Tag Archives: low carb

Sugar Free Baked Custards and a Magic Fridge

Baked Custards 6

In our laundry room is an old refrigerator. It isn’t fancy, doesn’t dispense water or ice, or sync to your phone to create grocery lists. But it is magic.

2017-04-24 10.15.17

As my husband and children like to observe, whenever someone takes the last custard from this fridge, more magically appear again the very next day. They love this Magic Fridge.

It must be that same Magic that turns full laundry baskets into piles of folded clothes, raw ingredients into hot meals, and grimy bathrooms into sparkling retreats (okay, that might be wishful thinking; I’m still waiting for that kind of magic to appear).

But if you’re looking for a simple egg custard that is easy to make sugar-free, this is definitely the kind of magic I can help you with.

Baked Custards 1

Stevia is my favorite non-sugar sweetener, but it can sometimes be bitter if it is used alone to sweeten desserts. For this recipe, I combine stevia with erythritol. You could also use Splenda (or go for an all-sugar version).

Baked Custards 5

RECIPE:

Baked Custards 6

Sugar Free Baked Custards

3 eggs
3 egg yolks
¼ tsp liquid stevia
1 ½ tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups (1 quart) half & half
½ cup erythritol (or Splenda)
Optional: fresh berries for garnish

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Prepare a pan for a water bath: place eight 8-oz ramekins in a larger baking pan. Heat enough water to come halfway up sides of ramekins. (Don’t add hot water to baking pan until after pouring custard into ramekins)

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, stevia, vanilla, and salt.

Heat half & half until very hot, but not quite boiling. (You can do this either in the microwave or on the stovetop). Remove from heat and stir in erythritol.

While whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot milk in a steady stream into the mixing bowl with the eggs. Do this very, very slowly at first, or you will curdle the eggs.

Strain the custard through a mesh sieve to remove any lumps.

Pour custard into small ramekins. Fill bottom of the larger baking pans with hot water to halfway up sides of ramekins.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until set at the edges, and only slightly jiggly in the center. Cool for 15 minutes in the water bath. Remove ramekins from water bath and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving. Serve with fresh fruit, if desired

Yield: 8 8-oz custards

**To prepare using sugar: use 2/3 cup sugar in place of stevia and erythritol

Leave a comment

Filed under Desserts

Roasted Greek Chicken Salad

Greek Chicken 1

Looking for a lighter dinner that isn’t bland and boring?

This roasted Greek chicken with onions and peppers and homemade tzatziki is sure to please everyone in the family. You can eat it over a bed of lettuce or stuffed inside of pita bread.

I like to roast the chicken, peppers and onions in the oven to get nice crispy charred edges, but you could also cook them in a skillet.

Greek Chicken 3

Homemade pita bread and hummus is great served with this salad. Instructions can be found HERE.

Tzatziki is a garlic yogurt dip with grated cucumber and dill. It is a great topper for this salad.

Greek Chicken 2

RECIPE:

Greek Chicken 1

Roasted Greek Chicken Salad

Marinade:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs Greek seasoning (or 2 tsp oregano + 1 tsp thyme)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

4 boneless chicken breasts, diced
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
Feta cheese, crumbled
Tzatziki
Hummus
Pita bread, cut into wedges

Mix marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag. Add diced chicken to marinade in bag. Refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight. Drain chicken in a colander; discard marinade.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place chicken and sliced onion and red pepper on the baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables just begin to char. Broil for 1-2 minutes at the end of cooking time, if needed.

To cook in a skillet: Sauté in large skillet for 5 minutes; drain any excess liquid. Continue to cook until chicken is cooked through and beginning to brown. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Heat 1 Tbs oil in skillet. Add peppers and onions to skillet; cook until tender. Return chicken to skillet and heat through.

Serve over lettuce with feta cheese, tzatziki, hummus and pita bread wedges. Chicken can also be eaten inside of pitas with hummus, tzatziki and feta cheese.

Tzatziki
½ large seedless cucumber (or 2 mini cucumbers)
2 cups whole-fat plain Greek yogurt (Fage Total 4% brand is great)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dill
Dash white pepper
Salt

Grate cucumber (unpeeled), sprinkle with salt and drain in a colander until most of the liquid leeches out. Pat dry with a paper towel. Combine yogurt and cucumber with remaining ingredients. Add additional salt (about ¼-½ tsp) to taste. Refrigerate several hours to blend flavors.

Pita Bread
2 ½ tsp instant yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Additional flour for kneading, if necessary

If you have a baking stone, place it (ungreased) in the oven while preheating (if you are using a regular baking sheet, place in oven only 1 min before adding bread). Preheat oven to 475°F for at least 15-20 minutes.

Combine all  ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well and then knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour if needed until dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 small balls. Leave in covered bowl. Roll 1 or 2 dough balls into circles about 6-inches across and ¼-inch thick. Place on hot baking stone, one or two at a time. Cook 2 minutes, or until dough puffs up. Turn over and cook about 1 minute longer. Remove from baking stone with a spatula. Place on a plate and flatten pita slightly with spatula (don’t completely flatten, or insides will stick together). Cover with a towel while other pitas are cooking.

Cut in half and fill to eat. Or cut  into wedges and serve with hummus and/or tzatziki for dipping.

Leave a comment

Filed under Main Dishes

Baked Raspberry Custard Cups (Sugar Free)

Raspberry Custard Cups 2

These innocent little dessert cups created a fair amount of contention in our home recently.

I have two of these  Crème Brulee Ramekin Sets:

Creme Brulee Ramekins

While this is definitely not a necessary kitchen item (it was a gift), I do enjoy using it. I like that the rack keeps the bottom of the ramekins from touching the bottom of the pan when using a water bath. And it is really easy to remove the ramekins from the water bath with the rack. However. With 8 little cups and 6 people in our house right now, this creates conflict regarding the two “extras”.

Raspberry Custard Cups 1

Brian eats very little sugar, so every now and again I try to make a dessert that he will eat. Custards are an easy dessert to substitute out sugar without compromising the texture of the dessert. I make these using a combination of stevia and Splenda, but you could certainly make them with sugar as well.

So when I made these sugar-free custards, Brian assumed that I had made them for him and promptly ate a second one later that night and a third for breakfast the next morning. From the sad, droopy faces I got when kids came home from school asking about the “extras”, you would think that summer vacation had been cancelled.

Luckily, these are super easy to make, so I threw another batch in the oven before dinner. I wish I could say that everyone was happy that they got a second dessert, but unfortunately, it just created the same conflict two days in a row with who was going to get the “extras”.

Next time I’ll just hide the two extras, announce that there are only six, and eat the extras myself while everyone is at school. No more conflict.

RECIPE:

Raspberry Custard Cups 2

Baked Raspberry Custard Cups

3 cups half-and-half ( or 1 ½ cups milk + 1 ½ cups cream)
3 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks
½ cup sugar (or 1/3 cup Splenda + 10 drops vanilla stevia)
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
Pinch of salt
Raspberries (about 2 cups), fresh or frozen (do not thaw)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare a pan for a water bath: place eight 6-oz ramekins in a larger baking pan. Heat enough water to come halfway up sides of ramekins.

Heat half-and-half in a saucepan over medium heat until very hot, but not quite boiling.

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined.

While whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot milk in a steady stream into the mixing bowl with the eggs and sugar. Do this very, very slowly at first, or you will curdle the eggs. (I transfer the hot milk from the saucepan to a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup so that it is easy to pour)

If necessary, strain custard through a mesh sieve to remove lumps. If you have no lumps, then just skim the foam from the top of the bowl using a mesh skimmer.

Place 5-6 raspberries (if using frozen raspberries, do not thaw first) in the bottom of each ramekin. Pour custard over raspberries. Fill bottom of larger pan with enough hot, almost boiling, water to come halfway up sides of ramekins.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set completely at the edges, and only slightly jiggly in the center. NOTE: If you are using frozen raspberries, bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes in waterbath. Remove ramekins from waterbath and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving.

Yield: 8 6-oz custards

 

1 Comment

Filed under Desserts

Strawberries & Cream Sponge Cake Roll

As I mentioned yesterday, this is one of my very favorite cakes. I have been baking it since I was in high school. Back then, my main sources of recipe inspiration (in addition to a wonderful mother from whom I am still inspired) were two Southern Living Annual Cookbooks. From the 80s. I have adapted this recipe somewhat from the original recipe (and often make it sugar-free and whole grain), and I still love it just as much now as I did then.

This cake is light, full of fruit, and not overly sweet. I love whipped cream as a frosting because you can easily control how sweet it is without compromising texture. This is also a cake that is easy to make healthier with some simple substitutions (see recipe at end of post). By substituting a gluten free flour (oats, brown rice, etc) this is easily made gluten free as well.

A sponge cake is made mostly of eggs with just enough flour to stabilize it, and just enough sugar that it doesn’t taste like an omelet.

Roll cakes look much more complicated than they really are, so for those who may not be familiar with baking and putting together this kind of cake, I have included a few more process pictures. This technique can also be used to make jelly-rolls, pumpkin roll cakes (another of my favorites!), Christmas Yule logs, ice-cream filled roll cakes.

The one thing that my kids don’t like about this cake is that the beaters are no fun to lick! Large amounts of raw eggs, no matter how much they’ve been whipped and what other ingredients have been thrown in, still taste pretty bad. Luckily, something magical happens in the oven, leaving you with a moist, airy cake just begging for a creamy, fruity filling.

Start by beating 5 egg whites until stiff peaks form (with a little salt and cream of tartar-for stabilization). You should be able to turn your bowl upside down and have the egg whites not run onto the counter (just be careful testing this as you go along!)

Beat your egg yolks separately, then gently fold them into the egg whites with a little flour and powdered sugar. This is one cake that I do sift my powdered sugar and flour for. It makes a huge difference in being able to incorporate them quickly into the batter without lumps. I measure first, then sift them directly into the egg white bowl.

The batter should still be pretty thick when you are done, but will lose a little of the  volume.

Use wax paper to line a jelly-roll pan (baking pan that is about 10×15”, but you can use a size that is a little larger as well; 9×13” is too small). Leave some hanging over the edges. Spray the wax paper with baking spray (I use the kind for baking that has flour in it).

Spread your batter into the pan, making sure to spread it all the way to the edges. This batter will not melt or spread as it cooks, so try to get it even on the top.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until set. It should not brown. The cake below is actually just a little overdone (it still tasted great though!)

While the cake is baking lay a linen (or fuzz-free) dishtowel on the counter. Dust a small amount of powdered sugar onto the towel in a rectangle just larger than your baking pan (I use a sifter again-actually just a mesh strainer). Turn the hot cake upside down onto the towel (wax paper side up). Gently peel off the waxed paper.

Roll the cake up in the towel, beginning at the narrow end.

Cool completely on a rack.

Unroll cooled cake (leave on towel) and spread with sliced fruit. This is one quart of sliced strawberries mixed with 2 Tbs sugar. I like to let the fruit/sugar mixture sit for a few minutes before spreading it onto the cake so that the sugar dissolves.

Beat 2 cups of whipped cream until stiff. Sweeten to taste. Spread half of the whipped cream over the berries, until the berries are just barely covered. Leave a small section on one of the narrow ends uncovered. As you roll the cake, some of the filling will push to the end. This keeps too much from leaking out.

Beginning at the narrow end, roll cake again. Place on a serving platter, seam side down.

Frost with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with whole strawberries, if desired.

Slice and serve. Store in the refrigerator.

You could make this with different kinds of fruit; fresh berries work especially well.

Another use for the cake: Bake as directed and let cool without rolling. Cut cake into small squares and use as a base for an English Trifle.

RECIPE:

Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake Roll

5 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
5 egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup sifted powdered sugar
½ cup flour
Powdered Sugar
1 quart strawberries, sliced
2 Tbs sugar
2 cups whipping/heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla
2-3 Tbs powdered sugar
Whole strawberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 15×10” jellyroll pan (or cookie sheet with sides) with wax paper and spray with cooking spray (Cooking spray w/flour in it for baking works great).

Beat egg yolks until light and lemon colored. Stir in vanilla. Beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt, beating until stiff. Fold in ¾ cup powdered sugar. Fold in egg yolk mixture. Fold in flour. Spread batter in pan. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes (do not let cake brown).

Using a fine mesh strainer, sift a small amount of powdered sugar on a linen towel. Turn hot cake out onto towel. Carefully peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in the towel. Cool on a wire rack.

Combine strawberries and 2 Tbs sugar; let sit for 5 minutes. Beat whipping cream until foamy. Add 2-3 Tbs powdered sugar and ½ tsp vanilla, beating until soft peaks form. Unroll cake. Spread cake with berries, then half of the whipped cream. Reroll cake. Place on a serving plate. Frost with remaining whipped cream. Garnish with whole strawberries. Chill until serving time.

Sugar Free/Whole Grain/Gluten Free Alternative: Substitute Stevia or Splenda for the sugar (use Splenda in the cake; stevia does not provide the bulk the cake needs, but is fine for sweetening the filling), and oat flour, rice flour or finely ground whole wheat flour (white wheat, preferably) for the white flour. The whole wheat flour obviously isn’t gluten free, but you can substitute most other gluten free flours, or a blend of flours for the white flour.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Desserts

Cheese Stuffed Peppers and Pasta Shells

DSC02346-1

I love stuffed vegetables—squash, peppers, tomatoes—but my kids usually turn up their noses at such things. This recipe is easily adaptable for all of our tastes, pasta shells for the kids and vegetable shells for those of us who actually enjoy food with a little color.

DSC02305-1

One of my peppers was wobbly, so I cut a thin slice out of the bottom (being careful not to create a hole in the bottom of the pepper) to help keep the pepper level in the baking dish.

DSC02311-1 This filling is a standard ricotta manicotti filling, thick and cheesy, but I also love it mixed with spinach or other sautéed vegetables.

DSC02317-1 Stuff your peppers or pasta shells with the cheese mixture and place in a baking dish.

DSC02321-1

DSC02325-1 Top with sauce– a jarred marinara sauce or homemade spaghetti sauce works great—and bake, covered, for about 45 minutes at 350°F.

DSC02328-1 After it is cooked through, I like to top it with a little extra cheese and pop it back in the oven for about 5 minutes.

DSC02346-1

Serve with a tossed salad and crusty garlic bread!

RECIPE:

DSC02346-1

Cheese Stuffed Peppers or Pasta Shells (or Manicotti)

3 whole red or green peppers   OR
——½ box jumbo shells or manicotti noodles, cooked
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan
2 eggs
1 tsp dried parsley
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 jar marinara sauce (or about 2-3 cups homemade sauce)
Additional grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F

If using peppers, cut peppers in half and remove seeds.

Combine cheeses, eggs and seasonings. Stuff peppers (or cooked pasta shells/manicotti noodles) with cheese mixture. Place a small amount of sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Place stuffed peppers/shells/manicotti in pan. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the filled peppers or shells.

Bake, covered, at 350°F for 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired, and bake 5-10 minutes longer.

ALTERNATE PREPARATION: Add well-drained chopped spinach and/or other sautéed vegetables (mushrooms, onions, zucchini/squash, eggplant) to cheese mixture; stuff and bake as directed.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Main Dishes

Mediterranean Frittata

I have a confession to make: I don’t really like eggs. I have a really hard time choking down a plate of plain scrambled or fried eggs. If you add a few slices of toast and a jar of salsa, I can get through them. Or I’m even happier if those raw eggs are mixed with some butter, sugar, flour and chocolate chips before baking: that is my kind of eggs!

But while I don’t like eggs, I do love quiche. Something to do with all of that cheese, cream and bacon hiding the egg flavor (and texture). So this frittata (crustless egg casserole) is right up my alley: it is chock-full of non-egg tasting ingredients. Artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese. Not a plain bite of egg to be found!

I made a large 9×13” casserole, so that I could eat it for breakfast all week (and maybe even share a square or two), but you could easily halve the recipe below and bake it in a square 8×8” pan.

This could also be prepared the night before, refrigerated, and then baked in the morning for an easy, delicious holiday breakfast. And Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.

Jan2010 035-1

The extra Parmesan cheese on top is optional, but I always go for maximum cheese with my eggs.Jan2010 040-1

It bakes up nice and puffy, with delicious browned cheese bits on top.Jan2010 048-1

A fabulous, healthy, non-egg-tasting, high-protein start to your day!

Jan2010 066-2

RECIPE:

Mediterranean Frittata
______
(Adapted from TwoPeasandTheirPod)

18 eggs
16 oz container cottage cheese
1 cup (about 4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp Greek seasoning**
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
2 (15 oz) cans/jars artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
3 oz pkg sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives (optional)
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until well combined. Stir in cottage cheese, feta cheese, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a medium pan. Sauté the onion until soft. Add garlic and spinach. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

Combine spinach mixture with chopped artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and parsley. Stir to combine (this will help cool the spinach before adding it to the egg mixture). Stir vegetables into eggs.

Spray a 9×13” casserole dish with non-stick baking spray. Pour egg mixture into pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if using.

Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes, or until set in center. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.

**NOTE: I get my Greek Seasoning from Penzeys, but you could also substitute a combination of oregano and marjoram.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Breakfast/Brunch

Zucchini Boats with Turkey Sausage

jan10 170-1

One of my resolutions for the year is probably the same as at least half of the rest of the women in this country: to lose weight. My goal is pretty specific however, and has nothing to do with pounds, involves no commercialized diet plan, or even involves such vague undefinable goals like “eating healthier” or “exercising more”. My goal has to do with inches: I want to lose 1/2-inch (and I may be satisfied with about 1/4-inch). Pretty ambitious, don’t you think?

The kicker comes in where I want this 1/4” – 1/2” to come from. I need it to come from the ring finger of my left hand. So that I can remove the wedding rings from my finger! Not that I want to keep them off, it would just be nice to BE ABLE to take them off – for cleaning and such. So if anyone has any sure-fire finger-fat-shrinking diet they would like to share, I am open for suggestions!

Until then, I will have to stick with those unmeasurable methods of eating healthier (I am taking the “whole food, very limited sugar/refined starch” approach) and exercising more. We have always eaten a mostly whole foods diet, but I am going to be much more diligent about the exceptions that I allow myself to eat (like the cookies and desserts that filled my life over the holidays). I’ll let you know when I reach my goal, or my rings completely cut off all circulation to my finger.

Zucchini Boats with Turkey Sausage

This recipe, from Simply Recipes, turned out to be both super healthy and a new family favorite (probably because no one could tell just how many vegetables were packed into that filling-Hurray for the food processor). Most of them even ate the zucchini boat! Which actually surprised me, as we have only one admitted-squash-liking child.

The zucchini I used were pretty long, so I cut them in half both length-wise and width-wise. This also made for better kid-sized portions. Just be sure to leave part of the shell on both ends when you are scooping. A small melon-baller worked great for scooping out the insides. I softened these “boats”  slightly before filling by brushing with olive oil, sprinkling with s&p and microwaving for 2 minutes.

jan10 149-1

The turkey sausage filling is made using ground turkey, onion, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini-insides, seasonings and Parmesan cheese (I kept that a secret from Big A, as well). I chopped all of the vegetables, except the tomatoes, in the food processor so that they would not be recognized. This is not a dish that it would be easy to pick out more coarsely chopped mushrooms and squash bits. Once my home is occupied by fewer picky eaters, I will keep those veges more chunky. They would provide a nice texture.

But for now, the food processor is my friend.

The turkey filling is pre-cooked, then cooled and mixed with an egg and the cheese. Not being a patient dinner preparer, I flash-cooled the pan of turkey filling outside on my deck full of snow. I just set the pan, straight off of the burner into the 6 inches of snow that had collected. It quickly sank quite a ways into the snow, but it did cool off mighty quick!

Fill your zucchini shells and bake about 45 minutes, until browned. The crispy browned pieces of filling were especially delicious, so don’t take it out of the oven too soon!

In fact, the browned bits were so good that I broiled the extra filling until most of it was brown and crispy (thinking that the original amounts would not feed our whole family, I made much more filling than I ended up needing) and made a breakfast casserole with it the next morning.

RECIPE:

jan10 170-1

Zucchini Boats with Turkey Sausage
(Adapted from Simply Recipes)

2 zucchini
about 4 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 lb ground turkey
2 Tbs white wine
2 diced tomatoes (I used 1/2 of a well drained can of diced tomatoes)
3 Tbs chopped fresh basil
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out insides (a melon-baller works great here), leaving about 1/4 inch of the shell on all sides. Chop zucchini insides; set aside. Place zucchini shells in a glass baking dish and brush insides of zucchini with a very small amount of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Microwave for 2 minutes to soften zucchini slightly.

(For my vegetable-adverse children, I chopped the onion, garlic, mushrooms and zucchini-insides in a food processor)

Heat 1-2 Tbs oil in a large skillet. Sauté onion, garlic and mushrooms until tender. Add zucchini-insides and cook until tender. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat an additional 1-2 Tbs oil in the same skillet. Add the turkey and cook until browned. Drain any fat. Add wine and stir to deglaze pan. Stir in onion/mushroom mixture, tomatoes, basil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.

Stir Parmesan cheese and then egg into cooled turkey mixture. Fill zucchini shells.

Bake, uncovered, at 375°F for 45 minutes, or until well browned. Serve hot.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Main Dishes

Beef and Broccoli

DSC02018-1

After fabulous holidays full of rich, sugar-laden foods, it is time to get back to some healthier cuisine around here.

A stir-fry is one of my favorite ways to make a quick, healthy meal that no one turns their nose up at. This one is especially quick as the meat does not need to be marinated ahead of time.

I usually make this with just beef and broccoli, but I had a lone zucchini hanging out in the crisper just begging to be used as well.  So for dinner tonight, we have Beef & Broccoli (with a little zucchini thrown in for fun).

Cut fresh broccoli (and any other lonely veges you want to include) into bite-sized pieces. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add 1-2 Tbs oil. Add vegetables to hot oil and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until broccoli has turned a bright green, but is not cooked through. Remove from wok and set aside.

DSC02005-1

Slice a flank steak into very thin slices. This is easier if the steak is just slightly frozen. If the steak is really wide, you can cut it half first and then cut thin slices.

DSC02002

Add a little more oil to your pan and cook the steak slices over high heat until browned. Season with garlic powder and black pepper while cooking. If you are cooking a lot of meat, or using a smaller pan, cook the meat in small batches. Try to maintain a single layer in the bottom of the pan so that it will cook evenly.

DSC02010

Stir together sauce ingredients and add to pan, stirring until sauce just begins to thickens. I don’t like the sauce to be too thick. If you like more of a gravy consistency, just add more cornstarch to the sauce mix. DSC02016-1

Stir in broccoli. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until broccoli is heated through. Keep the veges crisp, not mushy! DSC02018-1

Serve over white or brown rice.

DSC02024-1

STIR-FRY COOKING TIP: Chop all of your ingredients and stir together the sauce mixture BEFORE you start any cooking. Then you will be sure to not overcook anything while doing prep work.

RECIPE:

DSC02024-1
Beef and Broccoli

2-4 Tbs peanut oil or olive oil, divided
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 flank steak or skirt steak
ground black pepper
garlic powder

Sauce:
½ cup soy sauce
¾ cup chicken broth
1 Tbs cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1-2 tsp chile paste
½ tsp Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet
2 Tbs toasted sesame oil

Chop broccoli into bite-sized florets; set aside. Cut steak in very thin slices (Partially freezing steak beforehand will make this easier); set aside. Combine sauce ingredients; set aside.

Heat 1-2 Tbs oil in a wok or large skillet. Add broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes, until broccoli has turned a bright green, but is not cooked through. Remove from wok and set aside.

Add an additional 1-2 Tbs oil to wok. Add beef (in small batches) to pan. Sprinkle with ground black pepper and garlic powder. Stir-fry until tender. Drain excess moisture from pan, if necessary. Add sauce to pan and cook for about one minute, until it just starts to thicken. Stir in broccoli and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.

Serve over hot rice.

 

4 Comments

Filed under Main Dishes