back, but it's what we need right now!


  1. That sounds really good! I am going to have to try that out. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  2. Wow, you guys are organized. I can't believe Dave actually sits and goes through ads and plans menus with you! He is a rare man!

  3. Melissa - it's a combination of summer break boredom and my being pregnant and exhausted by 5pm. Dave wouldn't have time during the school year to browse the papers, but he's been doing more helping this summer than usual. And he does love having an opinion on what's for dinner!